Michener’s Hawaii: Pairing reading and travel


My wife’s company is sending us to Hawaii for a week as a reward for her great sales performance in the past year. 

I’ve never been to Hawaii, but it’s a place that’s always been near the top of my dream destinations list. 

To get myself in an island state of mind I started reading James Michener’s epic novel, Hawaii

So good. 

Michener reaches way back as he begins with the geological history of the place and the story of the volcanic eruptions that eventually launched the islands from deep within the Pacific.  From there he gradually builds a narrative of the first people to find the islands, and it’s an incredible story of risk and courage and skill. I’m locked in to this great book and eager to immerse myself in all things Hawaii as we plan for our trip. 

When I visited Italy years ago I re-read I, Claudius, the masterful novel set in first century Rome. Like pairing wine with a meal, it’s a delight to pair fiction with an upcoming journey. You see the place you’re visiting with an enhanced imagination, primed to absorb the experience more vividly. 

I’m intent to savor this trip to Hawaii. This novel is helping me dial in the tone of the place ahead of my visit and will hopefully help me better appreciate what may be a once in a lifetime experience.