Well I am into my 7th month here on Oahu. Crazy. A lot has changed in my last blog post 3 months ago. First off I no longer work in Hawaii. I was offered a remote position at a company in Oregon. This means my 2 year plan of living in Hawaii is now a little over 1 year plan but that is ok. I do love Hawaii but I do miss my family and friends back on the mainland and this position offers me the opportunity to still live in Hawaii for a bit longer while the wife and I plan on what is next for both of us. So here are some further observations of living in Hawaii from my perspective.
1) Aloha is real. Aloha as a word that gets thrown around a lot but Aloha as an attitude and way of living is very real. I don’t think I (or anyone really) could ever do it justice by trying to encapsulate what it means in words. It is truly a feeling. You get it living here. I will always be grateful for what this place as taught me as far as compassion and empathy goes. Aloha is more than a marketing slogan and a greeting. I plan on going back to mainland with the lessons this island as taught me and and continue to practice it wherever my life takes me. But that being said…
2) It’s hard to make friends. Well for me at least. I know by talking to others who have been on the island a while, that this is the case for many. My wife on the other hand has had no issues making some great friends here. I am not sure if it is because I know my time here is temporary so I may not be mindfully willing to get connected on a deeper level or maybe it is the opposite. People may not want to get to close to me knowing that I won’t be here long term. In either case I have found plenty of great people to hang out and “talk story” with but I really haven’t found anything deeper yet. I tend to be very social but very guarded at the same time. I only have very few in my inner circle and maybe I need to allow that to loosen a bit but by in large its been pretty isolating.
3) I brought too much stuff. I should have really thought about bringing most of my record collection here. I know I have to now move all of that back at some point next year. Being a vinyl collector isn’t the easiest when it comes to relocating!
4) Career growth is limited here. I was lucky to find a solid job in Hawaii that paid mainland wages. That is not often the case. That being said, one thing I didn’t realize when I got here was that career growth is limited here. If this opportunity would have happened to me in 10-15 years and I was closer to retirement age I could have easily stayed here. But I am still young enough to want to grow in my career. I still want to learn and move forward. I just didn’t see that happening here in Hawaii for me and that is one of the main reasons that prompted me to take this new job in Oregon. I just didn’t want to stagnate here. I could have easily done that. I think in the long run I made the right decision for my career as a whole. And now, I know what it takes to retire in Hawaii so maybe one day I will be back. For more info on getting a job in Hawaii read this.
5) Poke. I fucking love poke. I always have. I am talking real poke. Not this point and pick, Subway style stuff going on in the mainland. I mean going to a glass case with 15-20 styles of marinated raw fish in various sauces and seasonings and getting it by the pound. I got my favorite spots for Poke here and even Safeway has some great fresh ahi shoyu poke. I hear there is great poke in Carson and around the south bay of LA. I may have to try those out when I am fiending for some good stuff when I get back to living in LA but for now it’s poke all day every day for me.
6) Oahu is more than just Honolulu. That goes without out saying but so many people come out to Oahu and only stay in Waikiki and don’t really get a chance to discover what the island is really about. When I started coming to Oahu in 2000 I made it a point to explore the island. We would rent a car and just drive around find spots outside of the tourist zones. Living here as allowed me to opportunity to really explore this place like I could never do just being here a week. Each side of the island is unique. Even in Honolulu there are so many sections of town that visitors don’t really check out. I would suggest if you have the time getting to North Shore, The Westside and East side of the island. I still have so much to explore. I haven’t really had a chance to explore the middle of the island yet but that is next. Even when I move back to mainland I know that when I do come back to Oahu to visit, it will be with different eyes and for that I am forever grateful.
7) It’s true about Mexican Food. I have heard so many times that there is no good Mexican food in Hawaii. That isn’t an issue when vacationing here but living here is a different beast. I do miss getting some good Al Pastor tacos. In LA there was so much great Mexican food. You can get all kinds of great regional Mexican food. Want some Mole Negro? There is a spot for that. Want some Mexican seafood? Oh you gotta try this spot. Well you find no such luck here in Hawaii.
8) Hawaii has changed me. I am so appreciative of this move. When I was back in LA for a short trip in May, my cousin asked me if I had regretted moving here (he knew I was missing my friends and family) and I told him absolutely not. I do not regret this move at all (except perhaps moving all my records here). Living here and working here has shaped me in ways that would have never have happened if I would have stayed in Los Angeles. I know this move has challenged both my wife and I but I firmly believe that this adventure (as we are calling it) will move us to be more understanding, compassionate and loving people (and couple). I do miss LA but I know I will be back (in fact I am coming for a month starting August 16th). And knowing that I now feel that I can really enjoy this place while I am here. 2019 so far has been hard, amazing, challenging, and yet satisfying. Ultimately this has been rewarding in ways that I won’t even fully realize until I am done with it. Mahalo Hawaii.