5 reasons why I truly love Hawaii

Many people will tell you that to live in Hawaii is a real blessing. For those of us born here — like me — the gratitude can run especially deep. In this post, I’d like to share some candid feelings on why I really, truly love Hawaii:

It’s wonderful to leave, but it’s also wonderful to come home

I was born on the Big Island and have lived most of my life in Hawaii, with some long stretches of time away. It is during these absences that profound appreciation sets in, and I find myself always coming back no matter how long I’m away or how far I go.

In the past year alone, I’ve been blessed to visit Manhattan, Paris, Barcelona, Lisbon, London and San Francisco. Each city is a world-class destination with spectacular people, food and culture — yet on every flight back home, I get giddy at the sight of the islands popping up out of the blue Pacific ocean from my window seat.

Hawaii is “the” place to raise children

If you consider all the factors of raising a child — such as safety, lifestyle, education, culture, access to nature — Hawaii edges out on top. Sure, we have some real challenges in Hawaii, but children here are traditionally revered as keiki o ka ‘aina, which translates to “children of Hawaii.”

Kids in Hawaii get to grow up in a safe, nurturing and beautiful environment where different cultures and ethnicities are peacefully integrated. They also get the huge benefit of year-round access to the ocean, which gets them comfortable in the water for life (i.e., almost all kids from Hawaii are good swimmers).

And, unlike large cities or places with extreme climates, Hawaii kids can safely walk out their front door by themselves to experience ultimate freedom and adventure.

Each island is its own universe

Most people I know in Hawaii like to claim their loyalties to a certain island, usually it’s their “home island.” Of course there’s nothing wrong with that, but recently I like to consider myself a resident of all of Hawaii.

I’ve done some recent island hopping and observed the highs and lows of each place. My conclusion: each Hawaiian island has its own character, its own beauty and its own kind of people — and yet they are all connected by the same magic we call Hawaii.

Hawaii may be small, but it’s incredibly diverse and full of wonder. Go explore!

Lifestyle comes first

I’ll be honest: unless you come from money or with money, trying to making a living in Hawaii — let alone trying to strike it rich — is very hard. Cash doesn’t flow the same way here as it does in other places. It usually flows in select circles (often controlled by outside interests such as huge hotel corporations), and it rarely leaves those circles.

To have a good job in Hawaii is sometimes considered “lucky.” BUT — big but here — you get what you work for. The emphasis here is not on making money, but enjoying life.

Health, happiness and inner wealth are a daily practice for many kama’aina (Hawaii residents), not a set of abstract values we’ll one day receive in exchange for a lifetime of unhappy labors.

Another way of saying it: In Hawaii — we work to live, not live to work.

Hawaii’s culture is fair

If I were to distill the essence of Hawaii’s culture into a one idea, I’d say it’s based on common decency and respect for people. Those who understand this fall in love with Hawaii and almost always keep a special connection throughout their life.

For example, if you come to someone’s house for dinner, bring something to contribute. If a driver lets you in front of them, thank them with a simple hand gesture.

Everything you need to know about fitting into the culture Hawaii is based on that respect. Admittedly, there can be great deal of ignorance here as well, but that too can be met with compassion…not everyone here gets an opportunity to experience other parts of the world. Then again — not everyone gets a chance to experience Hawaii!

Image credits: cristenrenemelemuralsrwalldredgeornellasbrandon-huangbarl0w

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Need a hand with your next Maui vacation? Please contact the Sunny Maui Vacations team at info@sunnymauivacations.com or call 808-240-1311, ext. 21. We’ll find you the best vacation rental condo in South Maui and help you with any and all recommendations and activities across Maui (chat with our in-house Concierge at extension 71).

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