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Bonzai Pipeline – And Other Guide Stories

I love being a tour guide. I always have…so despite landing a job as an archaeologist in Hawai’i (which sounds like the coolest job in the world) – when the opportunity came up to be a tour guide again – I jumped at it. There is something magical about being able to pick people up in Waikiki and then spend the day opening their eyes to the magic of Oahu. I love this island – every bit of it. It challenges me and it rarely makes life easy – but the rewards it has to offer are simply mind-blowing. Not only can I show people rainbows, I can show them rainbows from above!

What other job could compare with being a guide? I loved being a teacher – but I have to be honest here – as a teacher, my lessons were infused with the same things my trips are – a love of life, a philosophy of magnificence in every moment – and sometimes having to break down the mechanics of past participles got in the way of that. The problem was one of supervision – my students loved my lessons but classrooms are too close to administration buildings….a tour on the other hand – you are off and away on trails, in a vehicle, or on far off beaches like the world famous Bonzai Pipeline – one of the jewels of the Triple Crown of Surfing…and an absolute wonder of nature. On a tour, I can share this amazing place and also teach about the frailty of life and the pounding voracity of nature, I can get ethereal and metaphysical and talk about mana and life energy or I can simply point out the waves as big as houses or the lamazing atheletes who ride them…

And, like teaching, there are the moments of other people’s lives that you get to share. The 50th wedding anniversary of a couple from middle America or a wedding proposal on a remote beach – these human milestones become a part of my life – the birthdays, the honeymoons, the tragedies, and more. The stories of my tourgroup’s lives become a part of mine. And my story, becomes a part of theirs. There is something incredibly fulfilling about seeing genuine smiles, giving people an experience they will remember for ever, and at the same time – being able to experience this place I love with all my heart during the entire time I am doing it. I love being able to share the meaning of aloha, the magic of nature, and the majesty of existence. I am grateful.

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Vago Damitio

Damitio  (@vagodamitio) is the Editor-in-Chief for Vagobond. Life is good. You can also find him on Google+ and at Facebook

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