For some reason, I keep coming back to this picture I took on Oahu. It was a clear, sunny day, and I was snapping dozens of photos at La’ie Point, including the rock formation with the hole punched through it by a tsunami, people fishing, the curve of the land, the waves crashing against the rocks on shore. I saw this woman out on the far end of a long, rocky peninsula, standing not far from the edge, staring down at the waves–a tiny figure against such a dramatic landscape.
All around me were tourists in pairs and clusters, picking their way carefully along the rocks so as not to stumble, cameras slung heavily around their necks. The fact that she was alone struck me. Because I’m a solo traveler, I notice when others are alone.
The picture above just captured the moment so perfectly for me. She had no camera in her hand, no hat on her head. She didn’t seem rushed like the tour groups. There was something childlike about her posture, the way she stood perfectly still for so long, with her arms hanging limply beside her, staring down into the waves, that to this day makes me wonder: What was she thinking?