Living the Hawaii Life: A “Former Outsider’s” Perspective

After completing my military service in 2010, I moved to Oahu to finish my undergrad degree. I didn’t know anything about the islands and did not know what to expect. I told myself, “If I hate it, I will at least complete college and leave.” Well…the day I landed, I felt something different. I felt that I had “finally made it home.” Having grown up in Georgia and lived in Washington D.C., San Diego, Madrid, and Stuttgart, I had found many places I loved, but not any place I wanted to settle, until I came to Hawaii.

Pillbox Hike and Lanikai Beach 015

The Mokulua Islands as seen from the top of Pillbox Hiking Trail, Kailua, Hi.

I thought I would get “island fever” and feel trapped and need to escape. No, I have not experienced this at all. And I have only been on Oahu! Yes! Right here on Oahu I discover new places, people, and activities on a regular basis!

First time kayaking in Kailua

My first time kayaking out to the Mokuluas in Kailua

For the last few months, and after four years here, I have enjoyed many firsts: my first kayaking in Kailua, hiking some of the island’s most venerable trails and living to tell about it: Olomana (1st peak, will conquer other 2 at a later date), Ka’au Crater Loop, and Kuliouou Ridge. The latter two right in my neighborhood!

Kaena Point, westernmost point on Oahu

I recently experienced Kaena Point (westernmost point on Oahu) and shark cage diving on the North Shore. I have grown a love for water sports and can’t imagine my life without the ocean near. This is coming from a guy who, 2 years ago, was terrified in water more than 5 feet deep. Now I am an almost daily swimmer.

Shaka brah!  Galapagos Shark as seen from the cage...fortunately

Time to swim with sharks…in a cage. Lucky I’m in the cage; these are Galapagos Sharks off the North Shore of Oahu

Living in Hawaii has shown me what I am capable of, and I have been introduced to activities I would never have considered before, like extreme hiking and kayaking. Now the highlight of my week is not having a few beers with friends or sleeping in on a Saturday, instead it is enjoying our beautiful island on as regular a basis as possible.

Make Your Dream a Reality

Don’t believe anything you hear about island life here in Hawaii. Trust me, the myriad of activities available (especially in Honolulu – a truly cosmopolitan city), friendly people, and aloha lifestyle will cast a spell that will be hard to break. And remember, owning your own personal piece of paradise – in paradise, doesn’t have to be a dream, but a reality. Come experience, embrace, and enjoy your Hawaii Life!

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