Our Hawaii Life...
First the Navy dragged Tommy to Oahu & then Tommy dragged me. It's truly difficult to explain to people why we never saw ourselves living in Hawaii. Their facial expressions resemble someone who's just stumbled upon the plague. I mean, who wouldn't want to live in paradise? Well... initially not us. At our best, we're wilderness people. Smart wool socks, Extra Tuff boots, and an arctic grade parka people. Four defined seasons people! And if we're not camping, hiking, freezing our tushes off, etc., etc., I'm a tried and true Europe girl. If I'm going to live anywhere foreign, it better involve confit de canard, chilled Rose, and a friendly stranger man playing an accordion. And yet, here we are, two snowbirds, living on a tropical island.
Isn't that how it always works? Life hands us challenges and it's up to us to spin them into gold.
Luckily (though many might argue unsurprisingly), the Hawaiian Islands have proven to be 24k.
Our first year was spent acclimating to the island... learning the in's and out's, finding our favorite shrimp trucks, & experiencing the most popular beaches. Personally, it took me a long time to adjust to tropical living. For example, I moved from a remote Alaskan village on the tundra and literally owned zero summer clothes. Zero.
Life's all about adaptation, right?
I swapped my snow boots for flip flops, my hand warmers for beach towels, & my hot coco for fresh fruit smoothies.
A Mai Tai in my hand, sand between my toes, and sun on my nose.
Things really could be worse. (ha)
Below are a few favorite lessons we learned in our first year...
Oahu's farmers markets are my best friend! Farm fresh eggs and ice cold coconuts? Yes, please. Exploring fresh island cuisine has been one of the very best parts about moving to Hawaii! It's all about the fish and the fruits.
Nothing beats Island Fever like getting out on the water. We've started surfing (well, Tommy surfs... I'm still learning), Stand Up Paddleboarding (SUP), and sea kayaking. It's all about appreciating the vastness and beautiful underworld of Hawaii's warm oceans.
Road trips up the Kamehameha Highway on the eastern coast to Haleiwa. There's nothing more fun than turning up the Beach Boys, rolling down the windows, and cruising through little hawaiian coastal towns! Add a warm breeze and one of those cold coconuts pictured above and you're in heaven...
The sunsets up on the North Shore are AMAZING and whether it's time on the beach, exploring tide pools, or eating at our favorite shrimp truck... weekends in Haleiwa are refreshing change of pace.
Really, we've only just scratched the surface. With three-ish more years here we're looking forward to traveling to every Hawaiian island and knowing Oahu like the back of our hand.
Who knows, maybe when it's time to leave Hawaii I'll consider myself an island girl, not an arctic girl. Maybe ;)