And the things I’ll hold close to my heart!
So, people ask me all the time how I could leave Hawaii. I lived there for seven years and I did love it. But, I never felt local, I always felt like an outsider. It really wasn’t anyone making me feel that way (although there were the mean-sprited individuals who liked to remind me that I was a haole.) And, no, I wasn’t local. Blonde hair and blue eyes? Nope, certainly not native. But, I never even really felt like Hawaii was home. I felt like I was on an extended vacation and that I’d go back to real life one day. And, it’s not just sandy beaches, waves and palm trees. You have to work hard when you live in Hawaii. Probably harder than anywhere. Most people have to hold down 2 or 3 jobs. Not fun at all. It is so expensive to do anything. Many people I know who grew up there hadn’t ever visited the mainland because they had big families and the tickets aren’t cheap. And then there’s the living situation — anything remotely nice and in a good area is at least $2,000/month. Realistically, $2,500-$3,000… And, it is so damn far away. You are on an island in the middle of the Pacific and getting anywhere takes forever, so you eat your vacation time just on the travel to get somewhere… All of that, and I haven’t even talked about the costs for food. Ridiculous!
So, by the time I did leave, I was ready. I wanted to do something different. I wanted to feel the seasons again. I wanted to experience art and culture. And, I wanted it to feel like home again. I was so desperately lonely. All the time. I would meet people and a few months later they moved. Sometimes I didn’t know until they were already gone. Lots were in the military and others simply couldn’t afford it anymore. At a certain point, you stop wanting to meet anyone because they’ll leave too. You become tired of meeting new friends all the time. And, I get why locals didn’t want to take me in — they knew one day I’d be leaving too.
I met some great people and I will never forget them. Some live in Hawaii and others live all over the world. It’s cool to have friends everywhere. And, I’ll always have Hawaii in my heart. Here are a few ways I keep Hawaii alive every day!
Lucky we live Hawaii:
- I will always wear slippas! (Even when it’s cold.)
- I will alway enjoy Spam! (Never thought I’d try it, but dang spam musabi is amazing!)
- I will always remove my shoes when entering someone else’s home and my own. (Seriously, it’s just rude not to!)
- I will always crave ahi poke and will eat it whenever I’m lucky enough to see it on a menu.
- I will always be able to smell a lei and will forever be grateful that I had fresh flowers around me all the time.
- I’ll always love Kona Brewing Company and Maui Brewing Company and will drink them when I find them on a menu.
- I’ll always love mochi ice cream. And, I’ll never forget Bubbies!
- I’ll always enjoy college sports (because I’ll remember when that’s all there was.)
- I’ll appreciate really good hiking because I know that trails aren’t that plentiful everywhere in the country.
- I will always love the North Shore and will remember what it used to be, before everyone else found it.
- I’ll always wear Strong Current (I hope there isn’t a day I can’t get it.)
- My house will always have a Hawaii section to make me smile and think of the good old days.
- I will always say ALOHA and MAHALO!
- And, I’ll remember that I truly never said goodbye, I said see you soon!
- I’ll always be #luckywelivehawaii
As you can see, there’s so much I’m taking with me. I left a piece of my heart in Hawaii and I know I’ll have another list soon! 🙂
Keep walking (and do it with the aloha spirit!)