HAWAII 2015 (Pacific Ink and Art Expo Honolulu, Oahu)

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Magic Island (Honolulu, Hawaii)

I don’t regret. I don’t believe in it. It’s counterproductive, it’s negative and it can in no way, influence any positive behavior. Of course, there are some things I have done in my life that I’m not proud of, but I don’t necessarily regret any of it. Those “things” of the past have helped shape who I am, by giving me experience to draw from when making decisions today. I’m a firm believer in making mistakes. I make plenty. The goal would be to learn from them and not to make them again I guess.

I do however, fear regret. I fear that I may pass up on an opportunity for something safe and “regret” not doing it later. Probably why I travel so much. The thought of a missed moment or chance to make a new memory terrifies me. It’s a constant struggle I have (I’m sure we all have it). I rely on inspiration to help guide me in my decision making process.

I get inspiration from all kinds of things; most of the time from unusual and/or obscure places. Places like a stranger on an airplane, a commercial, an overheard conversation or even a color. This week was a little different though. Of course being in a tropical oasis like Hawaii is going to bring about inspiration in some capacity; but not where I would have expected. It wasn’t a palm tree, or the water (although I have a serious connection with water and feel recharged any time I am near it), the beautiful white sand beaches or ominous painted cliffs, it wasn’t even the Hawaiian Locals. It was a familiar face. A friend from back home in Reno.

For those few hours on an island in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, I was happy, and completely carefree.

Ellie and I met up one evening; had a few drinks, had an underwear, night swim in the ocean, great conversation and drank whisky with a homeless guy. I couldn’t have asked for a more perfect evening. She is SO happy. Her decision to pack up and move to Hawaii just for the experience is truly inspiring. Just spending a few hours with her and absorbing some of her unchained spirit and her overflowing positivity has helped me push a decision I have been trying to make, past its tipping point. A potentially life changing decision and I have to just ignore the fear and jump in. For those few hours on an island in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, I was happy, and completely carefree. I’m usually a happy and carefree person but not on that level. I felt this sense of renewal and excitement that I haven’t felt in a very long time. Thank you Ellie for being such a bright star and I wish you the best of luck in everything that you do.

Now, I have come to the realization that I really enjoy writing more about how places make me feel rather than just speak about restaurants, outdoor activities, food  and night life. I mean, I like all of it, (especially food) but there is something to be said about how different places evoke different emotion. Like the romantic vibe of the water canals of Venice, the “no worries” attitude of Australians, the warm smell of backed goods in Germany or the ambivalence of commercialism and tradition in Tokyo, Japan. Hawaii is one of them, it is incredible. It truly is Paradise…….sort of.

“The Howlers SC” – Some serious dudes there, real serious.

Lets get to the trip! We started off the week by renting some scooters. If you are ever in a tropical location I would HIGHLY recommend this. I’ve done it in Hawaii before as well as in Central America. It’s cheap, its super fun and its a great way to explore and experience the island with the wind in your hair. For two days we rode around Oahu stopping at all the beaches to swim (or get washing machined by a 6 foot wave at sandy beach), eat all the amazing Hawaiian food, or go hiking (up to Manoa Falls). We even formed a gang, “the Howlers”.

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Sandy Beach (Wawamalu, Hawaii)

After an amazing couple days of exploration, scooting and sunburn it was time to go to work. The Pacific Ink and Art Expo (PIAE) was held at the Neal S. Blaisdell Center in Honolulu, Hawaii (Aug 7-9 2015). This was my first time attending the show. The weekend started off a little rocky but was in full swing come Saturday! They had a skate ramp, great BBQ food, contests, dancing Dragons, Pin up Contest, Ice Carvers, Bands… oh yeah, and some of the best tattooers on the planet. It was packed and I did some cool tattoos and I sold out of t-shirts so thats’s great!

Howlers PIAE

Pacific Ink and Art Festival 2015 booth – Clockwise from top left (Myself, Willy Cutlip, Jehnna Tambe, DJ Tambe, Jamie Cutlip, EZ Ortega)

I will say that the folks at PIAE know how to throw a party! Monday after the convention they had a Luau at Kaiona Beach Park in Waimalano. They provided incredible Hawaiian BBQ, great music, beer, rum…All the things! I couldn’t think of a better way to spend the last day of a trip than just that. All in all, it was a really great show and I look forward to hopefully going back every year.

Now, a lot of tattooers that went to this show used it as an excuse for a mini vacation, which is great, however,  lets be honest, I kind of already travel enough as it is, so adding another stop may not be conducive to easing my already crazy schedule. I hope that I can make it back. If you are thinking about doing the show I HIGHLY recommend it. Get your booth early because (as you would expect) it sells out fast! For more info on the show visit the PIAE website.

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PIAE After Party (Kaionas Beach, Oahu)

Be sure to check out my YOUTUBE VIDEO of the week long trip. Thank you for reading my nonsense. Get those wheels up and lets get weird.

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