Finding Home In All The World … E Komo Mai

cities-of-the-world
The life of an International Traveler is a life knowing that the world is but a foot step away, that it is always at our fingertips.

This is a little something my wife shared to me. A little of her thoughts on what “home” means. Or, more specifically, on “where” home is for us. I could not agree more. For this is precisely us! As I have said so many times throughout the years … Home is where we make it, for the reasons we presently are making it.

“Tsefan Josef, There have been very few places that have touched our souls upon being there. Hawaii, Germany, France, Austria, Italy…. these places will always feel like home to me. But there is a reason we simply cannot find “Home” just anywhere. The reason I think we’re BOTH so inclined to pack up and go anywhere is because we don’t belong to the world nor does it belong to us. We belong to and with each other. Wherever each of us are is where “home” is… We belong in ALL of the world. We are not necessarily home and hearth people. We’re adventurers, buccaneers, blockade runners… Without challenge, we’re only half alive. We can go anywhere, as long as we’re together, it will belong to us. But we’ll never belong to it. That’s for other people. Not for us…”

When I think of all the places we’ve been and all the places I’ve lived for a time in my life – Misawa, Aomori, Japan; Kalihi Valley, Oahu, Hawaii; Reckendorf, Germany; Al Ramadi, Iraq; and Austin, Texas – just to name a few. And considering some of the places that I have visited for a brief moment – Barcelona, Spain; Dublin, Ireland; Tuscon, Arizona; Miami, Florida – just enough to smell the air and feel the ground beneath my feet, and to attempt speaking in the local national language. And when I think of the places in Europe that we’ve visited as a family – Bamberg, Frankfurt, and Munich, Germany; Paris, France; Berchtesgaden, Salzburg, in Austria – memories that inform us as a family, to this day, that we are international people. That we are people with international travels and friendship ties.

Yes, most definitely, “these places” around the world will always feel like home to “me” and, most probably, to “we.” For, each of us and all of us together as a family, have experienced the depths and breaths of cultures around the world, and are far much better balanced and informed on life, because of it. We belong to ALL of the world. And home is not necessarily a specific place where we, presently, choose to take up residence. No, home is where we are, at any given time and place … so long as we’re together.

Here are some of the world’s best places to retire. A listing produced yearly by International Living. Just for your perusal and imaginative enjoyment, of course. I was really considering Ecuador, at one time. All because of the cost of living, at that time, where a modest American retirement would have you near living like the one percent in this country. But, then again, there is always Spain, and I’ve always felt an affinity towards moving there. It might be the ancestral connection for me, the speaking of the blood, seeing how on my Irish side of my South-East European Jew self there is a direct ancestral origin connection to what is now known as Spain. Not to mention the Sephardic influence connection that most probably exists within our Hungarian Jewish family line somewhere.

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E Komo Mai –  A Remembrance Of Hawai’i, My Island Home

sandy-path-to-the-beachSeeing how my web site visitors are expressing pleasure over my diversifying the topics in my web, I felt it quite appropriate to include a few thoughts on Hawaii, my island home. No matter how far away I may presently be, I will always have a connection to the islands of my youth. And to the swimming holes, the deep blue oceans, that I would free dive in almost on a daily basis, swimming with fish, sharks, stingrays, turtles, and eels and usually as nakedly and carefree as they were. Though my first two years of this life was experienced in Japan, I was raised to adulthood on the beautiful isles of Hawaii. I am an ‘ehu kama’aina, a red headed local boy of Hawaii. And, I am very proud of where I come from. I’m a graduate of “Lower Kamehameha,” Farrington High School, and went to the University of Hawai’i at Manoa for higher education. A modest life I lived with family in the midst of Kalihi Valley. I’ve lived all over the islands, but mostly between O’ahu and the Big Island. But, this was a long time ago, now, at least for me. Almost 15 years ago. Though I am presently living in the depths and dry heat of Texas, now, I still have all the aloha shirts that I brought with me, still listen to the Hawaiian music and, though not as often now, still speak within the home the local pidgin creole language of Hawaii. You never forget your roots entirely, even when you’ve grown internationally cultured and sophisticated. I still remember the synagogues I would attend, after those lazy island strolls on the Sabbath. Then, cruzin at da beach, for I knew no better way to live life than enjoy it.

lava-flowing-on=the-volcanoEthnically and culturally speaking, you can pretty much name it and Hawaii has it. Most of Hawaii’s youth, I included, will name off six to seven ethnicities if you ask them what they are racially. We are all poi dogs these days. Hey … no shame, eh, brah? For example, my ancestry alone is a mixture of Scandanavian, Irish, East European Jewish, British, Italian, Greek, Melanesian, Iberian (that’s the Irish celtic side, again), Finnish, and a few more. … But, despite how I came out having such an Irish look, I lean genetically very heavy on the Eastern European side, in general, within my ancestry. You can never actually tell by looks alone, and this I can prove time and time again. But, back to ethnically and culturally diverse Hawai’i. There are restaurants and cultural festivals in Hawaii that literally span the globe. And da food, brah, so ono! Always wen brok da mout, garens! Though American English is the predominant language these days, Hawaiian and every other ethnicity’s language is spoken in conjunction with English, on a daily basis. Talk about ethnic culturing! With this being said, still yet the most predominant form of speech for almost all of the kama’ainas of Hawaii is the creole language Pidgin. Hawaiian Pidgin is a synthesized mixture of Hawaiian with the various languages of the early immigrants (mostly Asian) and later with English. Hawaii sports it’s own unique take on modern civilization life. Laid back and always on Hawaiian time, which anyone who knows me will attest that I still follow. It is also the place where surfing was invented by the Hawaiians over a thousand years ago. I wonder how many of you actually knew that? There are times I do miss the beach and hiking near volcanoes and water falls. Remembering the simpler times of hana butta days. But, that was then, and this is now.

A hui hou kakou.