After reading the title, I hope you mentally responded back, “Alooooooooooha!”  If not, go read it again.  Kidding.  It just seemed appropriate that I opened with that greeting, as I am from Hawaii.

I’m not Hawaiian and I don’t claim to know anything (about anything, really).  I don’t intend to be culturally insensitive, but Hawaii is the only place where this issue comes up.  If you reside in California, that makes you a Californian.  This doesn’t equally translate here.   Just because the Hawaiians lived without electricity and leisure activities included surfing and hula, doesn’t mean the same goes for residents of Hawaii.

I recently attended a national conference in Orlando, FL.  Talk about one of the farthest places from home!  Anyway, although people no longer inquire if we have highways, atms, and Internet, there is still a misconception that we live in perpetual paradise.

Thankfully, no one asked how my grass shack weathers in hurricanes, but they did think I lived a stress-free life with gorgeous beach sunsets.  News flash!  You don’t need to instagram how beautiful the sunset is, this sort of thing happens every day.  Don’t believe me? Take a science class.  The sunset in Hawaii is as stunning as from an Ikea parking lot in San Diego as is a sunset over World Showcase Lagoon at EPCOT in Orlando.  It’s is all about perspective. I’m also betting you are tying your Hawaii sunset to a memory, like your honeymoon, family reunion, first trip home after going away for school, what have you, and so you have all sorts of emotions blurring enhancing your mental snapshot.

Ahh yes, but there are those handful of residents that go around toting, “Lucky We Live Hawaii”.  Optimists.  It is a fact that my days are filled with sunshine and rainbows, I’m surrounded by a big blue ocean, and have access to delicious tropical fruits… but mostly in the most literal sense.  Outside it is a sunny, 84 degrees with a nice breeze, but I’m in AC drafting this post on my lunch break.  Of course I’m surrounded by the ocean, I live on an island in the Pacific.  If you asked me the last time I stepped foot on a beach? I would probably tell you, “Sometime last  summer?” (is IS summer), and yes, that is a question.  As for the tropical fruits.  They are called tropical fruits because they are best suited to grow in the tropics.  It’s not like we have a papaya for breakfast everyday and settle down to a pina colada served in a pineapple every afternoon.

Living in Hawaii is great, don’t get me wrong.  It’s a mish-mash of cultures and people, and a unique place to live and raise a family.  It’s a great place to vacation, too.  I’ll admit, I love a long weekend at the Grand Wailea on Maui*.

Those are my thoughts on the matter.  If you got through the post without too much confusion, Mahalo!  (<– Ok, that wasn’t necessary, but you know I had to!)

*I did not receive any goods or services for making this statement.  If you have ever had the pleasure of staying there, you would likely agree.  Also, if you have ever stayed there, you know that if you’re dishing out that kind of money to stay there, you had better love it.


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