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Digital Subscriptions > Attitude > 292 > LEI ALL YOUR LOVE ON ME


You can buy a garland of flowers, called a lei, throughout the Hawaiian islands, a symbol of the warm welcome you’ll be given. But one visitor who felt nervous was Joseph Kocharian, who has a fear of the water…

I ‘ve never been a water baby; when I picked my starter Pokémon, I opted for fire types (Charmander over Squirtle and Bulbasaur any day). And with Game of Thrones, I’m of House Targaryen (fire-breathing dragons and some rough and tumble with a strong and capable Dothraki hunk? Yes, please).

I say this because as I set off for Hawaii, I wasn’t quite sure how I’d fare at a destination I’ve always imagined would offer mostly water-based entertainment. I should also add that I have a phobia surrounding large fish and am not the strongest swimmer (although I did quite like watching Baywatch). What I hadn’t factored in was that Virgin Holidays have recently launched more than 300 experiences across North America, so that you can make your trip to Hawaii bespoke. And even avoid the water if you want.

Our first stop was to drop off our bags and rest our heads at the Outrigger Reef Waikiki Beach Hotel in Honolulu, the capital of Oahu island. If you don’t like getting sandy while watching the sunset, you can relocate from the beach to the pool (with a nearby bar that serves lots of cocktails Muriel Heslop would love). The hotel has plenty of traditional Hawaiian elements to it, and even offers hula classes.

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About Attitude

Actors Anthony Rapp and Wilson Cruz discuss Star Trek’s first gay kiss, Dancing on Ice star Matt Evers comes out as gay, and we speak to Love Island’s Kem Cetinay and pop star Paloma Faith. Plus an expanded travel section featuring Thailand, Hawaii, Tel Aviv, Venice and Florida.