This is a long overdue post, but I spontaneously went to Oahu for two days during my winter break in January. It was my first time to Hawaii and I would have obviously loved to stay longer, but I could only afford a short two-day trip. I actually had been trying to apply for a job out in Hawaii at an amazing hotel in Waikiki Beach for quite some time, and I finally got a call from HR and received a phone interview. Right after the phone call they said they wanted to meet me in person! I am so thankful for my various side jobs that allowed me to invest in my future to go out for an interview in another state. I don’t know if I will end up working there, but it was a great experience either way.
I stayed in an AirBNB that was about 15 minutes walking distance from the beach. It just so happened that some of my friends from high school were in Waikiki when I was, so I was fortunate enough to hang out with them. We went to the beach the first day and then the second day at night we did a five-hour karaoke session. That was great.
I felt very comfortable walking around by myself even at night. It was so funny because in many places I honestly heard Japanese more than English. I think it would be a great opportunity for me to work in a service industry job in Hawaii in a bilingual role, but we shall see what happens. In general, I found people to be a lot nicer and places a bit cleaner than at home. Speaking of people being nice, I was fortunate enough to spend one afternoon with one of my grandma’s old time friends. She took me out to lunch at the Ala Moana Mall and we also shared a cocktail in one of those outdoor lounge-type restaurants. The weather was truly perfect and because it wasn’t a weekend, it wasn’t so crowded at the mall or at the beach.
My Grandma’s friend made me that yellow lei.
I think the biggest takeaway for me was coming more to terms with my future career. Because I’ve only had professional experience working in a Japanese company in Japan, I have a very limited idea of how companies work and how career progression looks like. For example, most of my co-workers in Japan have worked only that one job in that same company their entire lives. While there is nothing wrong with that, career progression does not quite look like that in the States and things may not be so “stable.” Most people do not get their dream job right out of college, and even if they do, they might end up not liking it. While I had a great interview and will be in touch with that company again soon, I am still leaving room for me to explore other industries and possibly other career paths. Part of me is a little sad that my original vision might not work out, but I know it will all be okay in the end.
Before leaving, I walked to a cafe to get some açaí. Honestly it was the best açaí bowl I had ever had in my life. I do not want to eat the açaí in LA anymore because it is overpriced and doesn’t even compare to the ones in Hawaii.
I flew on Hawaiian Airlines and the service and everything was very great. My only complaint is that they charge for bags and they do not give you a “real meal.” Perhaps they do depending on the flight path, but from California to Hawaii you get a cold boxed meal instead. It wasn’t particularly bad but I would prefer a hot meal. Anyways, a very short and sweet trip to Hawaii during my winter break was awesome and I hope to go again in the near future! 😉