We spoke to Nadia (@miss.lendel) to give us an insight into her tropical life in Hawaii and share some local travel secrets!

Tell us a bit about yourself?

I’m 24 years old. I was born in Russia but grew up in the states so I speak both Russian and English. I now live in Honolulu, Hawaii on the island of Oahu and I’m also the mom of two beautiful girls, Jemimah and Leah.

What drew you to live in that particular part of Hawaii?  

I love the city life mixed in with the beach. You get to have the best of both worlds!

Which island is your favourite?

This is a hard one! I haven't been to all of them yet but definitely something I'm planning on doing. Have to say I really enjoyed my stay on Maui and looking forward to exploring Kauai. Each island is unique in its own way so each one will have breathtaking views. If you have the chance, I would recommend exploring them all!

Do you have a favourite beach?

Lanikai!! it's so Beautiful! The sand is white and the water is turquoise (no filter needed) It’s the perfect place for snorkelling since the water is so crystal clear with many fish and coral. Little tip if you're going there: I would say go on a weekday. Saturday & Sunday is way too packed.  

Lanikai beach, Hawaii

What’s your favourite activities to do with your family or by yourself?

Doing nothing is probably my favourite! But honestly just sitting at the beach in the sunshine is wonderful. Otherwise we love to hike, swim, explore and snorkel. Before I had my girls I did a lot of Body Boarding with my husband and I'm trying to get back to that again. But when I have a day off taking a moment to myself and working on accessories (hair pieces) as well as lounging by the pool or reading a good book.

Where’s the best place to grab a bite to eat?  

If you're staying in Waikiki, breakfast at "Cream pot" is amazing! The soufflé pancakes are sooo good! Keep in mind they are a bit pricey. For lunch we love 'teddys bigger burgers' and if you want to go for a fancy dinner, top of Waikiki is worth a visit with it’s stunning views of the city. If you want to go out for yummy drinks and light food, RumFire is the place to go.

What’s the first thing someone should do as soon as they arrive in Hawaii? 

Go straight to the beach! Grab some Hawaiian shaved ice and just chill! Soak in the sun and dip in the ocean, it's the best thing you can do! 

Where’s the best place to stay?

Waikiki beach has many great hotels with lots of activities, parades, shopping and fun nightlife. If you're looking for a more private stay, turtle bay resort on North Shore is the place for you.  

As a local what would you recommend tourists do to see the ‘real’ Hawaii? 

Rent a car or Moped and go exploring! Take an island tour, hike some waterfalls. Also many of the hikes here like 'koko head, diamond head and makapuu' have the best views! Try some local food spots like Seven Brothers, Papa Ole and Banan for some soft serve bowls. Also try surfing or paddle boarding.

What are your top 5 tips for travelling to Hawaii? 

#1 Don't forget your swimsuit! But if you do tip #2 will help 
#2 Have savings and bring extra money! You will most likely end up doing a lot of shopping.. At least if you're a girl because everywhere you go there are shops shops and more shops!! 
#3 Have sunscreen on hand because most likely, at some point, you will get a sunburn if you don't use any. 
#4 Best time to travel is in the off season, which is in May and October. You'll get the best for what you pay for.  
#5 Try something new! Hawaii offers many awesome activities, Zip-lining, Sky diving, scuba diving, Sand diving (joking)! Any kinda diving is good. There are also many water sports to choose from, parasailing, catamaran, kayaking and surfing. If you're able to splurge, do more than one. 

What are your travel accessories must haves?  

Gotta say Diapers are my kinda thing can't go anywhere without those and a bag full of baby food. But other than that a pair of sunnies, tanning oil and a swimsuit from Ete Swimwear are my go to accessories

To see more stunning Hawaii inspo check out @miss.lendel on Instagram!

If you enjoyed this, check out our last blog on Matlida’s Greek Island Guide!

August 25, 2016 — Jessica Williamson