Waikiki was where I regained confidence in my ability to travel alone. I had honestly expected to dislike Waikiki, thinking it would be like Cancun or Miami, just another touristy beach with highrises lining the ocean.
It WAS always packed and the highrises were present, but despite my doubts I found myself falling in love with this corner of Oahu. I stayed at the Seaside Hostel Waikiki and it was delightful – I also came at the perfect time. On Thursday nights they have free pasta, so I sat myself in the lobby awaiting my favorite food. I had decided my first night was the perfect time to prove to myself that I could make friends – even though I absolutely know I can, EVERY time I go on a trip I have to remind myself that I am not in fact a weird loser who everyone will hate.
So I did! I caught up on my journal (to give you an idea of how much I write, this was day 5 of my trip and I was on page 30) and eventually wandered over to a table to of international-sounding backpackers and asked if I could join them. I feel like this sounds really pathetic, like I’m talking about running for president rather than just saying hello, but I am VERY shy. Don’t judge me.
Anyway, obviously they were lovely and we chatted about my trip, their trips, Hawaii and of course, the frightening state of America. And bonus, the free pasta was great!
Now to actual activities in Waikiki. I hiked Diamond Head, which I dont think anyone leaves Honolulu without doing. It was honestly stunning! However, I forgot to sunscreen, so I didn’t stay at the top for too long because I could just feel myself getting sunstroke. Highlights included obviously the view, the beautiful giant dog I met named Casey (creeper photo below) and the sweet sweet feeling of air conditioning when I got on the bus back to Waikiki.
As the cherry on top, when I got to the waterfall there was NO WATER!! I hadn’t thought to check water levels, stupidly – so to be totally honest, this walk was not worth it. It would be, however, if there had been water.
When I finally got back to my hostel, muddy and cranky, it was time to pack up for a 4am shuttle pickup. If you have an early flight or prefer the convenience of a direct van, Roberts Airport Express was perfect! I paid $15 for pickup at the hostel, which was much cheaper than a taxi.
So I had originally booked a Jetstar flight to Sydney for $220, which didnt include any food or entertainment or baggage. I was kind of dreading 10 hours on what I basically thought would be Ryanair. Before I left for Hawaii, I got an email that the Jetstar flight had been cancelled and I would be flying on Qantas – which is consistently voted one of the top airlines in the world. It was the BEST FLIGHT EVER. I got upgraded to an exit row, after a very confusing exchange where the flight attendant asked whether the 4 year old girl next to me was my child, and when I said no, asked if I was over 16. Um, yes. There were at least 20 movies I wanted to watch, the vegetarian food was delectable and I slept for at least 3 hours. I’m still not over this lovely surprise.
We crossed the international date line and I was officially in a country I hadn’t seen in 20 years – Australia!