Big Island, Hawaii
Udo Jürgens sings in one of his famous songs “Ich war noch niemals in New York, ich war noch niemals auf Hawaii” and that is what you have to change. Hawaii is still one of our most favorites places on earth.
And this time, when I’m looking back to my travels, I’ve seen a lot of islands. Hawaii is one of them which I can’t forget. Hawaii for me is not only an island; it has his own life spirit. It’s one of the magic places, where the world seems to slow down.
A happy place where you can find tranquility and freedom. Yes, it is true, it’s not a secret anymore but the isolation in the Pacific Ocean makes this place special. It’s quite expensive to travel to Hawaii, especially for us as European budget travelers, but I think this helps to keep the spirit alive. Then when you are in Hawaii, you can still travel with a small budget.
It was not our plan to go to Hawaii(ok true, after two weeks on the road we didn’t have plans anymore), but in Seattle, some people told us that Hawaii is one of the most beautiful places in the world and that we have to see this place. The next day we flew to Hawaii from Seattle.
At first, we flew to Honolulu and afterward to Kona, Big Island. Alone the arrival at the airport was an experience itself. You leave the airplane and you’re standing right next to palms, beautiful flowers and the speakers were playing Hawaiian music. Sandra had to nip me because I questioned myself if I’m still alive.
We left the airport and hitchhiked to the next city for a delicious American pancake breakfast. We didn’t have any plans and so the next 10 days we hitchhiked through the whole island, it was fantastic.
The people were unbelievable friendly and peaceful. They picked us up, invited us to their home and showed us this amazing island. We slept on some beaches, did some amazing Couchsurfing and stayed in homes from people where we met as we hitchhiked. And everywhere was this peaceful tranquility.
One of our most memorable experiences in a lifetime was the lava flow in the sea. It’s about 30 miles from Hilo (ask the people where the lava is and about the safety) and you can walk directly along the beach and old cold lava to the red hot lava flow. Go to the beginning of the evening and you’re there when the sun comes down. It’s amazing.
You can stand directly in front of a lava flow and feel the unbelievable heat. Please be very careful and wear good hiking shoes, because the ground can be very hot as well. Some people wore sport shoes and the shoes melt almost away. And NEVER forget your headlight, because you have to walk back in dark and on the dark ground.
Without a headlight, you can’t see where you walk. And please be careful you have to check the wind direction as well. Ask the locals. This adventure’s totally worth it. I will never forget this to stand right before a lava flow.
After 10 days on this beautiful island, we flew to Kauai, the garden island, Hawaii, but this is another story. We still remember this unbelievable friendly and peaceful people on Big Island and say thank you to everyone. One day we will come back to this peaceful and beautiful place.
When to go: It doesn’t matter. It’s a year-round destination.
What to do: Experience the Hawaiian life, its beaches, the amazing people and don’t forget the lava flow and it's Hawaii Volcanoes, National Park.
Where to sleep as a Budget traveler: Camping on isolated Beaches with your tent, couch surfing
Where to sleep if you're not on a budget: Take a look on the Hilo Bay Hale Bed and Breakfast.
How to come around: Hitchhiking and there is a bus around the island as well.
Flights: Use the flight apps that you love. You'll find the cheapest flights if you chose at “depart” à “whole year” and at “return” à “whole year”. At “from” you can use the whole country like “Germany” or “United States”. And then click search and you can choose the cheapest flights on the date choices.