I had always dreamed of living in Hawaii, as many people do. The place where I could run away from all my problems, relax on the golden sand next to the clear blue, warm ocean, and fall in love with a tan surfer boy who has a jeep. Hahaha a girl can dream, people would say, laughing at my dream, saying my head was in the clouds, and that I needed to grow up, go to college, and get a well paying job to support myself. But finally, when I finished High School, I made my dream a reality. I packed up everything I needed in a suitcase and traveled across the Pacific Ocean to my new home.
When I first arrived in Hawaii, I was going to University at a little school near the North Shore of Oahu. I survived two semesters in school, and decided to drop out, despite my family and friends warning me that this could be a mistake. But I was determined to figure it out. So, I picked up two part time jobs and started putting in the work. This was my first time completely on my own, figuring out how to pay rent, buy groceries, all that fun adult stuff. And at first it was pretty difficult. I was working constantly, but still struggling to make ends meet. It definitely helped that every weekend I could hang out on the beach or do a fun hike. But, like whenever you try something new, the first little while is difficult, and then you get in the groove and everything gets a lot easier. I was even able to save up enough money to go on a big summer trip to Japan, Bali, and South Korea that year. I was really figuring out how the world works, and was able to begin finding myself as well.
I learned so much during my time in Hawaii. I began to see the world from new perspectives, and was able to find my own perspective. I learned so much about finding true happiness, and the importance of following your dreams, and not just following what people tell you to do.
#1 REAL HAPPINESS
The place where I went to High School was a really rich area. Seriously, every kid I hung out with lived in a full on mansion. This got in my head, and made me feel like if I didn’t have a huge house, I wasn’t as good as anyone else. My family lived in a small town outside of the main city where everyone lived, we had a smaller house in a neighborhood, and for some reason I was insecure about it. I never invited anyone over, and felt like I was worth less than my friends.
My family was well off with money, we had enough for everything we needed and even more. And looking back now, I realize the way I was thinking was so silly, and I now realize how lucky and grateful I am that I had so much growing up. But, because we didn’t have a massive house and a pool outside and an indoor movie theater, it affected my mindset, and made me think that having more money would make me more cool, have more friends, and be happier.
Hawaii was so different from my old town. The first house I lived in was a tiny studio, with 2 bunk beds and a couch crammed in the small space. It was dusty and dirty, with lizards climbing all over the walls. But, nobody cared. That’s just how it was, and I actually loved it.
Nobody judged how big your house was, how nice of a car you had, or if you wore on-brand, in-fashion clothing. It really shows how much money you have doesn’t make you who you
are, or how happy you are. To be really happy you should focus on spending time with people you love, getting outside, and pursuing any other hobbies you have.
#2 Follow Your Own Dreams
This is the main and most important thing I learned from moving to and living in Hawaii. It’s so easy to get caught up in what everyone else in the world is doing, and what they think is right. But! There’s so many different options! It’s impossible for everyone to be the same, and follow the same paths. It’s hard to break off from what your friends are doing, or what your parents want you to do, but it’s only your life and you’re the only one who’s going to live it all the way to the end. No one else is going to take accountability for your actions in the end. Which is why you should do whatever you want! Become a photographer for a magazine, start a band, whatever you’re willing to work hard towards and makes you happy.
Hawaii is an amazing place. Yeah it has the amazing beaches, crazy hikes, and perfect weather. But it also is a place to learn and grow and become the person that you want to be.