Opposite Side of the Country
I recently went on a trip to New York City, the complete opposite side of the continent from Hawaii, and found it refreshing. Not only because of the fall weather (of 50 degrees by the way, compared to Hawaii’s 70/80 recently), but because it was a reminder of how small Hawaii is compared to the rest of the world and even just the country. I did a lot of traveling while in New York City, and the time and distance it took to go from Queens to Manhattan or from the Bronx to Brooklyn was incredible. Mid-way through my trip, I decided to look at a map of New York and the places I have been, and realized that New York City was only a corner of the state.
I had an epiphany, I guess you could say, of what my life would have been like if I had been born and raised in New York instead and how it differed so much from life in Hawaii. From this, I truly began to appreciate my life in Hawaii. Don’t get me wrong, New York was amazing and fun but immensely different from Hawaii. It was a bit of a culture shock, with everyone being in such a hurry that they would step into the street lane to cross if there were no cars coming while the light was still red for a good 15 seconds.
Even before I arrived in New York, I imagined that it was very...grey. And it was. It might have just been poor timing but it was mostly cloudy and rainy while I was in New York along with a mass of either two story or 30+ story buildings in shades of grey and red-brown. Although, this made it easier to see the bright and neon signs hanging from the side of buildings or billboards up on rooftops, and made the traffic of yellow cabs in Manhattan more noticeable. By the way, Times Square was pretty much half of these yellow cabs if not most of the cars that were going through. Only after I arrived back in Hawaii did I realize how very green Hawaii was and the beauty of nature even when it was a bit cloudy that day.
Like many, I agree that in New York, the opportunities are aplenty and exciting. Everything is pretty much fast paced and competitive business, whilst in Hawaii, it has a more relaxed and lazy comfortable feel to it. New York provides chances to expand and meet lots of new people whereas Hawaii is more of a family member’s backyard if you know what I mean.
All in all, if you have never left your hometown, I encourage you to go traveling or live in another state for at least a while to experience different cultures. While it might not be as extravagant as traveling the world, you still learn about yourself and people around you. Wouldn’t you agree?
Comment below with somewhere you’d like to live and why! Ever gone on a trip far from home? Share your “culture shock” if any!