“I am born and raised from Hawaii” and I know I am lucky to be able to say that. But for many of the years that I lived in Hawaii, I don’t think I fully grasped how blessed I was or appreciated home the way I should have. I remember watching “Wheel of Fortune” episodes and contestants would cry or go crazy when they won a trip to Hawaii. What’s the big deal I thought. It’s an island. I’ve seen it all.
I haven’t seen it all.
The truth is I never left Hawaii to appreciate it more. I left because I felt that I wanted to experience other things in the world, to cry or go crazy for other places the way the Wheel of Fortune winners did. That’s why I left and that’s why I love traveling today. But when you return to the place where you grew up, it’s suppose to feel like home and at first it didn’t. I felt like an outsider. A visitor. A tourist (it stings to even write that). Things seemed familiar to me, but yet, very foreign.
As the days went by, I started to remember what it meant to be from Hawaii. It started with the food. The diverse, rich blend of cultures and flavors unique to this place. The land of sweet and savory.
Then it was the beautiful landscapes that I’ve driven past hundreds of times, but never truly appreciated the backdrop they provided.
But most of all, what brought me back full circle, was spending time with my family. Doing the things we love doing together like fishing, surfing, playing games, eating, and hanging out. All of the things that I had missed these past couple of years.
If you want to appreciate home more….leave it.
But don’t forget to go back and rediscover everything all over again, and new things.