Top Five Things I Love About Honolulu01 February 2014
I would have never imagined that I'd one day be living in Hawaii. In fact, it was never even on my radar until my mother mentioned that it might be a good place to start a career. One week after she made that suggestion, I bought my plane ticket. A week after that, I was landing in Honolulu. I literally knew nothing about the islands (crap, there's eight islands and they all have different names? Which one am I on again?) but I decided to take a chance.
Luckily, everything has worked out wonderfully and I've been pleasantly surprised to learn these five awesome facts about Hawaii:
1// Gorgeous weather
It's no secret that Hawaii is pretty much heaven on Earth when it comes to weather. It stays a temperate mid-70's all year round and cloudy days are few and far between. It never gets too hot, though, because the trade winds are constantly moving. As such, I never need to heat or cool my apartment- I just open or close the window.
2// Easy access to nature
It's crazy to think that I live in the downtown center of a city and yet I can walk 20 minutes and be at the beach. Walk 20 minutes the other way and I'm in a tropical forest. The proximity to natural spaces is relaxing and provides plenty of opportunity for hiking and swimming- sometimes just before going into work.
Perhaps I'm a bit more aware of this, being that I myself am of mixed race, but I love the cultural diversity out here. On the mainland people would ask me "What are you?" as if my race were some sort of fun guessing game. Out here, when people ask, they're genuinely interested in my ancestry and how I fit into the cultural mosaic of Hawaii. It's nice to finally be in a place where I don't feel like a minority because everyone is also of mixed heritage.
4// Pride in Hawaiian heritage
Though many people are mixed nowadays, there's still a strong pride in Hawaiian culture. By law, any new street has to have a Hawaiian name. The language and culture is actively preserved and passed down each generation. It's nice to see that a once autonomous kingdom still continues to celebrate it's heritage despite being absorbed by another nation.
5// Friendly Culture
My coworkers constantly share their food with me. My landlady introduced me to her children as "Auntie Aryn". Everyone out here just seems a little more relaxed which leads to people being generally more friendly. Some of my coworkers have told me about past trips to the mainland and they're shocked by how rude everyone is.
While I love my move to Hawaii, I have to admit, not everything is perfect out here. But that's coming up soon.