Blinker Travel Blog: Aloha from Hawaii

Our work at Blink UX takes us all over the globe—from Boston to Brazil. Just recently Blinker PM Brigitt was on assignment in Oahu. Here’s her story.

Aloha! A week before one of my studies was due to kickoff, I received notice that I was going to be able to join my co-worker in Hawaii. Having only heard about Hawaii, you could imagine my excitement. Not only do I get to work with some really cool people, I get to do it in paradise.

Birds

Birds of paradise in Oahu—both flower and cardinal.

As I arrived in Oahu, I thought to myself, “This looks a lot like West Seattle.” On the drive from the airport, we passed a shipyard laden with trains and shipping containers. The city resembled more of a city than the paradise I had imagined all my life. There were so many skyscrapers you could hardly see the beach.

Honolulu

Dusky Honolulu in tropical light.

One thing to note about Hawaii is how unbelievably nice everyone is. From the airline and hotel staff, to retail shop owners, study participants, clients and employees, I was greeted with Alohas and sent away with Mahalos. The relaxed and mellow vibe first hit me on the plane ride over. I asked the flight attendant if they had Wi-Fi and she smiled, said no, and encouraged me to relax on the flight. It wasn’t long before I found myself consciously slowing down to fit in with the culture.

The study began on Tuesday. You could think of me as the Walmart Greeter of sorts. I welcomed the participants to their interviews and then walked them back to reception on their way out. This was a particularly great experience for me as I saw this as an extension of the interview and myself as the face of Blink.

I chuckled while walking one participant out, she said, “Why would I ever want to share miles?” Another one commented, “Do you want to hear another pet peeve of mine?” Why yes, I do. I felt as if I was a shepherd delivering all of these little tidbits back to the client.

Oahu Beach

Oahu’s beaches are legendary for good reason.

The study ended successfully and I was left with a little downtime. I decided to go for a walk, a sunset swim in Waikiki, and a mai tai at Duke’s, which was the THE PLACE to go for a beachside adventure. There I met a local who was coincidentally going to the North Shore the next day (the other GO TO place on the island). You know, North Shore…Pipeline…where all of the major surf competitions are located. Before I knew it, I had three new best buds, a personal tour of the North Shore from a local surfer named Caz, and for one day, I had fully settled into the Hawaiian life.

Tropical Sunset

Oahu sunsets light the skies on fire.

On my last day in Oahu, my co-worker and I presented the topline findings to our clients. As we left, they thanked us, gave us praise for a job well done, and sent us on our way with hugs and kisses. Seriously, these are my clients? I should be thanking them. MAHALO, MAHALO, MAHALO!!!! I’m not joking when I say I cried as I left their offices and then again as I was walking through the airport. Who in their right mind would ever want to leave this place? Simply put…paradise!!!

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