International Traveller

It was a pleasure being interviewed for International Traveller, an Australian magazine for Modern Explorers.

The original article is featured in the Nov/Dec 2016 edition, Issue 26.

You can also download the article as a JPG or PDF file or read a text version below.

International Traveller

International Traveller
AN AUSTRALIAN LIVING IN OAHU, HAWAII
ASHLEE GALEA

WHERE ARE YOU ORIGINALLY FROM? I’m originally from Douglas Park, a small town on the outskirts of Sydney; I spent the majority of my adulthood in Coogee.

WHERE ARE YOU LIVING NOW?  I’m living at the foot of iconic Diamond Head, on the Hawaiian Island of Oahu.

HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN THERE? I moved to Hawaii in October 2015; I’ve been lucky enough to travel to Hawaii up to six times a year since 2009.

WHAT’S THE BEST THING ABOUT IT? The feeling like I’m on a permanent holiday with year-round warm weather, a slower paced lifestyle and meeting people who are from every corner of the globe. The close proximity to mainland USA is handy too, I’ve already taken short trips across to Los Angeles, San Francisco, Las Vegas and Portland.

WHAT’S THE HARDEST? Being away from family but I’m grateful to live in the digital age where we can keep in touch in so many different ways. It’s also been hard to adjust to driving Hawaii’s giant cars on the ‘right’ side of the road.

WHAT’S ONE THING PEOPLE SHOULD DO THAT ONLY LOCALS KNOW ABOUT? The locals do a great job of keeping Chinatown’s awesome nightlife a secret. This area in Downtown Honolulu is a mecca for some of Oahu’s best small bars and restaurants including The Pig & The Lady, Livestock Tavern, Fete Hawaii, The Tchin-Tchin! Bar and Bar Leather Apron. I encourage visitors to Waikiki to take the short cab ride to Hotel Street and see where the night leads them. They are sure to have a lot of fun!

WHERE IS THE BEST PLACE TO GET A COFFEE? My new best place to get a coffee is Olive & Oliver at the Surfjack Hotel & Swim Club in Waikiki. They serve damn good coffee in the cutest art-infused cups, and while you wait on your order you can shop at the on-site apparel shop filled with clothing and accessories reflective of Hawaii’s beach culture. There are plenty more coffee hot spots; you can read about them on my blog here.

YOUR FAVOURITE PLACE TO EAT? I can’t go more than a few weeks without eating at Goma Tei ramen restaurant. Order Gyoza and the Tan Tan ramen, the spicy sesame broth is so delicious and the char siu (barbeque pork) will melt in your mouth. Wash it down with a Kirin draft beer; it’s always served ice cold. You can find Goma Tei at Ward Centers, Ala Moana Center, Kahala Mall or the new International Market Place.

WHERE DO YOU GO SHOPPING? I’m obsessed with shopping at Ross Dress for Less and Nordstrom Rack! They are both just like major department stores only with 20-70% off the prices. Both brands can be found in Waikiki (Seaside Avenue and Kuhio Avenue respectively) or Ward Village Shops.

WHAT’S YOUR FAVOURITE PLACE IN THE CITY? My favourite place on the island is Waimea Valley on Oahu’s North Shore. People flock to the famous surf-spot Waimea Bay and don’t even realise this botanical garden exists across the road. It’s a paradise of over 5,000 varieties of tropical plants and several sacred Hawaiian archaeological sites. It reminds me of the movie Avatar. A peaceful stroll through the lush valley leads you to Waihi Waterfall, where you can take a swim.

WHAT WOULD YOU RECOMMEND DOING FOR THE PERFECT SUNDAY? A perfect Sunday would take in Hawaii’s amazing sunrise and sunset. Watch sunrise from Makapuu Lighthouse or atop Koko Head. For sunset take a seat at an oceanfront bar with a cocktail in hand: Try Rumfire at Sheraton Waikiki or The Grove at The Modern Honolulu.

HOW HAS LIVING THERE CHANGED YOUR LIFE? Hawaii has noticeably lowered my stress levels; I’ve welcomed a more relaxed island way of life. I have a lot more time to stop and smell the frangipanis, so to speak!