Posted by: Waheeda Harris | February 21, 2013

It’s all because of Hawaii

north shoreI owe my travel writing career to Hawaii.

Not because I saw it for the first time through the show Hawaii Five O as a kid.  Not because of the puka shell necklaces I received as gifts from my friends who went with their families to Oahu.

And not because of my choice to visit the islands – but it was because of Hawaii. My first assignment to write two travel-related articles – and off to Maui I went to learn about the island.

As I wandered from beach to beach, to eat ribs and shrimp at roadside food trucks and to see the surfing spots, I took notes, photos and talked to as many people as I could.

I didn’t bring a guide book, had no smartphone or knew anyone on the island. I went with very little information and decided to rely on people I met to share their experiences.

And people did – suggesting a new beach to visit, a place for a shave ice and who to ask to about finding a snorkeling spot. I stopped at gas stations, convenience stores and talked to people at beaches, bars and in grocery stores.

And it served me well, giving me a memorable experience as well as directed my skills to pursue travel writing within my journalism. I relied on my instincts and have always been grateful to Hawaii – a place that taught me how to do it.

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