☆ i heart hawaii,  ☆ life,  ☆ photos

Welcome to Hawaii, part 1

Should I change the name of this post? I love having a name to my series, and this is certainly going to end up  being a series before I switch over to a daily record of my life. What do you think? Great? Lame? Let me know below in the comments section (if you haven’t commented before, I need to approve the comments after you submit them, before they show up. You’ll get a notification when I do. Be patient!)

Anyways, Hawaii!

Let me say this.

I. LOVE. IT! The weather, the stunning beauty. The endless oceans, stretching in every direction. It’s spectacular, and more than that, it takes my breath away every time. What is underneath those pristine, crystal-clear ocean waves, where the light is no longer able to penetrate? Giant squid? A sunken Atlantis? Mermaids, even?

I don’t know.

I so, so want to know, though! But right now, it’s not the time to go adventuring (too much). Right now, is where I bust my bum, looking for a place that I can afford (I’m not rich.. actually, I’m still quite poor, just trying to figure things out), and a way to have a stable source of income.

I’ve learned a lot so far, too, about the island of Oahu and city of Honolulu some of which came as a real surprise to me! But hey, life is all about learning, isn’t it? One thing that has been firmly impressed upon me is that, “if you want any semblance of time to do anything (working included), then you need a car.” I had a car before I moved to Japan, and I sold it when I moved (for $200, it was pretty much barely working), and then for nine years in Japan, I didn’t really need a car. I wanted one, but in Tokyo at least, it’s normal to not even get your drivers license. I sort of got into the mindset that having a car was more trouble (maintenance, taxes, and just money gone all the time) than it was worth. Besides, TV and people alike both told me, “oh, Oahu has a GREAT bus system! You won’t need a car at all!”

Ha. Ha. Ha. I believed them, to my own downfall! Okay, it’s not impossible to get around without one. I have legs, and there is a bus system.

So, well… you can get to where you want to go eventually. If you have four times longer to do it, that is. I’m staying with friends, as I said, and we are about a 30 minute drive from Waikiki and central Honolulu. It’s not too bad. But guess how long it takes on the bus? About two hours. And that’s when the bus is on time, and that includes a 24 minute walk in the heat to get to the nearest bus stop. Last weekend, I needed to get to Honolulu, and it took THREE HOURS. THREE HOURS TO GET TO A PLACE THAT’S 30 MINUTES AWAY!

I just don’t have that much time to waste. Actually, I don’t have any time to waste. If I could get away with not sleeping, I would do that and then just spend those seven hours working on Denkiki. 🙁 I’m not complaining (okay, I probably am), I am just letting others know the reality of it. I admire people that put up with that every day. Once I had a nearly 2 hour commute in Tokyo, so it’s not the first time that I’ve dealt with this, actually. But, getting a car is definitely high on the priority list for when I can afford it. I have sure learned my lesson! It might not be so bad if you live next to work and don’t want to go many places, or if you live in Honolulu and don’t mind not going to Costco, Whole Foods, or any beaches other than the nearest one.

That’s the honest truth, based on my first two weeks in Hawaii.

Oh, right, beaches! Let’s see….

I had stayed up all night packing, and then fretted over Sansa, so even though I touched down in Honolulu airport in the early morning, I was sort of exhausted and completely incoherent the first day. Sansa had never met a dog, let alone a really big one, so when she was introduced to the sweet and gentle, but also very large and in-your-face family dog, Arson, she was having nothing to do with that.

I have my own room in this house (and my own bathroom!), and Sansa hid under the bed until late at night. I fell asleep in the middle of the day, after being driven to Safeway to get a few essentials, and then I finally got some tentative Sansa cuddles first thing in the morning..

“What is going on? I don’t know what to think of this, and I’m scared,” Sansa told me.

As for myself, I was sort of wondering the same thing. What was I doing here? Was I really.. here? Was I really in Hawaii? That excitement from the day before was moving away into a general feeling of discomfort.

I had to start over.. from scratch.. with people that I barely knew, and only a few hundred dollars to my name. Just what was I doing here????

(161 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.


  • Rodney

    Why don’t you get a scooter? when you move closer to town. No insurance/ registration needed, cheap on gas, you can park anywhere. I just bought new lexus last year but I end up using my scooter all the time just because of the convenience. I don’t recommend it from wahiawa though

  • Christian R.

    I just discovered your blog and already I think you’re great. Having moved overseas twice, also with little money, I can relate.

    I think you first need to rest for at least three days, not worry about anything until your body is in sync with the new situation, then your mind will be sharp and I’m sure you’ll manage to get started there! Think of the zillions of people with dull lives who can only dream of doing what you’ve been doing.

    Low budget: how about a motorbike/scooter? be careful though (all other vehicles are enemies, as are wet roads, rails, manhole covers, uuhm- flattened turtles, balancing the groceries backpack)… I would prefer to know you’ve got a car. Maybe car sharing…

    Good luck!

  • Yo

    How about using a bicycle to commute?
    No traffic, no taxes and gasoline to buy and its easy to clean and
    maintain, not to mention you won’t need a garage for it. 🙂

    • Jamie Lynn Lano

      A bicycle would be great for short distances, but it’s 30 minutes by car to the city on the freeway, and I don’t think that a bike would work. It’d be too dangerous! I ilke the idea of being green, though! But also the sun is very strong.

  • zoomingjapan

    Yes, a car is probably necessary. I will have the exact same issue. It’s going to be expensive, but eventually I’ll need one after moving. Here in Japan I have one, but in the countryside you need one anyway.

    Good luck and I can’t wait to read more about your new life in Hawaii – and see more photos! (*___*)b

  • Madalina

    I am so happy for you Jamie! I understand how scary and discouraging it can be when it comes to new beginnings, especially when you’re financially insecure. I’ve been through it myself (only once though). I admire your courage! And I have complete confidence that you are foing to make it.
    Btw, I don’t think I’ve told you this before, but I love your cat. She looks lovely! I really really like her colours!

  • Murjani

    You took the first step, which is the bravest one ^__^

    The last time I was in Oahu, I was surprised by all the traffic (car). I kept thinking “You’re on an island– were is everyone going?!”

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