Taking my first trip to Hawaii took a bit longer than I thought it would. But when I finally was able to book a trip to the islands, I knew there was one thing I needed to do: watch the surfers.
I am not sure what it is about surfing that intrigues me, especially since I did not grow up near or go to beaches that had great surfing. But it’s one of the things I have always enjoyed watching, sometimes for hours, and even trying a couple of times.
I’ve been to several beaches in California over the years and always enjoy watching the novices and the pros on their boards. I’ve sat in awe for hours time after time just taking in the beauty of the sport. While living in New York City, I was able to hit the beaches nearby quite a bit and made a point to check out the surfers in the Atlantic.
I even had a surf lesson on Rockaway Beach in New York with some friends many years ago. I was able to ride 2 waves in total. It was significantly harder than I thought it would be and I was very proud of myself for even getting up on the board.
Being in Hawaii, I knew I’d get the opportunity to watch this sport that I always find intriguing. While I was unable to hit the North Shore of Oahu to watch the more skilled surfers, I made a point of walking to Waikiki Beach every morning during my five-day trip to Honolulu this past Spring to check out those brave enough to grab a board and ride a wave.
My first morning, my body clock was still on Central time. And, of course, I woke up entirely too early. After patiently waiting in my room for a more suitable time to head out, I made my way out of the room around 5:30 am. It was still dark with just a hint of light showing along the horizon.
Since I arrived in town later the evening before, I still did not have my bearings and while I knew I was just a few blocks from the beach, I was completely unfamiliar with the area and the streets. I punched in “Waikiki Beach” into my Google maps and started my walk.
As I rounded the corner to the beach, I saw the beautiful sight of surfers carrying their boards, walking to get their morning ride in as the day got going.
From those who were clearly on their first lesson to those who obviously do this on a daily basis, it was mesmerizing. Surfers of all ages were at the break on Waikiki, and I couldn’t contain my excitement that first morning and I think it just grew every day I was there.
Having taken a couple of surf lessons in the past, I know it’s not super easy to just hop up on a board and ride a wave. That’s why I appreciate what was being accomplished on the water.
I tried to take as many photos as I could but also made a point to spend more time just sitting on the beach and watching. Although I am disappointed I didn’t take more photos, I truly believe part of the travel experience is taking in everything around you, from the sights and sounds to the feeling you have been there. And I did that.
While I may never get a chance to surf Waikiki Beach, I am so thankful I was able to go there and watch so many people enjoy the great water and surf along the shores of one of the world’s most famous beaches. Doing this relaxed me and put a huge smile on my face every day.
What activity do you do on your travels that just makes you smile?
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