☆ i heart hawaii

Why I want to move to Hawaii

I get a lot of people asking me why I’m planning to move to Hawaii, and it seems (to me) like the real question being asked falls into one of two camps:

1) Why don’t you want to live in Japan anymore?

2) Why Hawaii and not somewhere else?

I’ll address both riiiiiiight now! ^-^

I’ve already answered #1. But to put it pretty simply, Japan was not right for me anymore. I don’t believe in being stuck in one place just because it seems like it’s THE place to be, and other people want me to be there. Maybe this attitude comes from moving around and having to leave behind friends when I was little. I was born in Washington, and then moved to California at age 10. At 14, I was moved from Ca back to Wa. I really, REALLY didn’t want to go. I screamed and threw a fit, and was a downright wreck, standing outside of the car and having to be bodily handled inside.

I DID NOT WANT to leave behind my friends. I would miss them (there was no Facebook/internet back then), but even more than that, I REALLY HATED that I had zero choice in it. We were moving because of my father’s job (crane operator), and of course I was still a kid. These things happen. But I think that that’s where I developed an obsession with having control over my own life.

I moved out at 18, as soon as I could, and I took two jobs to make it happen. I stuck around the area for a little while, because I had good friends there, but then I changed it all up and went to college in Phoenix. Arizona is a long way from Washington state. I didn’t mind leaving my friends because this time I was in control of my own destiny (I also had friends in AZ, too).

Arizona was the first place that I ever felt truly at home. I made some amazing friends, too, because I was finally FREE to make my own decisions! Then, when I wanted to move to Japan, I did so without a single regret (I do love my Phoenix friends fiercely)! Japan was lonely at first, but I ended up loving it. I loved Japan for years.

I was somewhere in the last two years that things started going downhill for me. I was still planning my life in Japan, intending on submitting to manga magazines there. But I started to get more and more annoyed at the cold, at the dreariness, at the rampant smoking. Other little things picked at me, and I realized that I was stuck. I just wasn’t happier.

So I decided to leave. It was my decision. And I wasn’t surprised at some of the backlash that I received, mostly online. As if some people thought that I wasn’t worth anything unless I was living in Japan, being miserable. No way. This is my life, and I’m seeking happiness on my own terms!

And I am still going to create manga. I am going to do it in a place where I can leave my windows open all of the time and feel the breeze. Where I can draw or write on the patio any day. Where I can go swimming in the blue ocean every day, if I want. 🙂

Which leads me to #2. Why Hawaii?

This one is both simple and complicated at the same time. 😉 First off, I HATE the cold. I love sundresses because anything with long sleeves doesn’t fit me (I have broad shoulders, long arms, and a small waist in comparison). I love going outdoors and having picnics. I only want to go outside if the weather is warm. I can do that in Hawaii!

I love beaches and the ocean something fierce. I’ve never felt calmer than I do while looking out over the ocean. (I also have an obsession since childhood with tall ships. Hardly anyone knows that about me, since I don’t ever blog about it, lol. Now you know! ;)) I even think that I  might have been a mermaid in a past life.

Also, remember how I detest smoking? In Hawaii you can’t smoke in any public buildings (even bars), within a certain distance from said buildings, in parks, or on beaches. I don’t see second-hand smoke being ANY problem in HI. 🙂 There’s one stressor gone!

This is another thing which made me choose somewhere in the US over a foreign country as my next destination: I DON’T NEED A VISA! YAY!!!!!! I am ecstatic about this! It means that I have the right to work whatever freaking job that I want without getting permission every year from the government. I do not believe in visas, or like them at all. I’m completely opposed to visas and borders, but for now I have to live with them, and so, hey I’m glad that I won’t have to deal with that crap anymore! YAAAAAAAAAAAYYYYYYY! \(^o^)/

Also? I LOVE SPACE, and Hawaii just happens to be such a great place for stargazing that they have the world’s largest observatory on the Big Island. Also, a kicka** volcano! 😀

Hawaii is also a melting pot, where I can meet people from all over! I love love love diversity! And I won’t be missing out on much of my favorite Japanese things, as there are Japanese book stores, my favorite tea shop, and even Coco Ichiban curry shops there! Plus, I can buy shoes my size in Hawaii (Japan does not carry large enough for my size 11 feet. Anything over 8, and you’re going to be hard-pressed to find anything).

Live in paradise, blog all of my photos and life there, and run on the beach in the morning, write manga next to the window day and night. What is not to like? Oh, and Hawaii is halfway between the US and Japan. What is not to like?

 The most important reason, of course, is that I WANT TO! I am SO excited about it!  And if I decide that I don’t like it, I can choose somewhere new to move to!

