To start this off, I have to be honest with my readers about a promise I made five weeks ago.
When I visited Hawaii last month, I promised to never return to the island alone. The island has too much beauty and love for a single person to experience the journey alone.
Well, I broke that promise. Exactly four weeks following my first visit, it was wheels up again jetting towards Honolulu for another trip by my lonesome self.
On the blog about my first visit, I wrote about how my views about marriage and love had changed while on the island. I boldly declared that Hawaii was for lovers.
Turns out Hawaii is also a perfect place for singles as well.
The first night
Most Hawaiian tourist sites and brochures advertise attractions geared towards newlyweds, folks celebrating anniversaries and couples in general.
Not knowing any better, I found myself in the middle of a marriage masala during my first trip. This time around, I vowed to stay away from that environment.
For my second trip, I stayed in downtown Waikiki at a hotel called LayLow. Now take a moment to think about what it means for one to cool their heels at a hotel with such a name.
Unlike the last hotel, there were absolutely no wedding parties in sight. The laylow hotel caters to singles and business clients mostly.
The Lay Low Hotel
Since I started off by being honest, let me come clean again. This Ghanaian man is not really in Hawaii looking for love. This time around, I opted for a little calmness, some reflection and experiencing Hawaii as a single person on a solo mission.
Just bought this shirt at a shop in downtown Waikiki
It was not apparent to me the first time the plane touched down in Honolulu but it did not take long to realize that Hawaii has a split personality. The first is heavily tourist-driven with umbrella drinks, hula girls, brightly patterned shirts, surfing, a poolside luau, and a touch of romance thrown in for good measure.
For those willing to seek, Hawaii has another face and personality. One which is spiritual, soulful and a deep connection to nature. Hawaii is a perfect destination for anyone craving a deeper connection to themselves.
An Island is a Pescatarian heaven
I had no idea Hawaii would be so welcoming and cater to the needs of singles. When some friends suggested we head out to a singles night out at a Tiki bar and restaurant, I was up for it.
At the bar, we met other singles and before long, a group of tipsy and like-minded people started to share life stories. As the discussion raged on, I picked up three unexpected but awesome lessons about how to happily navigate the single life.
Permit me to share the lessons I picked up.
The Tiki Bar
Disconnect in public
When you’re single and mostly alone, social media can be a welcoming outlet. Most singles, myself included, have come to depend on social media for connection. With that, we carry our phone everywhere and get preoccupied with it when out in public.
It may a Hawaiian or an island thing but I noticed sometimes, people would not only smile but randomly say hi. Turns out most Hawaiian singles love to say hi a stranger whose cellphone is nowhere in sight.
One of the residents said, “a person whose nose is not buried in his or her phone, appreciates good conversation, may be open to meeting new people and pays attention to the life and beauty around them.” Interesting!
Inside a submarine at Pearl Harbor
There is a surprising effect of asking why when you get attracted to someone. Before taking it to the next level, stop and ask yourself why you have that attraction. One of my new friends spoke about how her intuition to ask why has earned her a horrible reputation as someone who is afraid to commit.
Many of us around the table shook our heads in unison in agreement with her plight. It felt good to know I was not alone in the “why” corner.
Asking why gives you the ability to pause and make sure your attraction is not due to just one or two qualities you admire in that person.
The Arizona Memorial at Pearl Harbor
Don’t feed your craving for romance
One of the ladies divulged that singles should never feed their craving for companionship and romance. Naturally, my big antenna ears went up immediately.
She went on to share how she purposely avoids weddings, listening to love songs, hanging out with lots of couples and watching romantic movies when she felt lonely.
In their own words, these activities are sources that feed the craving for the intensity to connect.
Fish Tacos at the Beach Resort
It’s been four days since I came back and I’m already thinking about how to practice the new lessons I picked up.
Is it too cutesy to say my second trip was a life-changing experience? Not really because Hawaii has tons of love to give to couples and singles alike.
The islands have taught me more than I expected. I’m a lot happier these days despite my struggles with attachment anxieties.
For now, while the people around me continue to race frantically to the altar, I’m proud to say I’m quite happy ambling along in the slow lane.
By Kwadjo Panyin
Kwadjo Panyin is a Ghanaian born relationship and lifestyle blogger located in Los Angeles, California. He holds three degrees; a Bachelors degree from Rutgers University in New Jersey, an MBA from Franklin University in Ohio and a Masters of Science degree from Northern Kentucky University in Kentucky. Kwadjo is a business professional who blogs for fun. His articles are about the challenges of dating and relationship anomalies. Writing, blogging, world travel, and photography are his favorite hobbies.