When you tell people you are going to Hawaii, immediately people think: vacation. Even if you are from Hawaii and now live elsewhere- when you return, people think you are on a break, enjoying your vacation. This trip was not a vacation (though we tried to have some fun – surfing, hiking, eating, etc…). What this trip was really about was family.
After living in Hawaii for over 40+ years my parents said goodbye yesterday and moved to Japan.
What’s amazing about this story is that if you knew my parents, you would know that this is a big deal. When most people at their age are trying to enjoy retirement, my parents packed their suitcases (let’s be fair: they shipped a bunch of their things ahead of time), said goodbye to their family, friends, and well-established lives and headed out for a new adventure.
My parents are what you would call “experienced,” honored citizens. They don’t move as fast as they used to and have both admitted that traveling is difficult. A lot of times when I ask my Dad how he’s doing, he replies in his deep, low voice, “I’m tired.”
They have always been that quiet, simple couple that enjoyed watching television and movies together at home rather than going out. I was extremely happy when they flew to Oregon for Michelle and I’s wedding and again to Omaha Nebraska for my brother’s college graduation. But that was over 6 years ago. If you asked them if they enjoyed traveling, they would tell you that they are still trying to recover from the last trip.