Waikiki Dreaming ~ Staten Island, NY

Oahu is a favourite holiday destination of mine. From the beaches of Waikiki, to the rugged coastline of its North Shore, I’m (always) longing to return to this Hawaiian island.

My favourite memories of it are pretty simple: magical sunsets, the intoxicating smell of frangipanis – their scent permeates the thick air, colourful streets courtesy of overhanging hibiscus flower bushes, SPAM topped sushi, swaying palm trees, and drinking Mai Tai’s at leisure while relaxing on the hot pink coloured beachfront terrace of the Royal Hawaiian Hotel.

I haven’t been back to Oahu in a while, and while it may seem strange to some, these memories came flowing back when I dined at Jade Garden in the NY borough of Staten Island.

Staten Island in summer has a tropical feel – it’s green, it’s an island, and its northern coastline is a prime spot for viewing lower Manhattan, and New York pink and gold sunsets. That aside, it’s the Tiki inspired, kitsch interior of a Chinese restaurant located in a non descript strip mall along Richmond Avenue that evokes the “take me back to Hawaii” feeling. Though there’s no beachfront view, they do serve a mean Mai Tai.

A  short drive from Brooklyn over the Verrazano Bridge, or a ferry ride from downtown Manhattan*, this is a spot well worth the trip when you’re in a Waikiki state of mind.

Staten Island overlooks Manhattan’s downtown

Looking towards New Jersey

Sun setting behind Staten Island

*Add on a bus or cab trip from the ferry terminal – about a 15 minute drive by car, 45 minutes by bus. Car toll fare is $12, Ferry is free.

Bolt of Inspiration Series, Part Three (Water)

I love being near the water.

The Taoists believe  water is the most essential element of life – it affects our ability to hear and listen, to have instinct, hope, foresight, and determination.

The turtle is a Tao power animal for water. Symbolic of longevity, endurance and genetic strength, the Hawaiian Green Sea Turtle starts off this inspiration series.

Taoists believe that in water we find our dreams. I hope these images will inspire you to do just that – dream.

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“A journey of a thousand miles must begin with a single step.” Lao Tzu

Green Sea Turtle, Hawaii ~ Photograph by Lorenzo Menendez

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“The world is a country which nobody ever yet knew by description; one must travel through it one’s self to be acquainted with it.”  Lord Chesterfield

Ice Canyon, Greenland ~ Photograph by James Balog

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“Man cannot discover new oceans unless he has the courage to lose sights of the shore.” Andre Gide

Thermal Pool, Yellowstone National Park ~ Photograph by Karen Cameron

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“I don’t worry about the storms, I am learning to sail my own ship.” Louisa May Alcott

Cormorant Fisherman, China ~ Photograph by Chris McLennan

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“The person attempting to travel two roads at once will get nowhere.” Xun Zi

Sanur Beach, Bali ~ Photograph by Tan Kiki Rustandar

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“Some roads aren’t meant to be traveled alone.” Proverb

Beluga Whales, North Russia ~ © Dafna Ben Nun

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“Like all great travelers, I have seen more than I remember, and remember more than I have seen.” Benjamin Disraeli

Isle of Pines, New Caledonia ~ All rights reserved by :@Dee (flickr)

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“We live in a wonderful world that is full of beauty, charm and adventure. There is no end to the adventures we can have if only we seek them with our eyes open.” Jawaharial Nehru

Pantanal Birds, Brazil ~ Photograph by Mike Bueno

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“Spend the afternoon.  You can’t take it with you.” Annie Dillard

Autumn Reflection, Washington ~ Photograph by Ray Chong

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“Go for it now. The future is promised to no one.” Wayne Dyer

Central Java, Indonesia ~ Photograph by Wandy Gaotama

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“I am not the same having seen the moon shine on the other side of the world.” Mary Anne Radmacher Hershey

Moonshine over the Atlantic Ocean in Atlantic City, NJ

If you’d like to see the others:

Bolt of Inspiration Series, Part Two.

When a Bolt of Inspiration is Required, Part One.

When a Bolt of Inspiration is Required

Some days, I find it difficult to write; a dark and chilly start can quash my concentration and dampen my spirit. Yes, the extreme seasonal temperatures in the Northern Hemisphere get to me, and on days like today, I long to be teleported to Sydney for some summer sun. Or to a Caribbean beach. Or to Fiji for a swim in the crystal clear waters. Since teleportation is hardly possible at this point in time, what do I do?

I look to travel quotes and photographs.

I have been collecting quotes for some time and love how they can set the tone of my day by imparting wisdom in as little as a sentence.

The same goes for a photograph. A great image can hit me like a ray of sunshine and transport me to a different place . I learn a little bit more about a part of the world that I may never have seen, heard of, or paid attention to before.

I’m hoping that a bunch of quotes and photos will get me through New York’s temperamental fall and winter. Otherwise, I’ll just have to book a trip somewhere warm and exotic. Or relocate to warmer pastures.

Until then, here are some of my favourite travel quotes and photographs, shared by a number of talented artists in the blogoshere. If you have any favourites to share, please send them along.

*You can also see more imagery and quotes in the second part:

Bolt of Inspiration Series, Part Two.

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“The world is a book and those who do not travel read only one page.” St Augustine

Australia – Sydney: home is where the heart is ~ All rights reserved by shaza85

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“Half the fun of travel is the aesthetic of lostness.” Ray Bradbury

Africa – Etosha National Park, Okondeka Fountain ~ Louis © rights reserved

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“Travel and change of place impart new vigor to the mind.” Seneca

Iceland – Aurora Borealis ~ Photograph by James Appleton

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“Legends say that the hummingbirds float free of time, carrying our hopes for love, joy and celebration… Like a hummingbird we aspire to hover and to savor each moment as it passes, embrace all that life has to offer and to celebrate the joy in everyday…” Papyrus

California, Escondid0 – A hummingbird’s delicate beauty ~ Photograph by Scott Randall

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“The journey is my home.” Muriel Rukeyser

Egypt – The Great Sphinx ~ Photograph by Kaushik Sarkar

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“A traveler without observation is a bird without wings.” Moslih Eddin Saadi

Ethiopia – Bale Mountains ~ Mikael Lypinski Photography

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“Stop worrying about the potholes in the road and celebrate the journey.” Babs Hoffman

Manhattan – The view from the Brooklyn Bridge ~ Photograph by Marina Chetner

“Do not go where the path may lead; go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.” Ralph Waldo Emerson

South America ~ A llama watching over Maccu Picchu in Peru ~ © lwephoto.com

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“The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeing new landscapes, but in having new eyes.” Marcel Proust

Alaska – Polar Bears in Kaktovik ~ Photograph by Mario Davalos

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“Life is short and the world is wide.” Simon Raven

Hawaii – Waikiki Dreaming ~ Photograph by Ana Fass

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“I should like to spend the whole of my life traveling abroad, if I could anywhere borrow another life to spend afterwards at home.” William Hazlitt

India – Markets, Goa ~ Photograph by Anubhav Tiwari

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“The rewards of the journey far outweigh the risk of leaving the harbor.” Unknown

Malta – The Azure Window in Gozo ~ Photograph by Ted Attard

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“They change their climate, not their soul, who rush across the sea.” Horace

Photograph by Boza Ivanovic

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