So, you are ready to plan your dream vacation to Hawai’i. Before you start planning your trip consider why you want to travel to Hawai’i. Relaxation and enjoyment are valid answers, but let’s go deeper. We are strongly drawn to certain geographical places in the world for profound reasons if we are listening. After all, the Earth is alive and speaking to us. The Earth is guiding you to where you can learn about yourself, about the world, different cultures, and ways of life if you choose to travel with purpose.
Traveling with purpose means mindful intention vs mindless consumption.
It means not only imagining all the joy and beauty you can get from the places you travel to but imagining all the ways you can give back to the places you visit. It means asking yourself how you can leave a positive impact, how you can go into the experience with humility, awareness, and an eagerness to learn and engage. Unfortunately, many people who travel, especially to places like Hawai’i do not approach travel as a purposeful, reciprocal exchange with the land and the local community and culture. There’s no question that many people associate traveling to Hawai’i as a dream vacation. For many it is a once in a life time type of trip. It is considered one of the most expensive places in the world to travel and people save up money for years in order to visit for just one week in paradise. The expense of one’s vacation in Hawai’i is directly related to how you travel to the islands. The choices you make in where you stay, the food you consume, and the activities you partake in.
Here’s our tips on how to travel with purpose and save money while you do:
- Where you stay and how you find a place to stay:
At our eco-retreat on the big island of Hawai’i we offer simple, rustic spaces weaved into the jungle for our guests. We offer sliding scale donation options for those that need it. We have taken a stand against the gouging prices of hotels and airbnbs by refusing to use these major booking platforms for visitors to find us. (You can help by spreading the word as we’re relying on the old school method of giving people great experiences and people sharing them with their friends!). You can book with us directly through our website or find us on hipcamp.com (a booking site specifically for camping and rustic stays on farms and eco-retreats like ours).
- Work Trade/Volunteer trips:
We offer other ways to exchange beyond the almighty dollar. It is our sincere interest to create sustainable structures outside of the profit driven business model that exclude many people and harms the earth. We are passionate about giving opportunities to people who would otherwise not have the means to visit a place like Hawai’i, but who hear the call from the Earth to come here, to heal, and to offer their talents, time, and energy into a collective vision that serves the community. Apply for worktrade/volunteer with us here.
- Cook and grow your own food:
We encourage our guests to pick up food at local markets, prepare their meals in provided fully stocked kitchens, using some ingredients growing here on the land, to help save money and promote a relationship with the food you eat. We ask guests to sow seeds as a way of leaving a positive impact and giving back to the land which provides you nourishment
- Support local and get off the beaten path:
Earthsong Hawai’i is located in Ka’u, the largest and least populated district of the Big Island. There is incredible beauty to behold here including one of four green sands beaches in the world. But, there’s no starbucks, no fancy resorts, and a whole lot of Aloha. When you travel, consider visiting places that are off the beaten path for not only a more affordable experience but to support these small communities by buying small farm’s local produce and getting your souvenirs from local artisans instead of buying over priced, generic, and wasteful items at the airport or at one of the stores lining popular tourist hubs. Visit our location’s page to learn more about our rural locations in both Hawai’i and Panama.
We share our space as an ecological community learning center for the youth, young families, and people from all walks of life and around the world to come and practice together the art of slowing down, living simply, tending the soil, living in community, connecting with and giving reverence to nature. We welcome visitors who travel with purpose, like the woman (and kids!) who share their experience at Earthsong in this video. Lottie came with a purpose to make art, give her boys their first experience of travel and exposure to an alternative way of life, and to also give herself a well deserved dose of healing sunshine, ocean, and friendship. Lottie, Nixson, and Huxley visited for 3 weeks in March of 2022. Lottie expresses in this video many things that touch on what our mission is:
1. Being given an opportunity as a single parent to travel with her children.
2. Being given the freedom to create her art without capitalistic pressure.
3. Being encouraged to care for herself first and to not serve from an empty cup.
4. Being supported by the community around her in caring for her kids.
5. Being able to slow down and appreciate all the little things.
We look forward to connecting with more kind, open, and talented people like you!
“The Earthsong Foundation is a charitable organization, community learning space, and retreat with locations on the Big Island of Hawai’i, in the Highlands of Panama, and in our Global Village Online. We are passionate about making travel, higher learning, and holistic health accessible and inclusive.”