It’s been five months since we left paradise.
Just typing that makes me sad. Granted Hawaii and I had our ups and downs (remember that time I wrote about the pros and cons of living there?) but time spent away has made me realize just how big a piece of my heart, the island occupies.
I do plan on publishing an updated pros and cons list of living on Oahu for all the military spouses who’d like a better idea of what to expect, but today I just want to walk down memory lane a bit and tell you guys everything I never expected to miss about our Hawaiian home.
Oahu is truly a melting pot. Between the large military presence on the island and the number of tourists who call Oahu their favorite vacation spot, there’s a good chance you’ll see people from everywhere imaginable. Walking down the sidewalk at Waikiki Beach alone, you’d hear at least four different accents and three groups speaking a completely different language. As much as I used to complain that the island was overrun by tourists, it was fun being surrounded by people of all walks of life.
Even in the heart of Honolulu, you always have the feeling everyone is operating on island time. The hustle and bustle you expect from a big city is there but much more relaxed. And, bonus point, swimwear is perfectly acceptable daytime attire!
I was flipping through the photos on my phone the other day and so many of my photos from Hawaii include big beautiful rainbows. Before Hawaii, I had never seen a full rainbow before but on the island it’s an almost daily occurrence.
>>The Sense of Community
Hawaiians call it “ohana” which means family and boy, is it special. People care about other people there,–even if they don’t know them or even like them, there’s still a sense that everyone is connected.
While the Hawaiian language is not usually spoken on the island, a mix of Hawaiian and English (called “pidgin”) abounds. It’s completely normal to hear words like Aloha (hello), Keiki (child), E Komo Mai (welcome), Honu (turtle), Mahalo (Thank You), Ohana (family), Ono (delicious), just to name a few, in everyday speech among locals. And you’ll hear an abundance of brahs or bruddahs and howzit too. Also the shaka is quite addicting.
>>Life Happening all Year Round
The great thing about a tropical climate is, well, it’s tropical. It’s always summer and you can run around in shorts and a t-shirt in the middle of December. Life never stops because of the weather. After all, if it’s raining on one side of the island, there’s a pretty good chance it’s sunny on the other side.
Different parts of the island will give you different adventures. You can hike, dive, swim, snorkel, spearfish, surf, or just enjoy the rays. Granted, everything is pretty outdoorsy in Hawaii (which to be honest, I’m not a huge fan of) but there’s something to be said about being able to do all those things in one place. And, no matter what you’re doing, the view is probably take-your-breath-away gorgeous.
Last but certainly not least, the water. I’m not much of a swimmer but I l.o.v.e Hawaii’s water–it’s warm for one which is always nice when you decide to dip a toe in it, and so incredibly blue. The ocean is the island’s life blood and it becomes your life blood too when you live there. Taking in a sunset on the beach with the breeze blowing through your hair and the waves singing you a lullaby is one of the most magical experiences I’ve ever had.
Aaaaaand I have to stop now or I’ll burst into sobs.
If you ever get the chance to visit (or if you’re lucky, live in) Hawaii, take it! It sounds cliche–but it truly is paradise.
How about you!
Have you ever visited Hawaii? What’s one place on your bucket list?