But just basically, I CAN’T WAIT TO LEAVE!! My excitement certainly cannot be contained. I think about it nearly every day, and as soon as I have enough money to make sure that I don’t end up homeless after I arrive, Sansa and I will be off for Aloha! I’ll be blogging it all, too! And I do hope to travel to Japan and all over the world (especially to conventions to meet you guys) a lot. As much as possible!

Wow, now I’m really excited all again! Kyaaaaa!!!! Maybe a tad bit scared, too, but what is life without a bit of fear? I can’t wait to start somewhere new! *bounces all over*

See you tomorrow! Still quite a bit of editing to do (the Tenipuri story is over 250 pages long already.. I don’t know how so many people are able to binge-read it in one day! You guys are awesome!)

(PS: The images of Hawaii in this post are from a stock photo site… for the first time ever, they’re not mine! But I’ll take plenty when I get to Hawaii.. ;))

(312 geeks have read this)

Hi! This is Jamie Lynn Lano! I am a Washington State (USA) native who: ☆ Holds a Bachelors of the Arts in Media Arts & Animation from AiPx. ☆ Worked as an assistant mangaka in Japan for Konomi Takeshi on The Prince of Tennis. ☆ Was an essay columnist for Asahi Weekly from 2008-2013. ☆ Was the star of Asahi Pop'n Press on Asahi TV (Japan) from 2009-2013 ☆ Was a write for Metropolis magazine in 2010. ☆ Has kept a blog foreeeeeeeeever! First and Current blogs.


  • Erika

    Hello. I’m glad that you have decided to move out from Japan. I first knew about you back when you were still working as Tenipuri mangaka assistant. I’ve been following and reading your blog since then, and I knew that sooner or later you would have to move out from that country. Why? Maybe because you don’t sound so happy in some of your posts. Here’s hoping that your life will be happier and improving after you move there. You deserve it.

    p.s: I can’t believe that you actually receive some backlash due to your decision. That’s just so sad.

  • Yuvi


    I have defnitely not been able to catch up with your blog lately, so I am just finding out about this. You will have such a wonderful time in Hawaii, I know it is a bit scary to change, but do not worry about it. I am sure you will be just fine. I am very excited for you, for this new chapter in your life. I am sorry I will miss you when I do go to Japan in October, but I do thank your the advise you gave me.

    Take care.. and have a blast!

  • Rodney

    I think you may want to look into renting somewhere near Ala moana as its pretty convenient, it does get pretty pricey though. You may also want to look into places such as Makiki and Punahou they are all pretty much next to each other and there are a lot more apartments at a lower price range. Expect to pay around $800-1500 a month for 1bedroom. Some would probably allow pets I imagine but usually only in the more expensive places. btw are you related to Bigfoot? Size 11! You got some huge feet! Lol just kidding

    • Jamie Lynn Lano

      Some other people have recommended the area near Ala Moana as well. I was thinking of only getting a bike and then using public transportation or renting a car when I need to go to Costco or something, so a convenient and safe area would be a definite priority! 🙂 That’s not a bad price for a one-bedroom. It’s around the same prices as Tokyo. I’m fine with a studio too, as most studios in the US are larger than my last 1BR was in Tokyo. Whatever makes it easier for me to keep out of the red while I’m setting up! 🙂

      And yeah, I bet that I’m part bigfoot somewhere down the line! 😀 I can wear size 10 in some shoes, especially heels as my feet slide forward, or some sandals, but ballet flats have to be 11. But I am 6’1″ tall, so at least it’s in proportion. 😀

  • Mona

    Hi Jamie,

    Please go to where your heart desires. Finding happiness is a quest itself. Knowing what are the things that makes a person happy must be pursued.

    Good luck in everything and hope to read more of your posts it really makes my day 🙂

  • Ann

    There’s a Coco Ichiban shop in Ala Moana Center if you’re going to live near there! Ala Moana Beach Park is just across the street from the shopping center; it gets crowded as early as 6:00 AM during weekends because most people spend most of their weekend morning on the beach. People celebrate events like birthdays and just anything under the sun in the picnic grounds (called Magic Island), too.

    If you’re going to walk along Waikiki Beach you’ll see couples (usually Japanese) wearing wedding attires, having their photos taken with the beautiful Hawaiian sunset as their background. Also, in my opinion, Halloween in Waikiki is the best that I have seen so far anywhere else in the US. The weather around that time is just perfect for people to wear any costume they like.

    In Honolulu, wandering around markets or grocery stores then hearing 3-4 different languages all at the same time is pretty common. XD

    • Jamie Lynn Lano

      Ohh, the Coco Ichiban is in Ala Moana!! Thank you for telling me! I was wondering. This makes it quite convenient, actually!

