I am shamelessly borrowing this format from my friend Nancy, who creates a list of things she learned after every trip she takes. In my case, I am altering it slightly to bring you, dear readers, the HussyList — which will always contain the 10 things you need to know before you go. From my single lady upgrade ho perspective, of course.
1. It will be wet. You will be wet. It is all the wet.
Not all the time. And not like cold or anything. But it’s hot. And humid. And it will rain at the drop of a hat when you least expect it and sometimes when there is nary a cloud in the sky. I was on the main highway between Ko’lina and Kualoa on Oahu and I had the top down and was all WOOOOO until it started raining, from a clear sky, for no reason, all over me. I had to pull over and put the top up. Luckily, this is not an unusual occurrence in Hawaii. Like anywhere. But this is also why most locals either drive big epic motherfucking trucks that can and should get wet, or definitely not a convertible. Ever.
See also: Don’t rent a convertible. Also see also: It is hot.
2. It will be hot. You will be hot. It is hot. And fuck tha tradewinds.
I mean. It is a tropical island. Islands. Plural. And each one has its own unique ecosystem. And the weather can vary from one side of any island to the other. And depending on the time of year, the temperature can range anywhere from 72 to 92, and sometimes it will range between that in a given day, even in a given hour. And it is humid AS FUCK. Because, hi, it’s a tropical island. Islands. Shit I never remember that. Okay so whatever, it’s hot. Plan accordingly. Please note that I actually brought like jeans and long running pants and shit. And socks. And long-sleeved shirts. You will need none of these.
What You’ll Need
- Two pair of shorts or skirts
- Every swimsuit ever
- One pair of flip-flops
- Maybe a dress or nice outfit
- A strong liver
- Medical insurance
What you Absolutely WILL NOT NEED
- Makeup (it will only run)
- Hair products (Look. Unless you have a buzz cut, or are twenty-three, or are bald or some sort of metaphysical fucking hair nymph, your hair is going to be on top of your head or frizzing out from your skull — save the space. Leave all that shit behind. You don’t need it. You’re pretty without it. No one cares. Believe me — NO. ONE. CARES.)
- Fancy-ass shoes
3. Don’t rent a convertible
Just don’t. Do not. Why? Because it makes you look like a tourist. One of the locals told me that they all drive trucks and crappy cars because they, unlike you, know that it rains half the damn time there, if not more, and while it’s warm and tropical and delicious, it is decidedly NOT any of those things in a convertible.
Rent a regular car, maybe something larger than a Fiat, maybe a truck. Try not to get white. That is ENTIRELY a tourist ploy. It’s weird. Every car I was offered on the Hertz lot was…white. Like what IS that, dude? I’m not going offroading or anything but still. Hook a girl up with a bright red job, amiright?
Just make sure it ain’t no convertible. (Cut to, months from now, I am totally in a damn convertible on the Big Island because WOOOHOOO BIG ISLAND. I am an idiot. Do as I say, not as I do.)
4. There will be children and you will have to deal with that.
All the children. In varying stages of age, parental knowledge and general care. During the four days I spent at one resort, I came across the same shrieking baby being carted around by a rather lackadaisical couple who either barely noticed their child screaming like he/she/it was being stabbed with tiny Hello Kitty mechanical pencils or who had grown so used to it that they were literally deaf, like it was white noise to them.
Another one I saw had to be about three-months old and was in the property of a clearly new and young couple that could have used a tutorial or two, considering that said infant kept crying even after being breast-fed, bottle-fed, rocked, pushed, shoved, I don’t know, I was drunk. I know what you’re thinking — but they’re BABIES. Yep. They were. But there will also be children. Toddlers. Half-growns. I don’t know ages. And they will also be there. And be obnoxious. And sometimes rude.
Just this morning, I walked down to the pool to return some towels, AT SEVEN AM, and there was a kid just full-on SCREAMING for no reason. I put my finger to the bridge of my nose and pinched hard. The dude standing at the towel hut with his back to me, turned and saw what I did. And he gave me such a look. And I realized that he was the father of this screaming child. And my expression of WHAT IN THE SERIOUS FUCK IS HAPPENING RIGHT NOW apparently did not go over well with him. So yeah, children. And I don’t HATE children, per se. But I’m not fond of them SCREAMING FOR NO REASON AT 7 AM. So I’m not fond of asshole parents is what I am saying.
5. You will love your body even if it kills you to do so.
Look. I have a myriad of hang-ups about my own body. Up until a few months ago, I was pushing 172, horribly out of shape, miserable, etc. I’ve been slowly getting into shape, exercising, running, whatnot. I’ve dropped almost 15 pounds and a couple sizes, I feel good, whatever. Still doesn’t mean I want to parade around in a swimsuit. But guess what? MOST OF THE REST OF THE WORLD DOES NOT HAVE MY HANG-UPS. Or yours, for that matter.
