The Secret Side of Paradise | My Family Travels
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            When you hear the word paradise, you probably think of a place with clear green sea water, palm trees, beautiful blue sky, and soothing soft sand on the beach. Like the Caribbean or Hawaii, right? Or maybe you just simply think of a beautiful luxurious scene. Some may even suggest a religious setting, a place with absence of evil or bad.

      From what I encountered, paradise is just a word that hides the other side of the beauty. In this world we live in, if there’s a good then there has to be a bad. Everything is balanced when we don’t realize so. Even the most heavenly place can have a secret dark side that’s just disregarded.  Or maybe a dark place with a spark of happiness and delight to it. Nothing is necessarily perfect.

â–º  QUARTER FINALIST 2012 TEEN TRAVEL WRITING SCHOLARSHIP

      “Hey, why don’t we take a trip to paradise for the summer, Hawaii?” my mom blurts. Next thing you know we’re already on the Alaskan plane headed to Honolulu, Hawaii.

      We had a week there so I did as much exploring as I could. I discovered some of the most beautiful beaches, shopping centers, reefs, downtown until I stopped by a random place in downtown. I stepped into a whole different place, the atmosphere wasn’t as spirited as the rest of the downtown I’ve seen of Honolulu. This place had a sharp stench, buildings were abandoned, homeless sitting on the pavements, it was a complete different world. My family and I came across a small restaurant that looked pretty old but yet alive, and went inside to eat, regardless its poor conditions. The food, customer service and its friendly environment was congenial and comforting.

      Leaving the restaurant satisfied, I was back out into the uncomfortable atmosphere of the area. I wondered what the place was like before it was depleted and how it became what it is now.

      The next couple days I went to places with such scenic views that clear your mind of everything but the view of a lifetime. My family and I hiked up to the volcanic cone of Diamond Head with our reward waiting for us. Cool breeze surrounded us as we poured in sweat from the sun that followed us throughout the hike.

      Taking by surprise of how beautiful and perfect the panorama was, I thought to myself wow, this really is paradise. Then, I thought about the desolate area and said again almost. 

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