Vacation is often a combination of relaxing and exploring. We want to shake off the stress of everyday life, have a little fun, and learn something new. Learning something about both ourselves and the culture we’re visiting, is an ideal way to take that information home with us and influence how we live our lives going forward.


We don’t often immerse ourselves in a culture with the intent to truly understand, but if we take the time, we might get even more value out of our travels. Island Wisdom: Hawaiian Traditions and Practices for a Meaningful Life is a recently released book co-authored by Kainoa Daines and Annie Daly. Daines is a Native Hawaiian and an executive in Hawaiʻi’s visitor industry, and Daly is a journalist with a strong love for Hawaiʻi.


You may be familiar with the decades of cultural oppression and appropriation that Hawaiians have faced, and you may also have heard that there’s so much overtourism in Hawaiʻi that both land and locals are suffering. This book gives a deeper insight into what Hawaiian culture is truly about, so when you visit, you’ll know how to respect the culture—much like how you respect your neighbors and don’t just walk into their house uninvited and put your feet up on the table when they’re eating.


Hawaiian principles aren’t only valuable in Hawaiʻi. They cover universal themes that can apply to your life at home, as well. An example is aloha. Vacationers may believe it’s an all-encompassing word that means, among other things, hello and goodbye. Daines and Daly explain in Island Wisdom that the word can be broken down into two parts, alo (being in one’s presence in a face-to-face manner) and (breath or life force). “It’s the recognition that we are all sharing the same breath—the breath of life—and therefore we are all one,” they say. “Taken one step further, Hawaiians believe that this recognition—this acknowledgment that we are all part of each other—is what fuels compassion and live and respect.”


Island Wisdom: Hawaiian Traditions and Practices for a Meaningful Life lists for $19.95 on the Chronicle Books site.

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