I just got back from an amazing vacation. I found myself in Hawaii for a wedding, but it also included a fair amount of free time to explore our amazing 50th State. And what I noticed most about Hawaii was that its whole economy, or at least a good chunk of it, seemed to be centered around themselves as a culture. Not like other states that focus in on a tourist attraction like an amusement park, or a mountain range, or a mall. That’s not to say other states don’t value their whole culture, but Hawaii seems to be awfully proud and awfully good at selling a lifestyle, a mindset, a culture.
It wasn’t just the tourists wearing flowers in their hair, around their necks, or in the form of jewelry like earrings or lapel pins. The locals were just a big a fan of their home state as we visitors were. We learned to surf from locals who used to be just visitors like us, but felt the aloha spirit strongly enough to stay, and I can’t say I blame them. The beauty and the laid back atmosphere in Hawaii was certainly easy to fall into. And the locals were not immune to it.
The personal pride that everyone seemed to take in the landscape and each other in Hawaii was as impressive to me as the ocean and the weather. And it was a huge incentive to bring home some of the aloha spirit with me, in the form of Kona coffee and yes, lapel pins. I mean, come on, would you expect any less?