I'm Movin' to Hawai'i!
If you've read some of the earlier posts, you know I'm in love with the place. So are 99% of Americans who visit. But it's not the weather. Or the water. The gorgeous scenery. Or the paradise-like picture that one gets on a leisurely vacation that I'm in love with.
I like the people. I like the culture - that they are laid back, not anal, not always in a rush. That when they say "Hi, how are you," they want to know the answer to that - it's not just a longer form of saying hello. That with a hand signal of "hang ten" they will stop for the pedestrian crossing a busy signal-less street. That ohana is more than who gave birth to whom. That an elderly stranger will stop you in the grocery store and ask for help with the groceries. That you would not think twice about doing so.
I've had the good fortune of meeting a few Hawaiian patients in clinic. Several have been from the Big Island and they've all happened to mention, unprompted, that I'd fit in there. And proceeded to tell me about their small hometowns. They sound lovely.
The most recent experience really moved me. Met a family from the Big Island, and it really made my day to chat with these people about life and Hawai'i and community. I've been trying to figure out what exactly about the interaction made such a profound impact and am still not sure I've a clue. Am certainly very happy in the city I'm at now - there's nowhere else in the "mainland" I'd rather be. Am very grateful and content with where life is at now. Tired, many times, but very happy.
Perhaps it's a case of "grass is greener." I don't think I'd be as happy being far away from immediate family. And I'd never consider moving anywhere else. But Hawai'i... so tempting...
Maybe it'll become clearer with time. Maybe I'll never put a finger on it. Or maybe in a few years, I'll be posting daily pictures of semi-rural Hawai'i - one never can tell what the future holds...