Hawaii: A Place That Feels Like its Own Country With U.S. Rights and Privileges
When going on a trip to the mainland, you might hear someone say, “I’m going to America!” This always makes me giggle because living in Hawaii feels decidedly like being in another country. To some, Hawaii is the 50th state, but it’s not “America.”
No, Hawaii is not a part of the U.K. It was at one time, but not now
Common Misconceptions About Hawaii
I’m reminded of this every time I leave the islands on vacation. Here are a few things I heard in New York recently.(And I don’t mean overheard):
- You have to have a certain amount of money, a good job, be able to prove that you will hire x number of people and not be a drain on the society. (Nope – sounds like New Zealand)
- Do you have to change currency? You have different money, right? (Nope. $USD)
- Oh, you’re a state? I thought you were some sort of province, like Puerto Rico (Nope. #50)
I’m not bagging on New York, we get these sorts of questions wherever we travel.
Eating fresh lobster and fries on the side of the road is a Montauk, NY tradition
Vacationing Around the World
It’s amazing how many people all over the world have said to me, “Oh, you’re from Hawaii? I’m so sorry it’s raining, the weather is terrible, what a bummer you’re here right now.” Or, “You live in Hawaii, what are you doing here on vacation?” While it’s true I tend to plan my vacations around nice weather when possible, it’s never the reason I choose the destination.
Modern house in the Hamptons – on Beach Plum Road. Yes, I was on vacation. No comment.
While it’s true the weather in Hawaii is gorgeous most of the time, we also live and work here, which means all the same things in terms of stress that everyone experiences across the nation (perhaps at a slightly slower rate). We work hard, we play hard, and we also need to get away – get off the rock.
At the end of Pennsylvania Avenue, Long Beach. It’s definitely a long beach. With soft, sugary sand.
These past few years we’ve spent the Labor Day weekend in Long Beach, NY. on Long Island. This part of New York is incredibly patriotic. Every house has an American Flag flying, the walking/bike path has a memorial in the middle of it dedicated to Sept. 11th, and the boardwalk is lined with flags.
See all those white stars? Hawaii is #50
Until this year, I’d never heard anyone compare Sept. 11th with Pearl Harbor. Perhaps I wasn’t listening before, but it made me pause. Hawaii is the 50th state, and I’m proud to be an American.
I’m thrilled to live and work in a place that feels like another country, with all the benefits and rights and privileges of living in the U.S. Perhaps most of all, I’m grateful for the continued right to travel freely within my own country, and into and out of most countries around the world.