Sunshine. The perfect balance between sun and rain, making the rain almost always welcome when it comes for a day or two every six-eight weeks. The hardly-ever-below 20 degrees Celsius temperature, even at night. The hardly-ever above 32 degrees Celsius heat. The many fine sandy beaches. The fact there is still possible to find an empty beach if you know where to look. The color of lush rain forest – deep, crisp green! Tropical flowers. All the palm trees, although imported. The fact that, even carefully planted and strategically placed, palm trees always looks natural and lifts the spirit. Most Hawaiians know how lucky they are to call the islands home and do what they can to preserve and protect them. Kona Longboard beer. Fresh seared Ahi. Hono/Turtles, and the fact that they are treasured and protected. Swimming with a turtle is the most amazing form of meditation and you emerge with a new sense of calm of spirit and a desire to protect all marine life. Hawaii’s past. Every time I drive up Pali highway across the mountain and in the midst of jungle, I try to imagine what it was like living here hundreds of years ago. The pitch black of night, little shelter against the elements, several days journey to cross the island which now takes half an hour. I try to imagine the fear the soldiers felt as Kamehameha’s army rushed them off the Pali cliff and into certain death when he conquered Oahu. “Eddie would go”. I don’t know if the land holds onto its history, if so pretty much every single place in the world would be haunted, but I try to connect with the spirit of Hawaii occasionally. I find a lot of it in books, but it’s a lot easier to connect with a character on the page whose legacy is already written, than to connect with people still living, still changing. But one thing is true, most people who live in Hawaii consider themselves “lucky to live Hawaii” and it does manifest itself. Aloha, ohana and aina are not just words from a mostly forgotten language. It’s love, family and land. Hawaii is a beautiful place to call home. I return each time with new appreciation and gratitude to call it mine.