How Not To Be
-Being on vacation in the tropics does not give you license to dress tacky. Locals can usually pull off wearing a muumuu. You probably can not, (especially back home).
-If you would not dare wear something back home, don’t wear it in Hawaii.
-Speedos…nobody wants to see that.
-If you are going to wear sandals, please take off your socks.
-Put your camera in your pocket, not around your neck.
-Fanny packs were almost okay in the ‘80s, (for women). They are not even close to being okay now.
On the beach and in the water:
-A watch is a good idea, a chain around your belly is totally unnecessary. And gigantic rings that may be a fabulous accessory while sunning yourself poolside on the French Riviera, are just a hazard to the poor fishies that will surely swallow it up when it slips off of your delicate fingers while swimming in the ocean. (Those guys with the metal detectors probably hate me for giving that advice.)
-Makeup: please keep it minimal, if only to keep the ocean clean.
-If a beach looks unsafe and is not guarded, just don’t bother to go in. Take a picture, sit in the sand, but stay out of the water.
-Always check for and observe water safety signs.
-If you must tan, wear some sunscreen and pace yourself. Walking around pink and burnt is stupid and completely unnecessary.
-Don’t just jump into the lineup with your board without checking out where you are…you may not be welcome.
-Don’t just jump into the water with your board without checking out where you are…
coral reefs, riptides, rocks, caves and other dangers abound. And never go it alone.
-Never actually say “cowabunga”…never.
-Go somewhere other than Waikiki beach.
-Have respect for sacred sites and temples.
-Visit some sacred sites and temples.
-Visit some historic sites and learn a thing or two about the beautiful place you have come to.
-If you are at a protected area that says “don’t destroy or take anything”…don’t destroy or take anything.
-Leave the coral and lava rocks where they are.
-Go to Pearl Harbor. Pay your respects.
-If you can, travel to more than one island.
How not to be stupid in general:
-Just don’t bother doing the “hang loose” sign. YOU will not look cool doing it.
-The staff at hotels deals with tourists everyday. It is their job. Not necessarily their pleasure. Show some respect.
-Do you HAVE to buy that eel skin wallet?
-Just because the bar is open in the morning does not mean you should begin drinking like an idiot in the morning.
-When in a marketplace, haggle but don’t insult. They are trying to make a living.
-Eat some fresh seafood.
-Buy a REAL lei and wear it.
-Above all, it is about respect.
Although Hawaii is a state of the union, it has a unique history and culture. Its indigenous people are not “American”. The islands are the most isolated in the world. Have appreciation for the flora, fauna and people and of the delicate balance and beauty that exists there. Respect the land, people and culture and you will be welcomed back. If you are an American, you are a guest in a foreign land within your own country. How lucky are you to have that?
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