This was my first travel assignment as a Respiratory Therapist. I'm not sure how much you know about how it works, but I had the choice to find my own housing while I was in Hawaii or I could live where the company set me up. I opted for my company to find me a place. I was unfamiliar with Honolulu and I had no idea where to start to find myself a place. "What if I didn't like it?" "What if I felt unsafe?" "Would I be stuck in a lease?" These were just a few of the questions I asked myself. I was placed on the first floor of a walk up apartment in Waikiki. Now Waikiki I would not say is altogether dangerous but being a female by myself it was not the best option to be on the first floor. My coworkers spoke to my boss who decided to have me moved to a high rise (and there were plenty in Waikiki). The best part of living in Waikiki was that it had everything! I could walk to any shopping or food location I needed. The bus line went right through the city and the beach was right across the street. They picked the perfect area for a new traveler to have everything but really the best thing that Waikiki had to offer was the scenery.
Those sunsets were not a hard view to live with. People were very friendly on the island and even though I was making friends, lots of people at work were busy with their families for the holidays. I arrived right before Thanksgiving and everyone was getting in much needed time at home. So while all the Hawaiian residents were enjoying the holidays with loved ones, I was enjoying the benefits of Waikiki. Having to move my apartment to a new location across from the Hilton Hawaiian ended up letting me have some extra enjoyment in my surroundings because every Friday night they set off fireworks. I could walk across the street and get to see a fun little firecracker show right next to the lagoon... just crossing two crosswalks and I was there.
Being in Hawaii for the holidays was a completely new experience for me. I did not mind if I had to work all the holidays because I did not really have any friends yet and my family was so far away. Thanksgiving was the only holiday I got off, so I woke up and saw the sunrise and then went to watch football! It was a very fun day where I met some friends that were in the Navy that I ended up hanging out with a lot while I was in Hawaii. After Thanksgiving passed, Christmas was in full effect. The weather in Hawaii is pretty much always perfect and in the 80s during the daytime. This made Christmas have a slightly different feel to it because there was no chill in the air and no possibility of snow.
There is one area of Honolulu that is especially decorated and a parade takes place down that road. My friends mom took me to the parade and it was strange and exciting to see palm trees and Christmas decorations that consisted of fish on trees. They even had a Christmas tree decorating contest in one of the buildings.
My mother found enjoyment in wishing me a Mele Kalikimaka often, which means Merry Christmas. It wasn't the most fun being away from my family during all the holidays but I knew there were worse places I could spend the holidays. Soon the holidays would fly by and it would be time for my friends from back home to visit and I would soon make friends that would show me around the island.
The amount of activities one could enjoy were endless it seemed and the beauty was already breathtaking. I had not even started to explore much of the island yet but to walk out everyday and see this kind of view, well it made my day....my week...my year.
There's a reason why Hawaii is so photographed and I was starting to understand why people never leave this island. I was ready to start getting out and seeing what else was on this island. The bus system is actually a very good one and it will take you all over the island. The time it takes to get you there of course is going to be a bit longer than if you had a car but eventually you make friends and they are able to take you to new parts of the island. I was itching to explore....