About This Blog

This blog is to share with you some of the highlights of my visits to Hawaii and miscellaneous Hawaiiana. Hawai'i has had a great impact on my life. To see more on why I keep this blog, see: The Impact of Hawai'i in My Life.

Also, check out the Hawaiian Trivia Quiz.


The Freedom of Hawai'i: Free Trips, Blessings

As I anticipate an upcoming trip to Hawai'i, I reflect on the previo
us trips I have made, and the theme of freedom that has been associated with my journeys to the islands. Hawaii has meant freedom to me in many ways.

Let me explain.

The very word "freedom" has many meanings. One of the most important to me is "the power or right to act, speak, or think as one wants without hindrance or restraint". Each time I have visited Hawai'i I have felt such freedom - the climate, the ocean, the mountains, the waterfalls, the tropical greenery, the people, etc. have participated in this great feeling of freedom. Freedom from the worries of home and everyday life and responsibilities have also played a huge role. Each time I have gone, it has always been for pleasure, though a bit of business has been mixed in on a couple of occasions.

The feeling of returning home each time I go is also very freeing. In an odd yet very natural way, Hawai’i feels very much like home to me. More so than any other place I have lived. My spirit resides there. When my body is not there, it yearns to return. I think, talk, eat, drink, dream and write of Hawai’i often. It is a part of me, I am a part of it. A Polynesian guy once said that I was an “inside out coconut” – I am brown on the inside and white on the outside. That makes total sense to me.

Freedom can also relate to having a good financial situation. Let’s face it. Having any kind of money concerns in life can be enslaving. That seems to be the theme of my adult life: always having money concerns. But for some strange and wonderful reason, despite my constant financial battles, I have been blessed time and again with being able to “return home” several times with very little to no cost. Sometimes for free.

A free trip to Hawai'i? Now that’s what I call true freedom. How about 5 free trips, including the upcoming one? So how did this happen? Always due to a different reason or circumstance. But 5 times? Well, the only answer I can offer that makes sense to me is that Hawai’i calls me home. Sounds corny, huh?

But I am beginning to believe it.

The following is a review of the trips I have made to Hawai’i and the blessings of cost freedoms I have experienced:

1st Trip, 1981:
[Makapu'u.jpg]It was not a free trip, yet quite inexpensive. A friend, Errol Foremaster, invited me to stay with him and others in a 4 bedroom home in Laie, Oahu that he rented from a BYU-Hawai'i professor for a month. For a 2-week stay, rent cost me $40. We had use of the family’s vehicle for very little cost. Another friend, Kelly Parker, and I went together on a low cost round trip flight from LA for $300. The entire trip of 2 weeks exploring much of Oahu with 2 days on Maui cost me a total of $700. Practically free. (See also 1st Trip 1981)

2nd Trip, 1984:
This trip was free. I helped recruit 30 college-aged kids to join a trip organized by Dave Wilkey at Dixie College. For that and acting as a driver, he paid all my expenses on a 10-day trip that included 2 days on Kaua’i and 3 days on the Big Island, as well as two scuba diving tours. (See also 1984 Trip)

[Hula+Show.jpg]3rd Trip, 1985:
Another free trip. Dave Wilkey again offered me an all-expenses paid trip, this time for leading a tour group of senior citizen ladies that he organized but was unable to lead. I even was able to invite a friend to go along free to help with the group management and driving. So, even though some work was involved, it was a great way to work, and even had fun with the old ladies. We visited Oahu, Kaua’i and Maui on a 9-day trip. (See also 1985 Trip)

4th Trip, 2000:
[Queen's+Bath.jpg]A mostly free trip. I, through great fortune, won the grand prize drawing at an employee party while working for the City of Orem, which included free airfare, a rental car and 1 week in a condo in Waikiki.  I decided to add 5 days on to visit Kaua’i and 1 day on Maui, since everything else was free.  It was a fantastic 12-day trip, and the first time for DeNeise, which cost us very little for all we were able to do. (See also 2000 Trip )

5th Trip, 2006:
[Maunawili+Falls.jpg]Free trip.  Struggling with job-finding after having been unemployed a couple of years from being laid off, my Elder’s Quorum president offered me the wonderful blessing of using some of his frequent flyer miles to go to a couple of interviews I had lined up on Oahu. I stayed with my brother-in-law Richard and his family for 5 days and mixed in some good pleasure with the business on this trip. Though nothing came of it job-wise, just being there for a bit was emotionally freeing for the struggle I had been under. (See also 2006 Trip)

6th Trip, 2007:
[Waioka+1.jpg]This trip was not free in any financial sense, but of course freeing in many other ways. I had been blessed over the last year with both a new full-time job plus a few good consulting jobs that afforded us the ability and freedom to take a 9-day anniversary trip to Maui and Oahu.  We spent 5 glorious days staying in and exploring the Hana area of Maui, where we enjoyed some of this earth’s most beautiful nature.  Money was well spent on this trip. (See also 2007 trip)

7th Trip, 2013:
Not free yet relatively inexpensive, this short 5-day journey to Kalalau on the island of Kaua’i was a solo trek fulfilling a long wished-for bucket list item.  No short description can give justice to the great blessing of freedom and personal fulfillment this journey was for me, so I invite the reader to see my three blog posts titled My Journey to Kalalau (in 3 posts).

8th Trip, 2014:
Yet another free trip. This one comes by way of a huge blessing offered by my mother-in-law who wants to include me in a family trip honoring and scattering the ashes of my recently deceased father-in-law. So, although not a regular vacation, but a family-purposed visit to the islands, this upcoming trip will include opportunities to enjoy the beauty and majesty of my island home. The 12-day planned trip includes a stay on Oahu with my brother-in-law and short visits to Kaua’i and Maui. (See trip report at 2014 Trip)

I have indeed been greatly blessed with so many opportunities to return home to Hawai’i over the years with rather small investments on my part. There really is no way I could have had so much if the free trips and inexpensive opportunities had not been granted. I like to think that, although my life has had many other challenges, this is one way that Heaven has recognized my spiritual and emotional needs and has blessed me with opportunities to have them met.

I may not ever be able to permanently, or even temporarily, physically live in Hawaii. I have dreamed of being able to do so, but it is a very challenging concept. If I don't get the chance to do that, then these trips and hopefully more in the future, are recognized as great blessings. 

For such blessings and freedom, I am truly thankful.  Mahalo nui loa.