Aloha friends and family!
How does one even begin to attempt to describe what living in Hawai’i for a month is like? It has been an emotional rollercoaster to say the least. Looking back at my first week I realize that perhaps in some ways I had not fully comprehended that the move was actually happening, that somehow I had managed to get through all the obstacles (like the lovely visa process and missing my connecting flight in San Francisco) and landed myself at a hostel in Honolulu. The first day I jetlagedly ran through heavy rain to university, was bitten by an unknown insect and turned into a popsicle at my first meeting due to the crazy Hawaiian AC usage. The university refused to accept my government issued health insurance, wanted me to take a five hour English test as my Cambridge Advanced Exam certificate wasn´t good enough and finding housing that would accept someone for only one semester under €1000/month was proving to be nearly impossible. Good thing I had Michael, the only other Swede here, to bitch about these things with or I might have felt inclined to give up right there and then.
Things got a helluva lot better during the weekend as I was welcomed with open arms by my couchsurfing host Cass and her flat mate Justin. We prepartied with Cass´ friends in a high-rise with a sweet as view over downtown and then danced the night away in Chinatown, went to my now-favorite beach here, Makapu´u, and drove up to North Shore for my first taste of proper Hawaiian food and shave ice in Hale´iwa and tried snorkeling at Sharks bay. Despite a mini-heatstroke I finally felt that all the hard work was worth it. I was living the dream in Hawai’i.
The following week I moved in to my new apartment, conveniently located half way between campus and Waikiki beach. I wish I could thank the German exchange student who slipped me a note with my landlord´s e-mail address just as she was about to move out of the hostel. I now have a cozy corner room with plenty of airflow (important in Hawai’i when you don´t have AC!) and a nice view all the way to Diamond Head crater. The apartment is shared with three other girls; an Italian exchange student, a Korean language student and an American Navy girl. School also started that week and after arranging and rearranging my schedule more times than I can count I finally ended up taking five courses; Environmental Anthropology, Intro to South/south east Asian Studies, African History, Hawaiian Ethnic Studies and Principles of Sustainability. While it is a lot to take on all at once (back in Sweden we study one course at a time) I also feel like I am learning so much and gaining a better understanding of the interconnectedness of the world we live in.
As you might be able to tell from the 80+ photos I have also made a lot of friends, all who coincidentally happen to be wonderful models for when my photography need become too great. I truly feel grateful to have met people who treasures going on adventures, swimming, hiking, snorkeling, beaching, eating, creating, exploring and simply having a good massage and mudcake in front of a movie just as much as I do. All of the highlights of this month have included them, be it climbing mountains, swimming with turtles and colorful fishes, having an insane amount of good food or watching breathtaking sunsets on the beach.
I have so much to look forward to. My family is coming to visit me, as is my sistah from a skånish mistah Sara. With a bit of luck I will make it over to Maui, Kauai and Big Island, although to be honest my to-do list for Oahu could keep me occupied well into next year.
So this is it. I have actually done it friends. I´ve officially moved to my 6th country! Thank you so so much to all of you wonderful people who have supported me through the past five years of crazy awesomeness. Thank you for helping me live my dream year after year ❤ I will try and keep this blog updated as much as I can!
Mahalo for reading the longest blog post ever written haha. Hugs and cheerio xx