To view “Hawaiian Travel Adventures,” click here.

Madeleine Molenda designed this website for a project for Dr. Stuckey-French’s Reading, Writing, and Speaking in the Digital Age (IFS 2030).

Madeleine writes, “While creating a blog on the different types of blogs in use today, it struck me how many different types of forms of new media people are using today to spread their ideas or share stories. I was particularly drawn to the photo blog. It’s been said that a picture speaks a thousand words.  I believe that saying rings true, a photo can often describe a place, scene or idea, much more powerfully than the simple description. It’s an eye-opening realization to find that photographs seem to be such a defining factor in my own life. My dad is a US Naval officer, and both my parents are adventurers who love to travel. After being born in California, I moved with my family to Rhode Island, then to Japan,  to Hawaii, to Germany back to Rhode Island to finally living part time in Tallahassee, part time in Hawaii. I’ve seen some of the most beautiful places in the world, and have had the opportunity to experience more in my short twenty years than most people can in their entire lives. The drawback of having this lifestyle is that objects, or “things” don’t really matter. Eventually your clothes, books or favorite stuffed animal is going to get lost in the move- lost in the shuffle. You learn to stay unattached to objects, you become attached to experiences, to the memories. But experiences are easy to forget and hard to hold onto. The remedy I have created for myself to hold onto the pieces of my life that make me who I am is photographs.

Photographs have always been important to me as I try to document and remember my life, but have become increasingly and almost obsessively more important to me since my parent’s most recent move back to Hawaii. My Hawaii world is on a completely different sphere than my Tallahassee world. Hawaii is nature, exploring, and living freely and in complete happiness. How can I describe this to my peers? Many of whom actually forget that Hawaii is apart of America, not some foreign distant country. It’s almost impossible to explain my Hawaii world to someone who hasn’t lived it. Sometimes when I’m sitting on my favorite beach in the late afternoon when the sun is starting to set and the waves are picking up I am hit by a wave of emotion. How is it that I am seeing something so incredibly stunningly life-altering, that so many people will never get the chance to experience or see with there own eyes. So I photograph.

In my opinion, my personal photographs don’t even begin to give justice to the magical island that I call home, but I hope that they give a little bit more insight into the places I describe, the places that mean the most to me, and have shaped me into the person that I am. I also hope that they give insight on some places that are hard to research online, or unknown to most tourists. I have had to discover many of these places by myself or through word of mouth. So for anyone traveling to the beautiful island of Oahu, or hopes to travel here one day, or is just curious about the lifestyle… here is a little snapshot for you.”