By: Joy Andres

Moving to the mainland has been one of the biggest culture shocks I’ve experienced. I’ve pushed myself to try new things, explore new places, and meet new people. Here are just a few things I learned when I relocated to the mainland:

  1. Rice with everything?! Yeah, not a thing on the mainland. The first few months on the mainland were pretty rough for me—every time I’d go to a restaurant, my side choices were either mashed potatoes, fries, French bread, or a “massaged kale salad -- whatever that is. Rice was never an option, and I still can’t wrap my head around why rice isn’t an option with my food. One of the big necessities to have if you’re from Hawaii, is a rice cooker. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not hating on fries, (there’s no way I could eat a burger with a side of rice), but how am I supposed to eat salmon, or Teri chicken, or even go to a breakfast shop and get corned beef hash and eggs without rice?! 
  2. Even though I think popcorn with kakimochi and furikake smells and tastes like heaven…apparently it doesn’t up here. The first time I made popcorn like that, my roommates walked in with faces as if they’d just walked into a fish market. Of course, being the girl from Hawaii that I am, I offered them my delicious popcorn… in which they declined. Oh well, more for me. 
  3. I learned that getting to Disneyland isn’t a $600 plane ticket! I relocated to Arizona, and man was it a treat to pick up and be central to some of the coolest places I could dream of. From Phoenix, California, Las Vegas, Mexico, Colorado, New Mexico, the Grand Canyon, Havasupai Falls, some of the most beautiful places I’ve been to are just a drive away! Going to the “mainland”, isn’t a year-long save up anymore—it’s a weekend thing! To add on, every Hawai’i kid’s “road trip” bucket list item can become a reality! The golden coast road trip is one of the most gorgeous trips you can take with your car. 
  4. Hawaiian words are a lot harder to pronounce than you thought. Have you ever tried to teach someone how to say Kalanianaole Highway? I thought that the Hawaiian alphabet, being only 13 letters long would be a breeze, but apparently, it’s really hard. Our state fish? Yeah… one of the hardest words to say I guess. So, take pride in singing our state song, saying our state fish, knowing all the highway names, and our state motto. 
  5. In Hawai’i, when you change lanes, we always (or at least I always) try to throw the shaka or a little wave. When I moved to the mainland, I learned that I might be one of the only people who show some love when I’m in traffic. I’ve always wondered up here whether or not throwing a shaka would make the person behind me smile, and think “hey, I haven’t seen anyone do that before”. Sometimes I hope that it starts a chain reaction, and by the end of the day, everyone’s throwing shakas or giving a little “thank you” wave when they change lanes. 

Whether you’ve moved to the mainland for one month, one year, or are still living in Hawai’i, it’s important to keep the Aloha strong! No matter how far I go, I will always remember my roots…and how good kakimochi furikake popcorn is!

hawaii, kakaako kasuals

**Joy, a local girl from Manoa, graduated from Punahou in 2015 and moved to Arizona to attend college. After graduating from Arizona State University, Joy is now working as an intern at a marketing agency in Phoenix. An avid outdoors-woman, Joy loves the ocean, nature and is truly living that wanderlust life. 

Written by Joy Andres


Aloha Joy!
Good blog! Can’t wait to read more of blogs. Imua Joy!
Aunty Cec

Cecily Lewis on Aug 05, 2019

Leave a comment

More stories

The Top Things I Miss About Home

Growing up in Hawai’i was a blessing that I didn’t realize until I moved to the mainland. There are countless things that I miss about home, but these are just a few of the top things I miss about living in Hawai’i...