Hawaii is VERY accepting of different body types. This isn’t fucking Miami.
In a single given day, I saw old granny broads in their matron suits parading through the pool area proud as fuck; super skinny maybe with issues young girls with terrible skin who just wanted to escape to the shadows of an umbrella and no parents whatsoever; and a broad selection of women, and men, of varying gut and thigh circumferences, walking through the resort, happy as clams, cellulite on display, gargantuan arms, pigeon legs, what have you. However you think you look, no one gives a damn. Get out there and strut your stuff. You’re beautiful.
6. You will say “Aloha” and “Mahalo” and you will like it.
“Aloha” is not an affectation. It’s like when French people in France say “bonjour”. Yeah, it sounds romantic and adorable — but it is also just how they fucking say hello. It’s not weird, it’s not wrong. It just is. Embrace it. Say ALOHA. You will feel odd the first few times. And then you should suck it up and enjoy the fact that you are in a United State and yet you can speak a slightly different language. The locals and newly locals alike all say it. You should say it. You won’t regret it. It’s really cool. And “Mahalo” is much the same. It’s weird for some, but man, I got INTO “Mahalo”. I say it all the time. For no reason. To anyone who ever helps me. And I sometimes start with, “Thank you!” and then follow it with, “Mahalo, right?!” And again, no one cares. They think it’s hilarious. Hawaii is fucking awesome.
7. You will drink and 8 out of 10 drinks you drink will be a mai tai.
So here’s the thing. Not all Hawaiians drink. But some Hawaiians drink A LOT. Or they drink a lot at one time. Or only a little over an extended time. It doesn’t matter. You’re a tourist. You can do what you want.
All I’m saying is, I sat at JJ’s on a Sunday afternoon and had a couple of beers and felt kind of bad about it, but then two ancient Hawaiian women were seated next to me and they were halfway down what may have been their second or third beers of the day and, as we sat their together, I felt bad about getting more beers, when they full on got a fresh beer delivered to them half a second after they drained their last one. So I stopped feeling bad.
Also: mai tais. They exist for a reason. Because they are goddamned delicious. And because they pack a punch. Just because they come with an umbrella and some fruit doesn’t mean they’re girly drinks. DO NOT BE FOOLED BY THE UMBRELLA. I had two in an hour and had to be escorted to my villa by a nice man on a golf cart because I neglected to eat the aforementioned fruit, or anything else for that matter, and Kino, my driver, was actually a gardener, and he just laughed and laughed at me all the way to my room because I kept muttering, “Fucking mai tais.”
8. There will be chickens. Don’t ask.
It’s a thing. Like in Key West. There are just. Fucking. Chickens. Everywhere. And roosters. Roosters who crow for no reason in the middle of the damn day. Like I said, it’s a thing. Also I think they’re a protected class or some shit, because you can’t grab them and kill them (not that I would do that) (but someone totally asked that on a tour I was on) and if you try it, you will be, I’m assuming here, jailed for a thousand years. Get used to chickens everywhere, is what I am telling you.
9. You will do really stupid shit. Like dangerous shit. And it will be your Go-Pros fault.
As soon as I knew I was going to Hawaii, specifically Kauai, I bought a GoPro. I have never done anything that would require me to purchase a GoPro. Well, that’s not true. There were those hot pink roller skates I bought…but I never wore them. Out of the house. ANYWAY. I knew that there would be adventures galore in Hawaii — ziplining, whale watching, river rafting, horseback riding, many many boats. I had to get the camera to capture the stupidity. And capture it I did. You will do the same. And you will not care that friends who are not with you will say things like, “Seriously? Bungie jumping into an active volcano? Are you fucking nuts?” No. You are not nuts. You are in Hawaii and you have a GoPro. So you are just fucking stupid.
10. You will relax, even if it takes forever, even if it takes until the last day. You. Will. Relax.
So Hawaii is basically an offshoot of Polynesia, Samoa, the Philippines, Malaysia, Alaska, and any other insane island community that for some reason decided to leave their homes and travel northeastward and ended up on a bunch of fucking volcano islands and so, really, they’re all just insanely relaxed about it. Did any of you watch any of the hurricane footage from a few months ago? You know, when that big-ass hurricane came around the islands? 9/10 Hawaiians, I shit you not, were just all, “Yeah, gonna surf that shit.” Hawaii is so chill that they DNGAF if a hurricane is coming. They just gonna surf that shit. Therefore, you, as the tourist, will also be expected to just surf that shit. It’s raining? So what. You just gonna get wet. It’s hot? So what. You just gonna be hot. It’s muddy? So what. You just gonna get muddy.
It’s Hawaii. So what. You gonna get chill.