I’ve been traveling to the Hawaiian Islands yearly since I was 16 years old. I was so fond of the area that in my late teens I vowed to live there one day, and as fate would have it, I move there right out of college. I lived on Oahu on and off for 3 years and each island’s charm and unique qualities have found a special place in my heart. My mind is filled with memories of training dolphins, (shout out to the first dolphins I trained: Akeakamai, Phoenix, Elele and Hiapo,) studying humpback whale populations and vocatlizations, showing friends and family around, and overall making the islands my new home.
Each time I have returned to Hawaii I am consumed by a feeling of comfort and peace, just like returning to Mom and Dad’s house after a long absence. The warm tradewinds hug me upon my first steps onto the beach, the imperial palm trees sway in the wind as if waving a warm hello, and the blue waters beckon me to an underwater world of ballet.
The beauty of the islands for me in not just in the joy of being there, but also in sharing it with others. And on this trip I was able to share some of my favorites spots with my older brother and his wife, taking them places like Akaka Falls, Volcano National Park, the black sand beach, and also sharing with them stories of the night marchers and making offerings to Pele. So at a moment in time at the Punalu’u black sand beach when my brother and his wife were spotting turtles, I capured this image of them as they too were weaving their own love story with the Hawaiian Islands.