To Tell or Not to Tell

Dilemma of Travel Writers To Tell or Not to Tell Lanikai BeachI think the hardest dilemma of a travel writer is to tell or not to tell.  Do I tell my readers about all of the cool things that I’ve found and all the amazing adventures I’ve went on?  Or do I keep some for myself?  For those who grew up with these amazing places?  For those who have enough of an adventurous spirit to go off and find them on their own?

There have been a couple times on this blog when I have revealed a few of my secrets, like Likeke Falls and the Pirates’ Cove Hike.  As a matter of fact, my most popular post even to this day was my very first post, A Secret Lagoon in Ko Olina, Hawaii.  I read over that post and just thought, why?  Why is it this post that draws people in?  It barely breaks 250 words, and it doesn’t even have a story to keep the reader entertained.  And then a realized it was because I gave very specific directions to this “secret” Hawaiian lagoon (it was quite secret at the time of the post, but it is pretty busy now – still worth a visit though).

But should I be telling people about these places?  I mean, sorry to be selfish, but I liked it when my secret lagoon in Ko Olina, was, you know, a bit more of a secret.  My family found it.  We were adventurous enough to figure out where that random sandy path went.  And what about those people who grew up going to that lagoon?  I bet they sure don’t appreciate the hordes of tourists that fill their beach with pool tubes and harm their precious honu (Hawaii green sea turtles).  I’m not saying that I’m responsible for the dozens of new tourists who visit the small lagoon every day – I don’t have a big enough following for that – but I definitely did contribute.

However, at the same time, I want people to find out about these amazing places and experience them for themselves – without having to be put in danger.  I actually got quite lost on one of my adventurous attempts to find another one of Hawaii’s hidden waterfall gems, and I was terrified.  I wouldn’t wish that fate on anyone.  So in the few posts I have created revealing my adventure secrets, I’ve been sure to put clear directions.  If I am going to send you off on an adventure, I want to send you off as prepared as I can (you know, considering my only tools are words and perhaps a few pictures – you have to pack your own food and water).

So the bottom line is, whether or not I reveal these hidden secrets is quite the dilemma of a travel writer.  My options are to preserve the secrets that I discovered or grew up with for myself, the locals, and those who possess an adventurous spirit OR to reveal these gems to literally anyone with access to the internet and boost my presence on internet, which could potentially benefit my future career.  Both of these options are selfish in some way, and it’s hard to determine which option is actually better.

While writing this post, I think the conclusion that I have come to is to write about the places that are relatively easy to find on the internet, but do not have clear directions or instructions.  There have been quite a few times where I have gone to a beach or on a hike, and the directions online have been quite subpar.  I would end up walking miles more than I intended or I would finish the hiking trail only to find out that I had to take a completely new, foreign trail to get back to my car.  These details are the bits of information I would have liked to have known before trekking through the Hawaiian jungles or navigating on winding roads.  So this will be the kind of information I will provide to you, my dear readers.

Just to continue on this kind of future-of-the-blog vibe we’ve got going here, I’ve decided that I want to tell more cross-cultural stories.  I’ve done that a few times with my Greek Festival of Honolulu post or my Ways to Cope with Wanderlust post.  I do think that these are the stories I should be telling – stories of cultural connection, stories that show the similarities between people of different backgrounds.  They aren’t going to be all of my posts, but hopefully they will pop up a bit more frequently.

Anyways, we’ll see how these ideas go!  If you have any other suggestions for future posts, write about them in the comments!


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