First day of class at UHH, 90 degrees out. I was in a new atmosphere trying to adapt to a different way of life. Waking up, getting ready for school; I put on my new sandals, new outfit, and of course grabbed a rain coat for those everyday unexpected ten minute rain falls. Walking to class I noticed that some students are barefoot. This is normal!? People walk around barefoot because, why not? I’m not one to judge, but I quickly thought about germs. I was surprised that the barefoot people were not getting “double looks.” The perfectly dry ground, no liter, nothing to hurt their feet, I realized it’s okay to be barefoot. Hawaiians are so relaxed, they don’t worry about little things, they’re in paradise.
After passing, what it felt like, “the no shoe zone,” I finally made it to class. The girl next to me is wearing UGGS. How can the spectrum be so different, bare feet to UGGS? UGGS are not meant for Hawaii. She said her parents mocked her for ordering them because she would never actually need them in the warm weather out here. We talked a little more and I found out right away that she’s attached to her phone. She loved showing me pictures of her new outfits and where she likes to shop. She was thrilled that I was from Boston. She told me that she’s fascinated with the mainland, especially Boston and New York City. She dreams to visit. All on her phone, she adds me on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Suddenly, I realized why she bought the UGGS. It’s because social media is buzzing about them. UGGS are extremely popular and she wanted to be part of the trend, even though they would suffocate her feet in the warm Hawaiian air.
A girl dreaming of the hustle and bustle crazy city life is just itching to get out of where most people want to get in. It’s so funny because I never thought of people wanting to leave Hawaii. I guess if you’re sick of the bare feet you can explore the mainland with crazy heels, boots, and more. Packing for Hawaii all I needed were flip-flop and sneakers. Flip flops and sneakers weren’t enough for this girl. She really wanted to see the world. The young girl couldn’t wait to explore and travel to the mainland as I felt the same way about her hometown; Hilo, Hawaii.
We should have just switched places. She wanted to see New York City so badly as she always asked me questions about it. She couldn’t get over the fact that my High School went on a trip to NYC for three days. She thought I was living the dream, and I thought the same about her. Two different girls wanting each others life.
When I was in paradise, laying on the beach, sun in my face, I just couldn’t understand why she would want to leave this place. I came to a conclusion that the night life in Hilo was not that extravagant, and this girl was ready to party. In Hawaii the weather was perfect, the people were friendly, school was a breeze, there was absolutely no stress. I could have lived there forever in pure bliss.
Boston and New York City are remarkable places with so much culture wrapped together. The girl’s only stories about those cities are from social media and the internet. Sitting next to this girl for a whole semester was delightful because she taught me quite a lot. I shouldn’t take my hometown, Boston, for granted because it is such a well known city that people would love to visit.
I explored the ins and outs and all over Hilo, I could point out where everything is, give directions, and so fourth. She taught me that I should start doing the same with Boston. I should love my hometown just as much as I love Hilo, Hawaii.
She also taught me that social media and the internet is where people can go on to dream. She’s dreaming of making it big in fashion. I know she will. Such a driven and outgoing girl. Following celebrities on Instagram in New York City was her favorite.
In the end, after a long semester I invited her to come up and visit. I also told her to bring her UGGS. She couldn’t have been more excited. Since she brought me around Hilo and taught me about her culture, I thought it was only fair I should do the same. She’s planning to come up in January to hopefully see snow for the first time. Her dreams of visiting the city will finally be fulfilled. I hope when she visits she’ll see that Hawaii is an even more “dream destination” for everyone up here, it’ll make her feel special.
We both live in each other’s paradise. Funny, right?