Rainbow Falls then and now

Growing up in Hilo, Hawaii, I lived five minutes by car from Rainbow Falls (look closely and you’ll see why it earns its moniker). My parents would drive us there when off-island relatives came over—or when rainstorms produced a massive wall of crashing water. Both my mom and my dad were attuned to nature: they would notice when Mauna Kea was snowcapped, when cloud cover signaled rain, when the falls were a trickle or a deluge. But I was blithe. As a young adult, months, perhaps years, might pass between visits. I took Rainbow Falls for granted.

When I became a travel writer with Hawaii as my beat, I saw my home island objectively for the first time. I finally appreciated not only its obvious natural beauty but also its local culture and unpretentious people. It took distance—in space, in time—for me to see Hawaii clearly. Now I’m grateful for being born and raised here.

Today, I live in Vancouver. Do I see my current hometown clearly? Do I take it for granted? Have I learned from my mistakes?

This is my food for thought on Thanksgiving.


  1. Hi Loosey — this is a very nice posting. You’re right — I’m forever complaining about San Francisco, the weather, the silly politics — and rarely do I see how gorgeous it is and how lucky we are to live here. Food for thought to be sure.


  2. I love traveling and enjoyed Lonely Planet guides many times 🙂 One of my dream trips was to be a tourist in my own country, Israel, to be able to put aside the politics, prejudice, involvement and simply enjoy the weather, the scenery, to have the openness I experience while traveling abroad, and maybe even be able to adopt it to everyday life.
    So two years ago I decided it was time, prepared my bicycle and took off to cross Israel (it took 13 days and I wish it had taken longer). I can’t even begin to tell about the special experiences, the great people I met, the things I learned about my people and about myself, the fears I faced and overcame and the magnificent country I discovered. I am not trying to promote Israel but rather encourage anyone to do so in your own country and hopefully be able to live your life detached from the things that cause you suffering and closer to the things that are based on your own personal experience, which will always be more truthful.


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