      You must live there on Oahu? Do you think it would be nice/affordable to live near Ala Moana/ Waikiki? I like people-watching, but I don’t know if I would want a crowd all of the time. I also love the city, and would prefer to live in the middle of it, but again, safety is a concern, as is finding a place that allows a pet and will actually rent to someone with no rental history. I prefer to live in a convenient place (city) and then travel to get out in nature, rather than the other way around. 🙂

      Any opinions would be greatly appreciated! I figure that I will have to play by ear when I arrive and my options may be limited, but I’m sure that it will work out no matter what! As long as I can find a safe place to rent and can afford the necessities, I can work up from there! 🙂

      • Ann

        I live in Honolulu, but will be moving out to a new place in a few months’ time because of work.

        Affordable? I don’t think so. A studio-type room in Waikiki area would cost you around $2,000 because the nearer you live from the beach, the pricey the rent becomes. And since you are pretty much smack dab in where all the tourist-y activities are, the crowd is always thick, especially when there’s an event happening. The Ala Moana area is nice if you don’t mind a bit of noise and crowd outside your place since that’s where the shopping center is.

        I hope that you’ll be able to work things out!

  • muskrat

    What? The question should be why would one NOT want to live in Hawaii?!? *stares at all the snow outside that’s been there since November*

    Good luck on the move =)!

  • zoomingjapan

    I’m not familiar with the regions in America, so I don’t know much about it.
    All I know is that I LOVE Okinawa and that Hawaii is similar, so I can totally understand why you would choose HI!! ^^

    I can’t wait to see your start into a new life and all the photos!
    I’m also very excited! ^____^

    And I hear you!
    I’m a bit afraid what my blog readers might say / think once I leave Japan, but just because one isn’t in the country anymore, doesn’t mean they can’t share. Share about their many years in that country. Just like you do now. 😀

    • Jamie Lynn Lano

      Hawaii is like Okinawa in the Spring. It’s 20-25 all year round, without the crushing humidity and hoooooot humid summer or cold winter temperatures that Okinawa gets. ;D It never gets cold. It basically stays pretty much the same temperature all year (warm), with warm tropical oceans and beaches. Definitely sounds like paradise! 😀 I haven’t been yet, but there has to be a reason why so many people get married or have their honeymoons there! 😀

      I hope that you share your return to Germany, too! You might want to start a new blog that’s less focused on location (since with lj there is so little control), but in any case I hope that you keep to write in both! I have never been to Germany, but I’m so curious as to what life is really like there!There seriously aren’t enough people who just blog about what daily life is like in their part of the world. I can’t even find one about Hawaii! It’s just products, news, rock climbing, or “here are my kids look at them, hey I’m a mommy” blogs. I wonder if I’m really the only one!

      • zoomingjapan

        Well, even when I’m not in Japan anymore, I still have loooots of material / photos to share for years to come, so I definitely will keep writing.

        I’m not very eager to travel in Germany. Not sure if that’ll change once I’m back. ^^;

        Does Hawaii get tropical storms, earthquakes or other natural disasters? You mentioned volanoes.

        I read somewhere that Hawaii is ridiculously expensive compared to most other places in the US.

        • Jamie Lynn Lano

          I can’t wait to read the posts! You know that I’m a sucker for pictures. 🙂 I finally got a feed reader, so now it’ll be easier for me to keep up with updates, too. Ahhh, I should have done this ages ago!

          I myself would LOVE to travel in Germany. I especially want to go on a castle tour, and go to some festivals. I’m not sure what else is popular there, but if you want a travel buddy, I’d love to have you as a guide! 😀

          Hawaii does get some tropical storms, but they rarely do any damage. They usually just bring a little bit of wind and (more) rain. There aren’t really many earthquakes, from what I understand, and their “tsunamis” are like… 1 feet high and things like that. Basically, pretty much every day is sunny and warm with sporadic showers and medium humidity (around 60%). It’s called paradise, and I hope that it lives up to the reputation! 😀

          The islands (there are a number of them) were actually formed by a single active spot in the earth’s crust. Over time, the volcano built a rocky island, and the plates would shift over it. Then the volcano would start building a new island nearby in its new spot, and so on. It’s very interesting! 😀 The volcano is right now underneath the largest island, called “Hawaii” or “Big Island,” although the main and most popular island is the northernmost large island, Oahu. I want to live on Oahu, in Honolulu (the state capitol and quite a large city), which means that I’ll have to take a short flight to reach the volcano, but being so close will mean that I can do it anytime. 🙂

          I hope that you come and visit me! You can always stay with me, as long as I’m not living in a box!

    • Jamie Lynn Lano

      And yeah, I didn’t say anything online except on my private Facebook that I was leaving, until well after I’d left. It was a hurry for me, but even then I was afraid of the reactions. In a way, it was like coming out as a gay person. Once I did and dealt with the “impact,” I didn’t feel like I had to hide anymore! XD;; FREEING!

      I’d love to see a ZOOMINGGermany! Or something like that! 😀

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