By: Joy Andres

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:

  1. It’s kind of inevitable for this to be my #1 missed “thing” about home, so I’ll let you guess…Did you guess the ocean? ‘Cause I miss the ocean. There’s something about growing up in Hawai’i’s ocean that you can’t replicate anywhere else in the states. I’ve been in the deep Florida waters, the cold California waters, and have tried to get myself to go into the Texas waters, but nothing, and I mean NOTHING compares to the Hawaiian waters. The clarity, the warmth, the food it provides, the toasty sun, the perfectly soft sand, and how can I forget about the waves. I don’t think I’ve experienced anything close to the feeling of diving under the clear waters of the west side and popping up to turn around and see the gorgeous mountains.
  2. I should have never taken the Ko’olau mountains for granted when I was living in Hawai’i. I have truly never seen anything more green and lush in my time so far on the mainland. I miss when it rains on the island, because you can never beat the view you get in Kane’ohe when you turn to the mountains and see waterfalls after waterfalls painting your window. Who needs to wait for spring time when every day of every month is spring time in Hawai’i!
  3. Have you ever left a pa’ina or party, hungry? No? Didn’t think so. I miss every Aunty at every party making sure you’re fed…even if you promised yourself that this was the party you’d finally say “no” to another scoop of Aunty’s kalua pig and cabbage (with of course a heaping scoop of rice). It’s not that I’m going hungry out here, (don’t worry, I’m not eating like I live in the college dorms), it’s just that being fed even when I was full was taken for granted when I lived in Hawai’i.
  4. I miss not having to explain that not everyone I call Aunty, and not everyone I call Uncle, is related to me. Now that I’ve been on the mainland for a few years, I’ve forced myself to call my elders by either their first name or their suffix and last name…But every now and then a “thank you aunty”, or “sup uncle” will definitely slip out. The first time I called an aunty, “aunty”, she looked at me with an expression I’ve never seen an elder give me. It wasn’t disgust, as it was more of a, “who are you?”.
  5. The “no shoes, no shirt, no service” thing only sometimes applies in Hawai’i, and I really miss that. It’s become so socially acceptable to stop at a poke shop with your bikini, a towel, my Kaka’ako Kasuals and some cash…that’s it…and I loved it. Now, if I want to hangout at the lake or the pool with my friends, I have to remember to pack extra clothes, shoes (yes, shoes, because Kaka’ako Kasual slippers, or shall I say flip flops, are weird to wear after the lake), and a bag for all of the swimming clothes. I miss going to the beach, then grabbing some post surf poke, and heading home for a well deserved nap…those were the days.

Yokohama, Pray for Sets

Written by Joy Andres

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