The Hawaii Hangover: The Only Hangover You Will Ever Enjoy

What exactly is a "Hawaiian Hangover," and why do we care so much about it?

You know that feeling at the end of a vacation- the one that makes you think, “Man, I wish this didn’t have to end”? Yeah, we know that feeling too. And it’s a bummer. But it totally makes sense when you think about it.

When you go on vacation, especially to a place like Hawaii, you eat incredible local food, relax in a variety of ways, soak up the sun, and most likely try out some new and exciting activities. Getting out of our normal routines helps the stress of everyday life begin to melt away… 

But then, in the blink of the eye, the week is over! Before you know it you’re back on the plane headed home again. As you take off, you don’t look out the window because you don’t want to watch the vacation you waited so long to go on slip away so quickly. All the way home, through the endless lines and waiting and lugging of bags, there are two thoughts you can’t get out of your head:

“Why did it have to end?” and “How long will it be before I get to go on another epic vacation?”

With this type of mindset, no one feels ready to go back to “real life."

Here’s the thing- what if it didn't have to be that way? What if we could extend the mindset of vacation into our everyday life? The longing for relaxation, adventure, and beauty is embedded deeply within our hearts. We crave it. We NEED it. So why do we only pursue those things a couple weeks out of the year? The answer to that question is simple: we don’t have to. HOW we go about weaving the spirit of vacation, or a Paradise Mindset, into our daily lives might seem more complicated, but don’t worry. That is what we at Hawaii Hangover have been pondering for years. In fact, we even gave it a name: “The Hawaii Hangover.”

Now that might sound weird and even negative (hangovers are the worst) but hear us out! Hawaiians have an incredible mindset towards life summed up in a term called “Aloha Spirit”. At its core, Aloha Spirit is about remembering to treat ourselves, each other, and the world around us with love and respect. Children are often taught about the Aloha Spirit with a helpful acronym of Hawaiian words:

A: "Akahai" = kindness + tenderness

L: “Lokahi,” = working with unity + harmony

O: "Oia'i'o"/"Oluolu" = honesty/pleasantness

H: “Ha'aha'a,” = humility

A: “Ahonui,” = patient perseverance

Within the Hawaiian language, the word “Aloha” on its own also means “joyfully sharing life.” As you can see, Aloha Spirit embodies the pursuit of relaxation, adventure, and appreciating beauty. Sound familiar? These are the exact same things we look for in vacations. However, the major difference is that the Aloha Spirit is incorporated into a Hawaiian’s daily life, while vacations are relegated to two weeks a year. In terms of choosing between living out Hawaii’s Aloha Spirit versus our Western understanding of Vacation, which sounds better? If you picked Aloha Spirit, you are in the right place, because we did too!

Ok, are you still with us? Good. Now let’s tie this all together. Even if we agree that living out the Aloha Spirit is better than the limitations of Two-Week-Vacation-Culture, the question still remains about how to make the transition.

We think it comes down to learning how to incorporate the elements of Paradise into our regular routines. The more we intentionally focus on and practice “joyfully sharing life,” the more we will be able to experience and hold onto the aspects of Paradise that we hate leaving behind when we come home. Like hangovers remind us of good times we had in the past (albeit not always pleasantly), bringing the Aloha Spirit into our daily lives keeps our “Hawaii Hangover” going, which is definitely a much more pleasant experience!

You can keep the hangover going while on the move, at work, in the winter, on date night, in your living room, at school- wherever you are, you can access a Paradise Mindset. And the best part is, Aloha Spirit isn’t just for Hawaiians, and it isn’t just for beach lovers. It is for everyone, no matter where you are or what you are doing. This is why the concept of the “Hawaii Hangover” is so important to us. We do what we do because we want everyone to be able to bring Paradise into their “real life.” Whether it is through a gorgeous piece of Hawaiian Heirloom jewelry, a super fun set of tropical clothing, or a Hawaii themed hat, we want to help you remember that the mindsets we wear are just as impactful as the clothes we wear.