The 8 things I will always miss about Hawaii

Aloha Sunny Maui Vacation blog readers! I’ve been away from Hawaii, traveling for a few months now — with several more go to as my family and I embark on a year of remote work and homeschooling (that’s another story for another time).

We spent our summer in the Pacific Northwest, California, Korea and Japan, and are now settling into Bali for the next six weeks. Believe it or not, it’s been an exhausting past three months with my work and the kids’ school commitments, as well as some important family business in Seoul, and only now have I had the chance to slow things down and reflect on our home of Hawaii.

With that said, I’d like to share the 10 things we really miss about Hawaii since we’ve been away:

Living simply

“Live simply” isn’t just a Patagonia marketing slogan, it’s actually a good description of a way of life. Hawaii is all about living on simple terms — you work to enjoy life, and usually that life involves being with friends and family, swimming in the ocean, and just being grateful for the small things. Seattle, San Francisco, Tokyo and Seoul were anything but simple!

How easy it is to stay in shape

My wife and I like/need to work out almost daily. We run about an hour a day 5-6 days a week, enjoy family hikes and I also love to surf. Working out while traveling has been a massive geographic and logistical challenge.

I have not been anywhere else in the world where you can just walk out your door and start exercising with little to no traffic, comfortable temperatures and surrounded by people doing the exact same thing. Sure — these places exist — but can you do it year round like you can in Hawaii?

Being near the ocean

Living so close the ocean is a divine privilege denied to most people on Earth, but not the people of Hawaii. All of us, no matter where we live on the islands, can get to the beach in a maximum time of one hour. And mind you — the water is always comfortable!

The cultural diversity

Much like a big city, Hawaii is abundant with racial diversity. But unlike cities where ethnicities tend to stay homogenous, Hawaii’s cultures are very much integrated. It’s common to meet locals who are, for example, part Hawaiian, part Korean, part Filipino, part Portuguese and part Caucasian. We call that poi dog!

The Hawaiian language

Hawaii is not only visually stunning, but our native language also sounds beautiful. Wanna hear it? Just listen to Cyril Pahinui’s version of Hi’ilawe, or Teresa Bright singing Poliahu, or any song in Hawaiian for that matter. Or maybe just drive around anywhere in Hawaii and look at our street names. If you can’t do that, simply look at a map of Hawaii and read the names of our towns.

The food

The wonderful part about food in Hawaii is that you can get access to a lot of international options (Japanese, Chinese, Korean, Thai, Vietnamese, Mexican, American and more), but we also have our own unique regional fare such as Pacific Rim cuisine, BBQ plate lunch, saimin (Hawaiian-style ramen) and “local” versions of fried rice, mochi and even beer!

Uncrowded spaces

Even heard that expression, “Good things come in small packages”? That wisdom definitely applies to Hawaii, where you can very easily slip away and have a beach all to yourself, trek through a cloud forest alone, or finding yourself standing in the middle a vast empty lava field. If you don’t believe us, come visit and see for yourself!

Being local

There’s nothing like having a place to call home, where you can always come back and fit right in (i.e., not be a tourist), where you can speak the language (or even the dialect) and all the people and places are familiar. That place, to my family and me, is Hawaii 🙂


Need a hand with your next Maui vacation? Please contact the Sunny Maui Vacations team at 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).

Image credits: dinesarasotateuobkairinnajeralike_the_grand_canyon, turtlebayresortjohnnysilvercloudmontsepratsmbkurspahicricardo_mangualcitrixonlinekirt_edblom

Need a hand with your next Maui vacation? Please contact the Sunny Maui Vacations team at or call 808-240-1311, ext. 21. We’ll find you the best vacation rental condo or rental home in South Maui and help you with any and all recommendations and activities across Maui.