Under The Influence: Aamion Goodwin

Living in a tropical paradise with perfect waves and a strong sense of community, Hawaiian residents are forgiven for not fleeing its shores to see the world -- especially when every year, the world comes to them. But Aamion Goodwin, Pipeline and life specialist, has been around the globe and back. And he's doing it again -- with company.

From the porch of the Hurley house we watch one of the best days of the year unfold at Pipe while Aamion explains his entrance into this world. Born in a mud hut in Mexico. No birth certificate. He lived a nomadic lifestyle with his father and step-mom -- a lifestyle that he and his wife, Daize Shayne Goodwin, are now passing on to their children, Given, 4, and True, 1. Because while Hawaii may always be home, for the Goodwin family, it will not be the only place they know. --Taylor Paul

Aamion Goodwin UTI
Photo: Sherman

Aamion: When we first came to Hawaii, we landed in Honolulu and my dad was so taken aback by the buildings and Waikiki that we didn't even leave the airport. He saw a one-way ticket to Fiji for $99 and with 200 bucks in his wallet we got on the plane and went to Fiji. We didn't even leave the airport in Hawaii. We needed something simpler, out in the elements.

He was a surfer and always wanted to travel the South Pacific, but he didn't have an agenda or anything. We landed in Fiji and caught a bus to Namuamua and we lived in this small village at the back of the river. My dad's an artist so he'd paint and do stuff and I'd be in the village pretty much the whole time.

Six months later we went back to Kauai, and from that point on, until I was about 17, we went from Hawaii to Fiji to New Zealand for four to six months at a time in a circle.

I learned to surf mostly in Kauai, and in Fiji I was just diving and fishing. I was so stoked to be doing that 'cause there was so much fish. And that's just the lifestyle over there: You have to go out and catch your food. There are no stores or anything.

You have so many barriers in America. Growing up in another culture's given me a different perspective on a lot of things. It's allowed me to live more simply because I was raised like that, even though I too get caught up in the "get this, get that" way of thinking, I'm able to hold myself back and realize that I don't need that much to be happy and live a good lifestyle. And that's what I'm trying to transfer and push onto my son and my family.

We're working on a movie project now, it's called the Goodwin Project -- at least that's the name now. It's about a lifestyle. We're not trying to tell people that this is how you should live your life or anything; it's just an alternative to what's out there. It's about family travel, promoting simplicity and trying to give everything to our kids -- you know, not being on the phone so much, taking them to the outdoors and introducing them to new cultures.

So far we've been to Iceland, Ireland, Israel, Nepal and Thailand. And then we've got 13 others that we're going to over the next 11 months.

It's basically carrying on what my dad did for me as a kid, and passing on the knowledge that I've gained in life to create someone better than myself.