1. The View
I lived in Launiupoko. Every evening I had incredibly epic sunsets over the island of Lanai, with views of Molokai and Kahoolawe on each side. Behind the cottage lies the West Maui Mountains. They are a sight to behold when the sun sets on the golden fields of grass, with the horses and chickens in the pastures, and the moon rising in the valley. The night skies are so clear you can see the satellites passing overhead, the Milky Way and several shooting stars on any given night. I’ve been lucky enough to live in one of the most stunningly beautiful locations on the planet. I can’t think of any place that compares.
I love those little critters. I love listening to them chirp at night. I love watching them munch on bugs. I love picking up just about anything, and seeing one of them look up at me with those big, cute eyes. I’ve always lived around geckos, even in Florida (actually they’re the same species of gecko in both locations). I was excited to learn geckos exist in San Diego as well. If it’s good enough for a gecko, it should suit me just fine.
3. Perfect Surf
Maui tends to have pretty crappy surf when compared to Oahu or Kauai. However, the “crappy” surf of Maui would be considered near perfect to anybody on the mainland. I will particularly miss surfing Honolua, Hot Sands, Rainbows and Woody’s on Maui, and I’ll miss Diamond Head, Tongs, Pops and Publics on Oahu.
4. Warm Water
Not only do I love to surf — I like to swim, snorkel and relax in the water. The water temperature in Hawaii averages 78 degrees year-round, which shouldn’t be taken for granted. San Diego has the warmest water on the West Coast, but I’ll still be wearing a wetsuit for the majority of the year. I’ll miss jumping in to the water at any given moment in Hawaii.
5. Aloha Spirit
It isn’t just a tourist slogan — It’s real in Hawaii. On the whole, most people are as warm as the weather. In times of tragedy or celebration people come together like nowhere else I’ve seen. On Oahu, it was incredibly easy to make great friends my age with people that had similar stories, and put everything on the line to live in paradise.
To all friends and ohana on Oahu and Maui, I’ll miss you! I hope you can visit me in San Diego!
7. Waikiki and Front Street
They are the playgrounds of Oahu and Maui. While I don’t enjoy being asked, “How’s the honeymoon going?” or “Where are you visiting from?” constantly, it’s a small price to pay for spending the evening in such fun places.
8. The Exclusivity
It sounds corny, but there’s a certain heir of exclusivity to living in the islands. Whenever you travel outside the islands, you’re always proud to say where you live — and everybody loves Hawaii!
9. Virtually No Crime
You can’t live in a safer place than Hawaii. Sure, you might occasionally have your car window smashed in, or bike stolen, but violent crime is a rarity in the islands — particularly in the outer islands. Even the newspapers are filled with positive articles about the community and island life.
10. Everything Else
There’s a thousand little things to miss about Hawaii. Seeing tents on the beach, watching kids surf better than you, the delicious taste of haupia pie, an eveing of wine and food at Olive Tree. Hawaii, you will be missed, but I’ll see you again soon!