When I was attending high school on Oahu, I joined a hiking and camping club. You would think it would have been a popular club, but it wasn’t. Popularity wasn’t the reason for joining anyway. I was doing it because mountains captivate me, drawing me to them almost innately, as a moth is to a flame. There’s something about being enveloped in its forests, dipping myself into its streams, camping under the stars or listening to rain drops fall atop my tent, and feeling a crisp wind in my face that feels as comforting to me as a baby feels when wrapped in its mother’s arms.
For other people, the same could probably be said about being at sea on the outskirts of a small, uninhabited island, diving into its perfectly clear, watery depths and swimming among the many sea creatures there. Scuba divers have told me how they feel right at home under the sea, which is why they take up every opportunity they can to do it. I can only imagine they are feeling as in touch with nature, gliding below the surface of the ocean, as I do when I am hiking the Napali coastline on land.
It’s this sense of adventure inside all of us—and the desire for a connection with the natural world—that we are calling to in our cover story, “Your Next Big, Epic Adventure Starts Here," with seven of them highlighted here. And, these aren’t just any adventures that we’ve rounded up. Most of the 19 are at least five hours long, filled with excitement and leaves an effect that’s spellbinding, whether you choose to do one on land, by sea or in the air.
Also in our January/February issue, I asked one of the best food writers in Hawaii, Martha Cheng, to explain the poke phenomenon that’s been happening around the world for the past year. In “Poke’s New Wave," she talks with restaurant owners and chefs in New York City, Los Angeles and Honolulu to get their take on why Hawaii’s favorite pupu (appetizer) has become the world’s favorite fast-food dish and how it’s evolving in its wake.
Congratulations, also, to all of our photo contest winners this year, published in the issue, and mahalo to everyone who entered. We enjoy reviewing each and every photo we receive and reading about your entries. We can really feel how sincere your love is for Hawaii through your photos, so thank you for sharing these with us.