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^)/
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.. ;))