Hi all, first post here. I'm a 37 y/o guy and I just booked next week in Oahu solo. It's a bit of a reward/reset prior to starting a new job the following week.
The thought of traveling alone is exciting yet daunting at the same time. I'm a little shy to begin with and it seems impossible that I'll be able to connect with strangers like everyone else seems to be able to do so easily. I'm wondering if anyone has tips to pass along? When I do online searches for "solo travel" I find tons of articles targeted toward women and safety, which is great but... am I the only guy that worries about (or admits to worrying about) blending in socially?
I suspect most answers will involve alcohol to some extent, and while I do plan to take the edge off with a beer here and there, I would hope there are other non-awkward ways to kick-start conversations...
I lived alone for a year on Oahu, and was about your age at the time. I suggest renting a car and grab the trunks and visit the good beaches on the Windward and North Shore. Take the coast road northeast out of Waikiki past Diamond Head and just before/after Sea Life Park you'll hit the first of them - the body surfing beach of Makapuu, then on to Bellows Beach with little surf but transparent water. Stop in Kailua for a quick lunch, drive past Kaneohe and on to the North Shore. You might want to tour the Polynesian Cultural Center for an hour or two, but if you don't want to spare the time just drive on to Waimea Bay - most dramatic beach on Oahu (be very careful of the strong current - it almost got me!). Drive back to town past Haleiwa and Wahiawa - stopping off for fresh pineapple at the Dole stand by the roadside. I'm sure you will have met one or more solo travelers by that time. If not, just go down to Ala Moana Center for a good Chinese or Hawaiian meal and then to Waikiki for a mai tai (the ones at Hilton Hawaiian Village are the best). Primo is the local brew of choice, but there are better beers! It's not too hard to meet others on Oahu.
Lots of great suggestions by Daawgon. However, if you are looking to "connect", and in a way that doesn't involve alcohol, then I suggest going down to Waikiki Beach and taking some lessons--like surfing or paddle boarding--or else signing up for taking a ride on either an outrigger canoe with a group (a competition can be lots of fun and a way to "bond")--or on a banana boat.
Also, going to a luau from Waikiki via bus out to the western shore can be a bonding experience--and a way to meet friends--both at the luau and on the bus. Another possibility is to go to a place like Benihana's where everyone gets involved in the show at dinner, or visit the local hula show or visit the local aquatic museum. Hope you have fun whatever you decide to do.
[ Edit: Edited on 23-Aug-2012, at 08:03 by Calcruzer ]
Thanks for the tips guys, I've made some notes. Now it's a matter of pushing myself beyond my comfort zone! Cheers!
Maybe you'd do better to hop on a flight over to Kauai which has more to offer in a smaller space. You could sign up for a kayak tour, or tubing, zip line in the jungle, or any number of day tours that would introduce you to a group of like minded travelers. I loved Kauai much more than Oahu.