Hawaii has always been a bucketlist destination for me, after watching a film on @captainpotter (a local YouTuber), which tells of his connection to the land. I knew visually the country was pretty extraordinary, but I could never have imagined just how much it would blow me away.
I was travelling her on Contiki’s Big Kahuna trip, working with The Travel Project on a mission to explore just how extraordinary Hawaii’s natural landscape really is.
This isn’t a country that messes around when it comes to nature, and the recent volcanic explosion of Mt. Kilauea lays testament to that.
Hawaii’s natural landscape is vast, wild and untamed, offering glimpses into a pre-historic world, sandwiched into the 21st century.
But to me, it also felt on some levels, familiar. I grew up in a tropical part of the world, Far North Queensland in Australia, so the constant heat and rain are second nature to me. What differed most though, were the mountains. The volcanic rock was everywhere and played such a huge role in shaping the landscape. Some places were flattened by lava, other parts had grown around it and formed new landscapes. It was incredible to see how the communities are all such a part of the volcanic movement, listening & watching it closely, especially at the moment.
What were some of my highlights? Snorkeling with turtles out the front of our hotel in Maui, night diving with manta ray’s on the Big Island, seeing dolphins swim freely around our boat on the zodiac rafting tour, sun rise chasing at Haleakula National Park, the waterfalls around Oahu, the list goes on.
Hawaii is everything I love as a filmmaker, and as someone who’s most happy outdoors. Swimming, surfing, hiking and seeing sunrises is what fuels my motivation in life, so everyday felt like a new opportunity.
What did this trip, and my mission teach me? It reaffirmed for me that our connection to nature is paramount to our existence, and without listening to it and paying attention to it, we as humans could be in lot of trouble. Witnessing Kilaeau spark fire, seeing volcanic ash erupt into the atmosphere, and feeling 3 separate earthquakes on the same day were all signs of how much bigger Mother Nature is in comparison to us. It made me feel quite small and insignificant, and in a lot of ways humble and grateful for the life I’ve been given.
Watch Jake’s journey in partnership with The Travel Project, below:
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