Incredible landscapes, gleaming white sand beaches, awe-inspiring waterfalls, luxurious resorts, and ordinary people of Kauai with their not so ordinary stories… This is what it takes for this tropical island to become a dreamy destination you want to explore again and again.
Last updated: August 28, 2023
Ordinary People of Kauai that Make Huge Difference
We all agree that the natural resources, weather, and tropical location of the island entice visitors in the first place. Yet the ordinary people of Kauai are what makes the travelers come back again and again. According to the Conde Nast Readers’ Choice Awards, the people of Kauai are the friendliest residents of the Hawaiian Islands.
With no officially imposed on them responsibilities, the locals of the Garden Island voluntarily take on roles of hospitable and engaging hosts. With their charm and easygoing nature, the people of Kauai treat the visitors like their own guests, making them feel welcomed and at home.
Diverse Group of People
The ordinary people of Kauai are a relatively small, but diverse group. About 70,000 residents call the island their home. Although the majority of the islanders have some kinds of connections to Asia, in particularly China, Japan, Korea, and the Philippines, the rest of the population is as diverse. Native Hawaiians, Alaskans, American Indians, Puerto Ricans, and Portuguese live side by side on the Garden Island.
Such multinationalism explains multicultural atmosphere that Kauai is famous for. Hula, unique musical and artistic shows, and numerous festivals represent traditions of the individual cultures. And it’s all possible thanks to contributions and aspiring spirits of the islanders.
Yet despite their background differences, the locals pick up some distinguishing traits, typical for all of them without exception. Without further ado, let me introduce some of the ordinary people of Kauai that made our trip unforgettable.
WHO ARE THEY, THE ORDINARY PEOPLE OF KAUAI?
There is no better way to explore a new place than to meet locals. I’m not sure if it’s somebody’s quote or my personal pearl of wisdom. But it works everywhere, including Kauai. Here’re some of the characteristics that set the islanders apart.
Attentive and Informative Guides
We met one of these ordinary islanders by accident. As we exited Lihue Airport, waiting for car rental’s shuttle to take us to its office, anticipation of future adventures put us in a good mood. Knowing that a car is a must on the island, we had booked it a few weeks prior to our trip to Kauai and couldn’t wait to get it now.
Jordan, a shuttle driver, showed up a few minutes later. The young man probably in his mid-twenties turned out to be a very attentive and intelligent person. Seeing our carry-ons, he naturally took an interest in what had brought us to Kauai. It was probably the most common thing to ask in this situation. But the ice was broken and it gave room for more questions and answers.
During our five-minute ride to the rental car office, Jordan equipped us with more information and useful tips on what to do and see on Kauai than Google had done over the past few weeks. The islander’s demeanor showed sincere attentiveness and willingness to help. Needless to say, he made a huge impression on us. We saw similar traits in many other locals.
Active and Entertaining Nature Lovers
Next, it was Alex and his six-year-old son Oliver. We met this family at Kamokila Hawaiian Village. Looking like any other ordinary guy, Alex happened to be an avid nature and outdoor enthusiast. Entertaining his guests by offering them guided canoe rides down the famous Wailua River, he was the heart of the village.
Permanently residing on this Hawaiian island, by virtue of his surroundings, Alex was a very active and entertaining man. Every day from early morning until evening, he spent his time in nature, giving endless canoe rides.
Definitely, it was not an easy task for a single father and required both strength and endurance. But in spite of the physical challenges of the job, it was obvious that Alex loved it. Like the majority of the natives of Kauai, he loved staying active and spending time outside. That was not just a part of his job. It was part of his life and daily routine.
The same qualities, interest and respect for the outdoors and nature, Alex had instilled in his son who was his frequent canoe companion. Together the father and son entertained their guests beyond any expectations. While Alex provided detailed information about the island, Oliver couldn’t stop adding “savory details” omitted by his farther.
For example, the smart boy warned every canoe guest about a ten-tooth crocodile who lived in the river and found any hands dipped in the water very delicious. Never mind that nobody on Kauai, including his own farther, saw, heard, or known anything about the crocodiles in the Wailua River.
Talented Artists and Creatives
Here at Kamokila Hawaiian Village we met another ordinary resident of Kauai with not so ordinary story. A hula dancer, song writer, and singer, Annie instantly grabbed our attention. Whether it was her bright orange dress or small table with an old tape recorder, stack of CD’s, crystal stones, and different kinds of hula rattles, we desperately wanted to see what this petite lady was going to do.
Slowly, ignoring the curious glances from a small crowd behind her, the woman turned on her tape recorder. An old Hawaiian song broke the silence. And a few seconds later, Annie, who seemed to carry an invisible plume of calmness, grace, and some kind of creativity, gave us a hula performance. Moving to the rhythm of the music, she gracefully floated on a small stage, enjoying her every move.
The moment one song ended, Annie turned on another one and began to sing along. It was her… The voice on the recorder tape and the talented dancer and singer in front of us was the same person.
As we learned later, the creative from Kauai, at some point in her life, Annie had left the island to pursue her artistic career. She traveled the world, performing and recording her songs. But her heart was here, with the incredible nature and the ordinary people of Kauai. She returned to her roots and had been sharing her art and creative nature with the locals and visitors ever since.
Spirit of Aloha
Finally, the world-famous “Aloha” is not just a friendly greeting or genuine farewell. Aloha represents culture and traditions of Hawaii. It includes unwritten principles and norms, engraved in the hearts of the islanders.
Aloha is a way of living. It’s a spirit that makes the island and its inhabitants friendly and welcoming to each other and the visitors. You can see that warmth and eagerness to help everywhere… In genuine smile of a hotel receptionist and detailed instructions of a grocery store cashier that make your feel at home. In perky expressions of a roadside fruit seller and friendly faces of strangers that invite you to participate in the everyday life of Kauai.
The spirit of Aloha is very strong and contagious on Kauai. Before you know it, you start treating other people like your best friends. “Welcoming the stranger and seeking his or her good, loving a stranger even if love is not returned” (Reverend Abraham Akaka). It’s what brings you one step closer to becoming one of the ordinary people of Kauai.
Many More Ordinary People of Kauai with Their not so Ordinary Stories
The spirit of Aloha, love of nature, attentiveness, creativity, active lifestyle, and eagerness to assist are some of the most common traits of the locals of Kauai whose power is in the unity, contributions, and acceptance of everything and everybody. Jordan, Annie, Alex, and Oliver are just some of the amazing people we met during our trip to Kauai. But there are many more other ordinary people with extraordinary stories that call Kauai their home.
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