In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Change.” Advanced roadways and high speed internet connect us, but how connected are we if we are cruel to each other and disregard those less fortunate? I miss the slower, gentler Hawaiʻi, when striking up a conversation with a stranger didn’t seem burdensome. I’m an optimist… in the end, love and nature will surely prevail.
In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Grid.” In June, my hula sister and I were determined to find Bukchon Son Mandu, a mandoo restaurant that boasts positive online reviews. Mouths watering, we traversed Insadong, in the sweltering heat, searching for the restaurant and on the way, we came across this unique structure. I had never seen anything like it in Hawaiʻi, so I snapped a pic of this modern, urban twist to the traditional “rock wall”.
It took a lot for me to continue writing, since my life is already so full, but after a month of non-stop work and being placed on lockdown for one year for my rigorous doctoral program, I realized that my responsibilities are enriching, but currently not getting my blood pumping. I then decided to revisit the reason why I aspire to be a travel blogger. I grew up believing that my life would fall into place and make sense once I graduated from college and got a job, which for a first-generation student from a poor, but loving family, seemed like the only thing that mattered. But things still felt incomplete after I graduated and started my career. I wanted more. I wanted to see more. Despite my humble beginnings, I have traveled a lot in my life, as a child tagging along with extended family, and later, for work and hula and I’ve come to realize that traveling is my passion. In Hawai’i, sacred and storied geographies are called wahi pana, but I like the more literal definition of a particular place with a “pulse”. As travelers, we …
I’ve only lived in three places my entire life: Kauaʻi, Oʻahu, and Hilo, and Hilo has been my home for most of it. Despite being on opposite ends of the archipelago, Kauaʻi and Hilo are connected through Hawaiian myth and hula, and maybe that’s why I never felt like a stranger here when I first moved over. If you’d like to learn more about the ancient land divisions that comprised Hilo, please visit this great Sig Zane article Hilo One (pronounced “OH-neh”). If you don’t understand Hawaiian, you’ll need to scroll down for the English translation. In the meantime, enjoy these lovely clips of the place I call home from an extremely talented and local videographer.
In June of this year, after spending some time at home with my family on Kauaʻi, I returned to Seoul with one of my best friends, despite the MERS advisory for South Korea. We stayed in Gangnam for two weeks and during that time, I realized that had I not gone into Hawaiian Studies, I would have likely been living abroad. I’ve been adventurous, fiercely independent, and a traveler from a very young age, so with a knack for languages, I think I would’ve found myself living the better part of my life on foreign soil. I don’t regret the path I chose for my life because it’s been a beautiful journey, but this latest trip to Seoul helped put to rest the “what if” of whether or not I could’ve “made it” living so far away from home. For some reason, this recent epiphany is sweet because after a lifetime spent in Hawaiʻi , it’s thanks to my life thus far that I’m truly able to recognize and celebrate the beauty of difference when I engage with new cultures.