After New York, I fly out to Hawaii where I will do some island hopping...Moloka'i, Lana'i, Maui and O'ahu. I love living in Asia, but there's something about going home to golden sands, blazing sunshine, rolling surf and bright blue skies that really gets me going just thinking about it!
There are a couple of things I am so looking forward to doing when I get to Hawaii. Here are just a few:
Eating My Dad's Squid Luau or Dry Tako (or BOTH)
My dad makes THE BEST squid luau, hand's down! I got the recipe from him several times, and recently I attempted to replicate it myself, even cracking open a fresh coconut, grating the white meat and squeezing out the frothy cream, just like dad taught me to do as a boy, but alas it was to no avail! It just didn't taste the same. There are a couple of definitely random secret ingredients, but nothing too crazy, I just can't figure out what I'm missing.
Another thing he does well is his dry tako*, if I can't get me some squid luau, then I at least want some of that dry tako. Again, never learned the exact process of preparing it, but definitely a series of drying in the sun, ageing in a freezer and smoking it over kiawe# charcoal. Perfect combination of tender, chewy, salty and smoky!
*The Hawaiian Pidgin English word for "octopus", originally a Japanese loanword
#Hawaiian mesquite wood, perfect for grilling and smoking meat and fish
Hiking to Moaula Falls in Halawa Valley, Island of Molokai
My grandpa was born and raised in this valley, and my mom and aunties played there as babies. Every summer, and many times in between, my dad would take us kids, and our cousins and friends, for an all day hike up to the falls, along a pathway that took us on the same ancient mountain trails used by our ancestors, passing through taro patches and ancient ruins. On the way, we would pick the green buds of wild ginger-root flowers to squeeze into our hands and rub through our hair their heavily perfumed fragrance.
At Moaula Falls, we would spend the day dipping in the cool waters that poured down in torrents from hidden mountain springs.
#Local terminology referring to family, from the Hawaiian word
Having a Camp-out, Bonfire, Jam Session at Hulopoe Bay, Island of Lanai
I would drive down to the bay every night after work, fire up the beach grill, cook me up a steak over freshly gathered kiawe wood, and meditate under a blanket of stars. During this period of my life, I learned how simple and content I could be with just the basics in life.
At one point, I tried to recruit a kitten I'd named Hamlet to live this unfettered life with me on the sands of Hulopoe, but on the way down, he jumped out the car window and ran for his life. I guess he wasn't having any of it. Years later, I saw him at someone's house up in town. He looked happier and fatter than I probably could have ever made him feel living out in the open with me.
My, my, my... How Things Have Changed...
DRIFTER CHANGES: I leave home for just 3 years and my sister Crystal has a baby, my brother Philip gets married, my cousin Jared has another baby and my uncle Danny has a baby. But to top it all off...my teen cousin Grant turns into a crooner! I had no idea he could sing. My how things have changed...
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I mean, I knew the boy was always a keeper, but hearing this just makes me EXTRA proud of him!
Sounds like we're gonna be spending a lot of time kicking back at the beach in front of a bonfire listening to my cousin croon...hopefully with other talented musical buddies like Ash and Charlotte.
Check out Grant's cover to "Missin' You Like Crazy" by clicking on the PLAY button to the right, or listen to the rest of his songs at SoundCloud if you have time, and give him some hearts and comments!
One Foot On Sand
To be straight up, I know for a fact that living in Taiwan for these past three years and traveling abroad to other places, such as Hong Kong, Malaysia and the Philippines, has definitely turned out to be one of the BEST choices I have ever made. Because of this, I have decided do whatever it takes to keep living abroad.
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And now we ask you: - If you left home for an extended period of time, what would you miss the most?