I never had a deep spiritual connection with Hawaii. It wasn’t someplace I dreamed of moving to. It wasn’t even someplace I thought much of visiting. Truth be told, for the majority of my life, I knew very little about Hawaii, except that it was an island. And they made Chocolate Covered Macadamia nuts.
My Aunt moved to Hawaii before I was born. She’d been stationed there, fell in love with a local, had children. They visited once or twice, but mostly I knew them through letters and packages that would arrive once or twice a year. This was how my love affair with all things Sanrio started, way before Hello Kitty had hit mainstream, I’ll have you know. I had my own Hello Kitty chopsticks which I could use since the age of seven.
I never thought I would actually get a chance to visit Hawaii. In my mind it was my vague far off destination that must cost a fortune to visit. At one point in time I did add it to my birthday list, along with such grandious wishes as a piano (which, to be fair, I did eventually get). But it wasn’t one of those things I expected to actually happen.
Somehow going away to college opened the door to travel for me. I got a little taste of it from a school trip to Chicago and it became addictive. I was endlessly looking for an excuse to travel, from concerts to conventions, and always watching the web for good deals. And then it occured to me that I had family in Hawaii, the destination everyone dreamed of.
I jumped on it. Through a series of patience and luck, I managed to find roundtrip airfare from Cincinnati to Honolulu for less than $500. In May of 2007, I would be spending two weeks in Hawaii.