“What the hell is in Kentucky?!” I’ve heard this question—or variations of it—from friends, family, even complete strangers. My favorite bit of commentary came from one particularly animated Uber driver, after I’d spent the day doing some exploring in Louisville. “WHY would you leave Hawaii to come here?,” he asked. “I mean, Louisville’s cool, but it ain’t fuckin’ Hawaii!!”
He’s absolutely right. Louisville is NOT fucking Hawaii. I’m very aware of this fact. I miss things about being on Oahu every single day. I have a friend (the same one from the text conversation above) who thinks it’s funny to send me beach photos so I can see what I’m missing. I think about the ocean, EVERY. SINGLE. DAY.
I also think about the fact that when I went home in May to wrap up my move, it scared me to see how quickly my niece and nephew were growing up—without me. I had been gone for only four months, but my teenage nephew’s voice had changed and my niece had become a full-grown child. All traces of baby and toddler Kaylee were gone.
There are people, places and experiences that I will miss. There’s no doubt about that. But my decision to move from Hawaii to Kentucky never involved comparing the two states. The point wasn’t to move somewhere better; I just wanted to move somewhere different. I was born and raised in Hawaii, attended college in Hawaii and never moved anywhere else. (Unless you count leaving Wahiawa and moving to downtown Honolulu, which, to be fair, is quite a change.) Now, I’m living in a state that borders seven other states. There are a million and one things to do around here that I haven’t done yet—but I intend to.