☆ i heart hawaii,  ☆ life,  ☆ videos

Hello aloha, life in Hawaii!

So, a while back, I had an idea.

I thought, “I don’t really have any ties to anywhere. So, I’ll just move to Hawaii!”

Why Hawaii? Because it’s warm (Japan was always cold when it wasn’t super hot and humid), and I have a thing against the cold. Because I love the ocean, and there’s plenty of that there! Because there’s no smoking allowed on the beaches, in restaurants, in parks, or in most places, really, which is the total opposite of Japan. And also because I didn’t need a visa. I could live wherever I wanted in the US without having to worry about justifying my existence there every year or two and worrying that the government would decide that I didn’t need to be there. Actually, I wrote in more detail why I wanted to live in Hawaii in this post a while back. ^^

So, both of the jobs that I was working at (columnist and actress) ended in Japan, and I found myself facing a big decision. Should I look for a new job in Japan, or should I take that leap of faith and head for Hawaii right then and there?

I decided that, just like when I’d moved to Japan, it was time to change my life, no matter the consequences. Even if I was nearly broke. For some reason, even though I’ve worked hard at everything that I’ve ever done, I’ve never made enough to live a comfortable life, and always, always ran out of money halfway through the month. I’d usually be down to a bag of rice with nothing but soy sauce to go on it by the end of the month, and literally no money to buy more, even though I had no credit card payments or superfluous bills, did very little in the way of recreation (not by choice! There was never any money.), and almost never ate out (I couldn’t afford it). I wanted to change. I had to change! So, I made plans to move back to the US, and from the moment of the decision until the time that I left, less than a week passed because if I didn’t go then, I’d have to pay another month of rent and I just didn’t have it. I abandoned most of my life as it was– I threw out, gave away, donated, or resold everything except for my cat Sansa, her carrier, two suitcases (one checked, one carry on), and six small boxes of books that I sent overseas.

Only five of those boxes ever arrived. I wish that I could have the last one show up magically, because it cost so much of my precious little funds to send it.

But my point isn’t to make anyone feel sorry for me. On the contrary! I just want to share my story and the things that I’ve been through, good, bad, and in-between. I went to stay with my mom for a while in her little town in Washington state (not the place that I grew up, or anywhere near it), thinking that I could get a temporary job in her town and save up enough money to move to Hawaii, not having to pay rent or even a phone bill. After I got settled, I looked around for a job. I had an interview with the newspaper, who loved me and my resume, but didn’t have any openings (they wanted to keep me on file just in case!), and nowhere else. Nobody wanted a girl with a bachelor’s degree and so much experience. I wasn’t really surprised, as Aberdeen (where my mom lives) is such a small town, and there are a lot of people out of work there. There wasn’t much there for me. No artistic jobs, no journalistic jobs. There were positions like nursing, but I didn’t have the training for those, and positions at WalMart, the only big store in town, but everybody without a college degree was trying to get a job there, and they didn’t want someone like me, who obviously wasn’t going to stick around. It was such a small town, and I felt sort of lost. I was under a lot of pressure from my mother, too.

So, I thought… I’ll shift gears and work on my book (and then my comic!), and maybe that will give me enough money to move!

Well… it was fun (also maddeningly frustrating at times) and a huge learning experience, writing a book. You can buy it now, actually! Go! Go do it! But I learned that a book just isn’t very lucrative unless you get a LOT of orders. I mean, a looooooot of orders, in the thousands. I did get a lot, in the low hundreds, but I walked away with so, so little after buying the plane ticket and paying all of Sansa’s fees, luggage fees, and miscellaneous expenses. Should I have bought a ticket to Hawaii with so little to go on? I guess that’s just me, though. I needed to get away from Aberdeen after almost a year, and an old friend from High school offered to let me stay with him and his wife at their house in Hawaii until I could find a job and a place of my own.

But, I mean, at least I was going to Hawaii, right? Yay! I took the leap. I had to. Where I’m staying is a lovely, huge house on the Wheeler AFB, sort of near Honolulu (my ultimate goal). I  mean… well, it seemed like it was near Honolulu on the map. It is. I mean, by car, that is. 20-30 minutes away when there isn’t too much traffic, so I figured that I could take the bus in while I looked for an apartment and job in Honolulu, and things would be awesome.

But I was so, so naive…..

I’m going to try to update every day again, so let me leave you with a little piece of the Hawaii that I’ve seen so far. It’s definitely a taste of what’s to come!

(417 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.


  • Jessika


    So you made it to Hawaii. Aloha and おめでとう!I’m sure this will be an exciting new chapter of your life and finally you’re able to dive into it headfirst. In a little less than a month I too will be moving to Oahu for my final semester of college. Although I haven’t arrived yet something tells me I might not want to leave, even after my term is up.

    Did you know there’s a Lawson and a Book Off in Honolulu? I was super excited when I found that out. Now I can drink Royal Milk Tea while scanning the cd and manga aisles.

    Your posts are making me excited for my own adventures as well.

    By the way here’s an interesting video I found about some good local places to eat in Honolulu. And I don’t know if you’re an Arashi fan, but apparently Honolulu has a special significance to Arashi, so they will be performing there this September.

    Honolulu/Waikiki Eateries:

    Arashi Concert:

    • Jamie Lynn Lano

      Thanks, Jessika! I’ve seen the Lawson store as I passed by, and actually been to the Donki! It’s not all that much like the ones in Japan, but I was happy to discover that I could still get some of my favorite Japanese foods. 🙂

  • Marow

    I’m jealous of you!
    I’ve been to Oahu multiple times – so many I could call it a second home to a degree – but still dream of a day when I’m able to live there. It’s such a lovely place with very friendly people. Yes, it’s not free from faults (plus it has HUGE BUGS), but the island culture really gets to you. It makes you want to stay and just relax. This is what I love about the island; how relaxed it is.

    Still, moving to Hawaii might be a tad too much for someone living in Sweden :’D

    Looking forward to reading your adventures on the island. Don’t think I’ve ever commented here before, but I’ve read this blog for a while 🙂

  • n.

    it looks just SO beautiful!
    and it’s not humid like japan? japanese summer always almost kills me with its humidity, how does hawaiian summer feel like? 😀

    good luck with finding a job and an apartement, even if it’s more complicated than it seemed at first!!

    • Jamie Lynn Lano

      It’s humid in Hawaii, but not like Japan at all. It’s about 50% humidity, whereas Japan is usually around 100%. So think of it as half the humidity. I’m still getting used to it, but it’s not that bad.

  • AmaryllisZai

    Hey Jamie, Hawaii looks awesome! Though i never been there. Maybe one day.

    You’re a strong girl. From your posts, live sure hasn’t been going the way you wanted it to, but you surely have gained lots of experiences along the way. Stay strong and be sure to look on the positive side!.

    I feel guilty that shipping of your book to my country almost cost a bomb. Was wondering how would you be making money with shipping cost like that!. Even so, I am looking forward to your next project!

    All the best!

  • Elizabeth

    Poor Sansa! My cat, Tallis, also hated flying though her attitude was more ‘GOTTA BUST THIS JOINT’, so I could only open her carrier wide enough to put a hand in!

  • Murjani

    I definitely feel you about the job front. Most of what I hear is that I’m *too* qualified. It’s like, dude I have bills. I don’t care.

    Or that “We’re hiring immediately!” And when I send in my resume with the requirements they’re looking for… crickets.

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