The way we travel is changing, with a new mindful travel trend emerging known as “regenerative travel.”  For travellers seeking more meaningful travel experiences where they can give back, look no further than Hawaii’s Malama Experience.

Like many places around the world, Hawaii has implemented stringent Covid guidelines for visitors, and while the islands have cautiously welcomed an influx of tourists, they have simultaneously launched an initiative called Malama Hawaii. This voluntourism program encourages travellers to mālama — or “give back” — to Hawaii and leave the islands better than they found them.

Hawaiians have been doing something similar for years – practising the aloha spirit. The word “aloha” has many meanings — it is used for greetings, describes love or respect, and translates to “presence of breath.” Similarly, the aloha spirit means many things to people. Hawaiians often use the aloha spirit as guidance to be a positive influence in the community. Your intentions impact the lives of others so you don’t just take the aloha spirit, you give it.

Mālama sits well with Hawaii’s ‘Travel Pono’ philosophy – which means to explore with care, offering your kokua (help) to preserve Hawaii’s natural resources, cultures and communities. It’s recognizing your responsibility while gaining a deeper connection to Hawaii.

So while you explore the Islands, take your time to learn about the cultural significance of each location. By gaining a deeper sense of place, you’ll make your trip more meaningful. An excellent experience to lend a hand during your stay and mālama is the Malama Experience at Kualoa Ranch.

Hawaii’s Kualoa Ranch Malama Experience

Get hands on with a Malama Experience. Photo Credit: Kate Webster

Located in Oahu, Kualoa Ranch is a private nature reserve spanning across the Ka’a’awa Valley and Hakipu’u Valley. It is visited by man tourists each year as it is a famous TV and movie location. Blockbuster movies like Jurassic Park, 50 First Dates and TV shows like Lost and Hawaii Five-0 were filmed here.

However, go beyond the tourist attraction and delve deeper with the gratifying Malama Experience. It offers the chance to enjoy the stunning natural beauty and vibrant culture that make the Hawaiian Islands truly special while forging a deeply rooted relationship that connects them and you that takes the experience beyond. 

Giving back to the community is a rewarding experience. Photo Credit: Kate Webster

This hand’s on experience teaches the importance of sustainability and the streams as they feed the loʻi, a water taro patch, down through the valleys and into the ocean. Get your hands dirty as you help with activities ranging from thatching of traditional Hawaiian hale (grass huts), assisting with cleaning, planting, and harvesting the kalo or mālama of the laʻau lapaʻau (medicinal plants).   

Not only will it feel good to lend a helping hand, but you are doing good at the same time. That relationship between people and place grows stronger every time you mālama.

For more on the Malama Experience visit kualoa.com/toursactivities/malama-ka-aina-tour/#modal-malama  

Kate Webster

Kate Webster is the founder and owner of Captured Travel Media. She is a world traveller, ocean lover and conservation warrior who is determined to make every moment count for not only herself, but the world around her. An editor and travel journalist, Kate travels the globe in search of vivid imagery and compelling stories that capture the essence of the people and places she visits. She is a passionate conservation advocate, sustainable traveller and always travels with reason and cause.

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