Off the Beaten Path: A Hawaiian Adventure


Ian Hart learning to surf during professional lessons

Ian Hart and his family have gone on many family vacations over the course of his life. From short trips to nearby cities or long drives to the beach, he has witnessed vacations that most families go on. However, on Spring Break of 2021, his family planned a trip that would be a unique experience for all.

Hart explained that his family had been to other places in the United States but never off the mainland. However, he stated, “We were intrigued by the warmer climate, different culture, and sights Hawaii had to offer.” Ian was able to see parts of this beautiful state when visiting two of the eight main islands.

A Buddhist temple located on the island of O’ahu. (Ian Hart)

Ian and his family began on the island of O’ahu in the first three days of their trip. Ian commented that O’ahu was more of a tourist island, crowded with people sightseeing at popular attractions. However, the last two days of his fascinating vacation were spent on Kauai. Hart mentioned, “This was my favorite out of the two islands. It is a lot smaller island, but the best way to experience the culture is to remove yourself from the beaten path.” The family found themselves scoping out unique sights and even stopping at local spots to eat and partake in activities.

From what it sounds like, Hawaii is the vacation spot for a traveler looking for many new and exciting activities. From walking through Dole’s Pineapple Plantation to Surfing, Ian Hart packed his agenda with plenty of once-in-a-lifetime encounters. On the O’ahu island, Hart could observe the pineapple plants and cacao trees, visit a popular Buddhist temple, see places where movies like Jurassic Park were filmed, and shop at traditional Hawaiian stores. When visiting Kauai, he was able to see the memorial of the Pearl Harbor Tragedy. Ian stated, “It was a very humbling experience. We were able to see the sunken U.S.S. Arizona and honor those lost.” The last thing mentioned by Hart was his experience surfing. His face lit up when he got the opportunity to speak on it. He took the lesson with his sister, and it was taught by a local surfer. They found a sandbar, which helped them get introduced to the basics of surfing. He said, “The teacher would push us off and tell us to stand up slowly. One of the keys we learned was to be patient. If you stand up too quickly, you will fall off.” Hart being able to do all these different activities opened his eyes to the Hawaiian culture and things he never expected.

Hart was born and raised in Western Kentucky and had never visited a place with a vastly different culture. Stepping onto the soil of Hawaii was very different and, in a way, a culture shock. Ian said, “They definitely talked differently than us. We have a stronger country accent in Kentucky.” He was caught off guard by the size of the islands. He mentioned that looking at the map is rather deceiving. Ian believed these islands were big and they would not be able to see all parts during their five-day trip. Hart revealed, “O’ahu is a little bigger, but Kauai is only a 45-minute round trip. This is cool because you could take everything in.” Hart was grateful for the exposure he got from his trip to Hawaii.

Hart’s view from a helicopter tour.

Spring of 2021 is one that Ian Hart will never forget. He got to experience incredible sights, food, and cultural experiences you can not find anywhere else. The trip inspired him to go off the beaten path and search for places not seen on T.V. He encouraged people to go to local favorites because the pure beauty of the island is better than any tourist attraction. So, go outside, explore, and take the trip of your dreams.