Travel Diaries: Falling in Love with Hawaii Through My Children’s Eyes

Featured image: Overlooking the beautiful Waikiki Beach in Oahu, Hawaii / Photo by twenty20photos on Envato

How Oahu showed my family how to heal

By Marion Broverman, Guest writer 

Back when I was young and fairly unaware, I found out my first husband was having an affair with my best friend. I was 27 with two young children. Adultery was a new word for me.

I filed for divorce and custody. I lived and worked in a numb state for two years while this was going on. The courts granted me my divorce and full custody of my children. The settlement helped pay for my home and with a bit left over, I decided to run away with my family to Waikiki, Hawaii.

Not thinking very clearly, I chose to run away at Christmas in 1980. Packing up my kids and leaving -30-degree F (-22 C) weather for 29 F (85 C) weather seemed a good idea at the time. Here we were ages 27, 12 and 7 going our first adventure to another country together. Jason and Lisa were excited to be flying for the first time with Wardair.

Your current situation is not your final destination

I remember looking out of the little plane window thinking of my grandmother’s old saying: Your current situation is not your final destination. This carried me through the whole trip.

View through the airplane window

Views out an airplane window / Photo by viki2win on Envato

Marion's kids Jason and Lisa

Marion’s kids Jason and Lisa

I planned things mostly with kids in mind. They wanted to touch the ocean for the first time, go snorkeling, visit a sea turtle farm, and see a volcano. The rest was up to me. We had 10 days to relax and enjoy the warmth of the December sun with Christmas Day as our last on the island.

We spent mornings getting up early and walking the Waikiki beach before the crowds showed up. I took the kids on tours of the Diamond Head volcano crater, Polynesian Culture Center, Dole Pineapple Plantation, and the Hilo Hattie store (they wanted to bring back treasures for their friends).

The Dole Plantation in Hawaii

The Dole Plantation in Hawaii

Diamond Head Volcano

Diamond Head volcano crater

Polynesian Culture Center

The Polynesian Culture Center

Edinburgh Castle on Castle Rock in Edinburgh, Scotland

Healing Your Past Through Travel: Memories of a Trip to England and Scotland

JourneyWoman Joy Fox travels to England and Scotland to revisit her memories and heal her past.

Read More

From trouble in paradise to healing as a family

Around halfway through our trip, my young daughter told me she missed snow, Christmas trees, and her dad. I knew then that my kids were going through the numbness of not having their father around for the holidays. I couldn’t tell her he wasn’t ready to be with them either. In fact, he told me after the divorce papers came that he wanted to be in their lives…but maybe in a few months. Sigh. So hard. On all of us.

At the angst-ridden age of 12, my son was acting out. He rented four adult movies in our hotel room. He tried to get into a fight with some of the navy fleet on the beach because they were ogling my daughter with comments like “Come back and see me with your blond hair in 10 years.” Oy. It took me and the Waikiki police to calm Jason down. We bought him ice cream and explained that the soldiers were teasing. That’s how I knew my sweet, shy quiet boy was feeling the pain without his dad.

Here we were in Hawaii, 5,167 kilometres away from a home that was broken, with hearts that were broken. I decided to just let them vent, to love them, and to be and do whatever they wanted or needed. We snorkeled and laid on the beach making sand castles. We ate at an open-air McDonalds. We took a helicopter ride over the island, which they said was the best part of the whole trip.

I tried to get a small Christmas tree to celebrate the day, but no luck. Instead, we had a decorated pineapple in our room. It was just not the same. I promised the kids we would have a late Christmas and Hanukah when we got back home on December 27.

A pineapple decorated with Christmas ornaments

A pineapple decorated as a Christmas tree / Photo by rykov on Twenty20

They danced at the luau we attended on Christmas Eve, and they kept close to me. They told me it was okay. And when we finally got home to our familiar surroundings, our things, and our friends, it was okay. We had started a new nuclear family together – and survived our first holiday season as that family. We had loved and supported one another through our pain. We had started to heal together.

Vintage photo showing author Marion as a baby with her Grandmother Minnie

Women’s Solo Travel Memoirs: Marion’s Indomitable Spirit

A seasoned solo traveller shares her earliest travel inspirations, youthful escapades, how to stay independent when travelling as a couple, and finding hope through travel after being widowed.

Read More

What that trip taught me

  • My children were more resilient than I realized: They knew we needed each other to get through an uncertain time.
  • Being a single parent isn’t easy, but it isn’t a bad thing: I could make mistakes and survive them. I could also make brave choices that made all the difference to my kids.
  • The best part of my marriage was my children: My marriage may have ended, but my children would be mine forever. I discovered that I was the cement that held us together as a family of three.
  • You can grow up alongside your kids: Growing up together taught us what real love meant.

I have been back to Hawaii many times, to different islands, but I will always remember how I saw Oahu through the young eyes of my children, who are now 48 and 45. I’m proud of how they turned out – educated, loving, strong and community minded. I have learned to keep in touch with my grown children whenever I travel. Much as I discovered on that first trip as a family of three, they keep me grounded in my ideas of what I want to see, do and accomplish. In the future, I’d love to take my grandkids travelling to see the world through their eyes.

Read More on Exploring the USA

Marion Broverman is a long-time JourneyWoman and the administrator of our private Facebook Group.

Previous

Next

1 Comment

  1. Arlene Polangin

    I loved Marion’s story of healing with her two children in Hawaii.

    Reply

We always strive to use real photos from our own adventures, provided by the guest writer or from our personal travels. However, in some cases, due to photo quality, we must use stock photography. If you have any questions about the photography please let us know.

Disclaimer: We are so happy that you are checking out this page right now! We only recommend things that are suggested by our community, or through our own experience, that we believe will be helpful and practical for you. Some of our pages contain links, which means we’re part of an affiliate program for the product being mentioned. Should you decide to purchase a product using a link from on our site, JourneyWoman may earn a small commission from the retailer, which helps us maintain our beautiful website. JourneyWoman is an Amazon Associate and earns from qualifying purchases. Thank you!

We want to hear what you think about this article, and we welcome any updates or changes to improve it. You can comment below, or send an email to us at editor@journeywoman.com.

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You cannot copy content from this page.

Text logo of Journey Woman

Are You Ready to Take the First Step?

Join 55,000 other women who love travel on our mailing list for travel tips, advice and solo travel wisdom.

You have Successfully Subscribed!

Send this to a friend