If there’s one thing I’ve learned over the past few days, it’s that returning to Hawai’i really makes me appreciate how truly magical my home state is. I rather took it for granted as a kid–but now that I’m a Mainlander for the majority of the year, I take every opportunity to celebrate the uniqueness of the islands.
Of course, the people with whom I most want to share my Hawai’i are those who live the farthest away! Even while I’ve been trekking through lava deserts, mountains, and forests, I haven’t forgotten about my pen pals, and have already begun accumulating quite a sizeable haul of little gifts to send off into the world.
Let’s start with the quintessential pen pal souvenir–the postcard! Over the course of the past few days, I’ve sent off countless little messages to friends around the globe, squeezing brief recaps of my adventures into the tiny left-side message spaces.
The Hawai’i Volcanoes National Park has a pretty neat set of postcards, I must say: there’s a good variety of beautiful photographs featuring everything from lava to rainforest. The most exciting part? Picking which postcard best suits each recipient!
Getting into the world of letter-writing has seriously rekindled my childhood love for stickers, so I couldn’t resist these gorgeous pint-size snapshots showcasing various Hawaiian natural elements. The forest scene in the middle–the one crowded with gorgeous hapu’u tree ferns–could have been taken in my backyard.
Another fun and handy gift that I’ve found in great numbers are photo bookmarks. Considering that many (if not all!) of my pen pals are big readers, I hope they’ll enjoy closing their books on an image of lava splashing through the twilight sky!
I’ve begun to suspect that these absolutely adorable marine life-themed sticky note tabs were spirited here from another dimension of pure cuteness. Depicted on each set of tabs is one of Hawai’i’s local sea denizens–the humuhumunukunukuapua’a (the smiling fish!) and cheerful Hawaiian monk seal are my favorites.
I love snail mail because it introduces me to exciting parts of the world of which I’ve never dreamed of visiting. I always try my best to do the same for my pen pals: even if it means hunting down souvenirs that are small, flat, and weigh less than an ounce!