Why Coming From Paradise Is Bittersweet

Why Coming From Paradise Is Bittersweet

Reasons I'll be vacationing from Hawaii for a while.

I lived in Hawaii for a long period of my life.

Sad to admit, but I was "flown" and not "grown" there. However, I lived in that paradise for the largest portion of my human life, from ages 10 to 18. I moved there with my family at the pivotal time of pre-adolescence. It's the time when you're trying to make friends, shedding baby fat, dealing with your awkward growth spurt, trying to act older than you really are and balancing your life between being ridiculously angry and ridiculously happy.

As I grew older and settled into the next period of human metamorphosis, I began to soak up the culture of Hawaii like a sponge. We lived in the Puna district on Hawai'i Island, which is famous for its agricultural history, the volcano Kilauea and variety in many things. However, Puna also has its infamous parts, like hippie cults and easy access to many drugs.

Hawaii is unlike any place I'd ever lived in or traveled to. Hawaii is part of the U.S., but there's a different feel, or "vibe," and it's very difficult to detach yourself from the balmy, sunny, plumeria-scented universe that is Puna and also Hawai'i. Almost every time, without fail, I cry once we reach Hilo airport and it's time for me to say goodbye. I cry because it's saying goodbye to more than just a place and its people. It feels like I'm saying goodbye to a whole culture that contributed to shaping me as a human being.

When traveling, or while I'm at school in the Midwest, and I mention where I hailed from, everyone asks me why I would ever leave paradise. The second question is always whether I plan to go back to Puna after I graduate from school. And although there's no place that I've discovered yet that is more genuine or organic, I always have to say, "No, not yet," in a sad, sing-song note that's almost apologetic.

Bluntly said, Hawaii was just not a very good place for me to find my ambition as a young adult. Hawaii is a state of islands with a very limited amount of job openings or opportunities for career advancement. From my experience and observation, I've seen that Hawaii is a great place for childhood, and also a great place for the elderly. However, in the presumably career-based, fastest period of human growth, post-adolescence, Hawaii doesn't leave a lot of room or bounty.

I will always have respect and love for Hawaii, Hawai'i, and Puna. I've been away in the mainland (the continental U.S.) for almost two years now, and every time I have a short break at home for about two to three weeks, I almost never want to leave. If I moved back right after I graduated, I know I would be stuck forever. I'd be stuck in a paradise, yes, surrounded by sun and rain-ripened life. However, I'm not ready to be stuck yet. I'm not at the age to be consumed by a routine that makes me so satisfied that I'll never want to grow. I love Hawaii, and I will go back, but it's just not my time, and it won't be for a while.

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8 Reasons Why My Dad Is the Most Important Man In My Life

Forever my number one guy.

Growing up, there's been one consistent man I can always count on, my father. In any aspect of my life, my dad has always been there, showing me unconditional love and respect every day. No matter what, I know that my dad will always be the most important man in my life for many reasons.

1. He has always been there.

Literally. From the day I was born until today, I have never not been able to count on my dad to be there for me, uplift me and be the best dad he can be.

2. He learned to adapt and suffer through girly trends to make me happy.

I'm sure when my dad was younger and pictured his future, he didn't think about the Barbie pretend pageants, dressing up as a princess, perfecting my pigtails and enduring other countless girly events. My dad never turned me down when I wanted to play a game, no matter what and was always willing to help me pick out cute outfits and do my hair before preschool.

3. He sends the cutest texts.

Random text messages since I have gotten my own cell phone have always come my way from my dad. Those randoms "I love you so much" and "I am so proud of you" never fail to make me smile, and I can always count on my dad for an adorable text message when I'm feeling down.

4. He taught me how to be brave.

When I needed to learn how to swim, he threw me in the pool. When I needed to learn how to ride a bike, he went alongside me and made sure I didn't fall too badly. When I needed to learn how to drive, he was there next to me, making sure I didn't crash.

5. He encourages me to best the best I can be.

My dad sees the best in me, no matter how much I fail. He's always there to support me and turn my failures into successes. He can sit on the phone with me for hours, talking future career stuff and listening to me lay out my future plans and goals. He wants the absolute best for me, and no is never an option, he is always willing to do whatever it takes to get me where I need to be.

6. He gets sentimental way too often, but it's cute.

Whether you're sitting down at the kitchen table, reminiscing about your childhood, or that one song comes on that your dad insists you will dance to together on your wedding day, your dad's emotions often come out in the cutest possible way, forever reminding you how loved you are.

7. He supports you, emotionally and financially.

Need to vent about a guy in your life that isn't treating you well? My dad is there. Need some extra cash to help fund spring break? He's there for that, too.

8. He shows me how I should be treated.

Yes, my dad treats me like a princess, and I don't expect every guy I meet to wait on me hand and foot, but I do expect respect, and that's exactly what my dad showed I deserve. From the way he loves, admires, and respects me, he shows me that there are guys out there who will one day come along and treat me like that. My dad always advises me to not put up with less than I deserve and assures me that the right guy will come along one day.

For these reasons and more, my dad will forever be my No. 1 man. I love you!

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6 Reasons Traveling Is Good For Your Mind, Body, And Soul

Wherever you go, go with all your heart.


Have you ever traveled to a new destination and felt your mood instantly improve? Are you like me and feel happiest when you're on vacation? This is because traveling is a way for you to renew your soul and step out of your comfort zone. It keeps you happy and allows you to experience new things.

Visiting new destinations can open your mind to experiences you didn't even know were possible. You can meet new people, fall in love, try new foods, and see remarkable sites all while traveling. There are no limits to the places you can visit, and the things you can see. Currently, I am on a mini weekend trip to Arizona, and being here has opened my eyes and made me realize how impactful traveling really is on your mind, body, and soul. Traveling should be something you do as often as possible and whenever you get the chance. Here's why:

1. Traveling makes your heart happy 

Traveling is something that most people enjoy. It keeps the heart young and childlike. Traveling brings people joy because they get to experience new things that they love with the people they love.

2. It teaches you to embrace every moment 

Traveling can be unpredictable, especially because you are experiencing new things. Although it can be challenging, we learn best from these unpredictable moments. When we travel we learn to embrace every situation that is thrown at us.

3. Traveling relieves stress and improves mental health 

Traveling reduces stress and allows you to relax. More often than not, you take off work when you go on vacation and you focus on renewing your self. You get away from all the crazy things going on in your life, and you can just relax and focus on your own happiness.

4. It broadens your horizons 

Traveling lets you branch out and experience different cultures. You can try new foods, new activities, and meet all different types of people. You learn diversity, and you learn respect for other people and their culture's. Traveling helps you learn other perspectives around the world and lets your mind think in ways it never has before.

5. It keeps you healthy 

Traveling actually plays a big part in your physical health as well. During vacations, you often walk a lot to destinations and participate in calorie burning activities like hiking and swimming. Activities like these are often why you still are able to get your workout in while on vacation.

6. Traveling reminds you what is important 

Most importantly, traveling reminds you of the important things in life. We live day by day forgetting that every moment is remarkable. Sometimes, we get stuck in the same old boring routine and take for granted the life we have been given. Traveling reminds us that memories are valuable and that our lives should be cherished.

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