I’ve been back in Hawaii for five days now and I’ve been easing into my usual island routine of food, friends, work and the beach!
Yesterday morning, I met up with my girl Shana Love for breakfast at my favorite coffee shop in Honolulu: Kimobean Coffee. Even after being away from Hawaii for the past four months, the barista recognized me (and my afro) when I walked in.
He asked about my travels and without a word from me, started to put in my order for a small soy hot chocolate and a breakfast sandwich on a bagel with no cheese.
I love being location-independent, no doubt about it.
But I also like having a homebase, somewhere I can go where people know my name.
Even if it’s just the barista at the local coffee shop.
Later that day, I enjoyed an amazing dinner at Mikawon, a Korean restaurant in Waikiki: kalbi beef, bbq chicken, fish jun, beef bone soup and an incredible spread of pickled condiments, including my beloved kimchee.
They threw DOWN on that grill!
Plus, at every stage of the meal, the staff came over to tell me how to eat each dish, which condiments went with what, etc.
It was some of the best food I’ve ever had on Oahu.
Towards the end of the meal, I’m sitting at my table feeling full, happy and convinced that part of my life’s purpose is to eat as much kimchee as possible before I die.
As I finish off the rest of my Asahi beer, I notice music coming from the back of the restaurant.
The radio is on and it’s playing nothing but R&B songs from the 1990s.
Hi-Five is crooning:
“I like…the way…you kiss me when we’re playing the kissing game…”
People often ask me, why Hawaii?
Why do you always go back there?
Well, the first reason is because my family lived on Oahu for 6 years when my stepdad was in the Navy.
I went to middle school and high school near Pearl Harbor and completely fell in love with this place.
But if I had to break it down further, this is what else it’s really about for me.
This is why Hawaii will always be my homebase:
It’s the delicious Asian food.
It’s the year-round, 80-degree weather.
It’s the beautiful beaches from Waikiki to Waimanalo.
It’s the friendly people.
It’s the rich history and culture.
It’s the slower pace.
It’s the spiritual energy.
And it’s even the fact that the local radio station seems to be permanently stuck in the 90s.
It’s why I got off the plane from San Diego five days ago and climbed into a limo-taxi waiting outside the airport, staring out of the window as we drove down Nimitz Highway, thinking to myself…
So I’m curious…where is YOUR homebase? Where in the world feels most like “home” to you and keeps you coming back? Leave a comment below and let me know!