Some people vacation alone or move to Hawaii by themselves. For visitors or recent transplants, connecting with others, making friends or finding group activities isn’t always easy. Avoid the loneliness of doing things alone in a tropical paradise. Here are 5 ways you can have fun with people you don’t know on Oahu during your upcoming Hawaii trip.
1. meetup.com – Cheap and Easy Fun in Hawaii
Your heart is pounding and your legs are growing weaker. Sweat pours from your forehead like a facet; your face is scarlet red, your vision is blurry. You exhale a sigh of relief, though, because you’ve finally reached the end. No, you aren’t dying and that’s not a white light up ahead – it’s the sun hovering over the top of Diamond Head!
You pound your chest in victory. You made it… but you aren’t alone. Just then a burly, sweaty man in an Aloha shirt wearing a fanny pack swallows you up in a bear hug; another petite woman jumps up and down shouting in
what sounds like Japanese. An elderly woman with coke-bottle glasses plants a juicy wet kiss on your lips. She gives you a wink.
You gag and think to yourself: “who in the hell are these people?” But, then it all comes back to you: they are your new friends from Meetup.com. Being a member of a Meetup group means sharing memorable adventures and making meaningful (and occasionally meaningless) memories with total strangers.
A little strange you say? Well, it sure as hell beats getting blasted all by yourself o
n Mai Tais at the hotel bar or sitting in your tomb-like apartment, alone, staring at the TV.
You decided to visit Hawaii without knowing a soul; but now you get to know different people every week. A savior for many, Meetups have kept people out of psycho-therapy, out of jail and away from tall buildings, I’ll bet.
There are over 200 Meetup groups that you can sign up for just on Oahu. Most offer free or low cost memberships, with events ranging from trivia nights to hikes to film screenings to potlucks. There is also an app that will keep you updated on what’s happening all across Hawaii.
So, go watch the fireworks at Waikiki on a Friday night with a group of total strangers or share your deeply personal memoir or screenplay with a writing group in Milani. Better yet, learn to scuba dive at Waikiki and create unforgettable memories with other adventurous people. There is even a shy person’s meetup, but attendance has been low. (Wonder why?) No longer will you worry about the locals feeling sorry for you because you’re a downer and have no friends.
Things to avoid though: Don’t go to a meetup at a restaurant and begin chowing down before others arrive. Don’t show up intoxicated or under the influence of mind-altering drugs or other illegal substances. Don’t go to a meetup if you have multiple personalities, unless you choose which one will be running things that night. This can be confusing for the other members.
Don’t use the group website to peddle skin cream, colon cleansers, hit on another member, or badmouth the opposite sex. (There’s Facebook for that.) Don’t post a photo of someone other than you.
For any of these infractions, you might be placed in the Meetup doghouse and be labeled a weirdo. Many members belong to several groups and they will share disturbing stories about you. If this happens, you might as well pack up and move back to the mainland. It’s over baby.
2. Be a Star for a Day
Well, not exactly. But you can be an extra for a day, or two, or three. Extra work is great for newcomers to Oahu who have flexible schedules. Hawaii Five O has a public casting call early in the summer and the show will shoot weekly from August through May 2017.
At the audition, you’ll stand in a long line, the sun beating down on you, and the production team will take your photo and some personal information. They will call you if they need your “type.” “Types” are best defined as living, breathing humans who look like they belong in Hawaii.
A few things that you need to know about being an extra; this is knowledge that will keep you from getting get kicked off the set, your promising acting career immediately incinerated.
Think this is your big break, forget ‘bout it. Thinking about taking selfies with the actors and getting an autograph, oh hell no! If you try that, you will be escorted from the set by a livid crew member and banned from future extra work. As they used to say in Hollywood – you will be through in this town and never work again!
If you get screen time, expect it to range from two-seconds to a millisecond. You will probably be in a crowd scene or running down a street during a gunfight, over and over again. You may not get a speaking part, but what you do get is lots of down time to meet and trade life stories with people in between takes – and eat lots of snacks. Extras work about 25-50% of a full day, often spending time chatting it up with other extras.
Oh, and did I mention you get paid too? Paid to have fun. What a concept! Finally, if you have a personality disorder or are generally unlikeable, you get to pretend to be someone else for a day.
Acting range is a must, as you may be asked to play a tourist, cop, diner, bus passenger or a dead body.
3. Go Party with the Neighbors
If you decided to move here permanently, attending the neighborhood block party is an inexpensive way to socialize and get to know your neighbors. You can have fun for one day or night and then never speak to these people again for years.
There are many bonuses to this, too. You may find out who the brat that’s been terrorizing the neighborhood belongs to. You may find out whose dog has been eating your tomatoes and pooping on your lawn. You may get to meet the dude who has been checking out your wife when she waters the lawn.
Don’t pass up the chance to discover who is having marital problems and whose junker, non-working automobile parked on his front lawn is lowering property values. These get-togethers are usually potluck, so no eye-popping restaurant bills to worry about, too.
4. Learn How To Dance and Get Rid of PMS at the Same Time
Most people think they only dance the Hula in Hawaii. But on Oahu there is Belly Dancing, Salsa and even Ballroom. Dancing is another fine way to meet people and have fun with total strangers. This is a common activity at traditional Hawaii luaus.
For men, watching belly dancing, well, let’s just say it’s a visual pleasure. But, please note that men can belly dance too. You don’t have to have a six-pack – a no-pack will do just fine.
Ever considered being intimate with total strangers? No, this isn’t the title of a Lifetime Channel movie.
For men and women, dancing the Salsa allows you to meet and have fun up real close, sharing smooth moves and a special bond with your dance partner. Old or young, gay or straight, bald or hairy, shy or extraverted, Salsa connects strangers on more personal level, forcing them to collaborate through movement. Check out this list of clubs and reviews.
You will fit in easily. Clubs on Oahu feature a diverse crowd of dancers – who have different skill levels – at each dance party. Most venues offer an introductory session to get your motor running, your feet moving and instill some confidence. Now it’s time to pair up with a revolving set of partners for an evening of sweat-drenched and heart-pumping dancing.
But, before you get gussied up and start thinking this is a vehicle for a guaranteed sexual encounter, remember this is not hookup central. Let on that you’re thinking with your crotch and not your feet, and it’s off to the parking lot without a refund. Show some respect, keep your expectations in check, and leave the birth control at home.
Oh and another thing: hygiene is mandatory. Please use deodorant and brush your teeth. There is nothing more unsettling than dancing up close with someone who reeks of heaven-knows-what and blasts you with dragon breath throughout the night, – you know, the kind of breath that will wilt a Lei, shut down your respiratory system and bring tears to your eyes.
Some people might associate volunteering with mandatory community service for
recently released criminals. But, some folks like to volunteer because they want to. Nonprofits and even local businesses are always looking for volunteers.
So, if you don’t mind painting over graffiti-spattered buildings or picking up trash at a beach, this is an ideal way to meet folks and give back to the community. You can volunteer for one day or several times a month. There is literally a buffet of causes to support and new people to meet. Go sign up!
Now, you have choices. No more whining that you don’t know anyone or that you don’t have anything to do. Get out there!!! Go, dammit!!!
How else can you meet new people in Hawaii?