If you ever consider to be a homeless, some of Hawaii’s islands offer great value.
On my US trip in 1999, after NY, Los Angeles and San Francisco, I was left with only $200 and wanted to squeeze every drop of it. Then, in a local newspaper I found an incredibly cheap and tempting deal: $120 for a one-way stand by ticket to Maui, Hawaii. What are the chances of getting on such a flight? How can I survive on a Pacific island with just $80 and for how long?
I arrived at Maui’s airport on a beautiful afternoon, hitchhiked to the nearest town and checked in for one night in the cheapest hostel I could find. The next morning I went out hiking with a mochila and a lot of enthusiasm to discover the wonders of the island.
In the the next few weeks I went through some of the most exciting and condensed adventures of my life.
The first night outside, alone at Paia’s beach was a bit scary and wet, but the second night in the tiny cave of Red Sand Beach in Hana was so relaxed and inspiring that afterwords I felt at home in every cave, mountain and beach I came upon.
I walked a lot and also enjoyed the generous rides Maui’s hippies gave me, along with their guidance and blessings.
I was talking to God while walking and also while laying on my back at night staring at the sky. I met some exceptional people, one of them, Juan, a Mexican-American painter who reminded me my late grandfather, shared with me his spiritual legacy and his view that the only way to become a great artist is through wandering and living an adventurous lifestyle.
Eventually, I settled down in Baby Beach in Lahaina, and was honorably accepted by the local group of Kings: Brother K, a big Polynesian guy with an impressive Afro, a descendant of the Kalakaua Hawaiian royal dynasty and a brilliant Ukulele player. Steven ‘The Preacher’, the spiritual authority of the beach, a Vietnam veteran and a former Rock band guitarist who found God. Larry ‘The Millionaire’, Rob ‘The Mayor’ and a few other VIPs. We were sitting together around the fire at nights, sharing tiny bites of food and the greatest stories of our lives.