Beach

Mahalo Hawaii – Best year of our lives

Ever since five months ago when we left beautiful Hawaii, I have had a deal with Marcus that he would write a guest blog post tributing our stay there. Well, as time goes by and other things come up some things tend to be forgotten. Among which this blog post. So it is my pleasure to finally pass the laptop over to my beloved husband. Marcus – everyone. Everyone — Marcus!

As you read this I would like to take the opportunity to say thank you – not for reading this specific blog post, but for being so kind and encouraging to my wife who truly is a great writer and who finds so much joy in your kind comments and interest in her blog. This post won’t quite be as sophisticated, funny or well written as those you are used to by my beautiful better half – but I’ll give it a try.

When Rebecca and I were engaged we decided that it would be a good idea to move abroad and finish my undergraduate studies. I especially liked that idea as I had spent most of my life in Stockholm and felt that a move would be a fresh start and would increase my motivation to focus more on school. We both felt that studying at one of the BYU schools would be great, and it did not take long for us to decide that Brigham Young University Hawaii was the place where we wanted to go.

In the end of August 2013 we left Sweden and arrived in the beautiful Hawaiian islands. Some friends picked us up at the airport in Honolulu at about 5 in the morning and I remember how my mind was blown as we saw the most beautiful sunrise of our lives when we drove up the windward coast on Kamehameha Highway. You could say it was love at first sight, and despite the fact that we only spent a school year there Hawaii has a very special place in our hearts and definitely feels like a home away from home.

I could probably write a book about Hawaii, but I am going to try to keep this fairly brief and just tell you why we miss it.

1. The BYU Hawaii campus is amazing

In Hawaii I woke up every morning thinking about how blessed we were to live in such a beautiful place. Even just walking on campus is a treat. I’ve had some of my favorite conversations with Rebecca as we’ve walked home from a late night in the library as the starry pacific sky inspires to deep and meaningful thoughts. I wish everyone could experience a night on the North Shore of Hawaii.

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IMG_2176The flag circle at BYU Hawaii campus
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The new building for the Business School and Entrepreneurship Center 

2. We will never have better neighbors 

Our first semester we lived in a little house just off of Hukilau Beach, but after New Year we moved into Temple View Apartments (TVA) as the apartment complex for married students is called. Living in TVA means that all your neighbors are also young married couples. I don’t think we will ever live in such a safe and friendly neighborhood ever again.

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A Sunday afternoon BBQ with our TVA neigbors

3. Acai-bowls are the best thing ever

Acai bowls originally come from Brazil, but the strong connection to the surf culture has made them extremely popular in Hawaii. They basically consist of a layer of mixed frozen acai berries, granola, and topped with fresh fruits of your choice. Simply delicious!

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Acai bowls at our favorite place in Haleiwa

4. Laie is the most beautiful little community you’ll ever visit

Laie really is a tiny little town but when you have a grocery store, a burger joint, and the most rad little movie theatre you’ll ever see why would you need more? One of our favorite things in Hawaii was that we learned how to enjoy a very simple lifestyle. If we ever had aspirations for fancy things we definitely learned that you don’t need stuff to be happy. I guess that’s what wearing flip-flops seven days a week does to you…

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Hukilau Beach in Laie

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 Laie Temple seen from Hale Laa Boulevard

 5. BYU Hawaii has professors that truly care

When I went to high school I didn’t really care about the academics, I was more interested in sports and preferred to spend my time playing soccer. At BYU Hawaii we met professors that truly changed our lives. Rebecca and I met weekly with a professor whom we now consider a good friend who guided and mentored us in our endeavors in learning more about internet marketing, social media, blogging and anything internet related.
Another professor helped me realize that I could achieve things I did not think I could, and taught me more about strategy, case-studies and management than anyone else. He essentially opened my eyes to a world I thought I was not good enough to succeed in. Professors like these two inspire you to work hard in school, inspire you to get good grades and not just care about sports like I used to.

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6. The Laie temple grounds are simply stunning

Just go there and see for yourself. No pictures or words can do it justice.

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7. The wildlife is rad

How many other places let’s you surf and swim among sea turtles and dolphins?

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8. Kahuku Grill and Seven Brothers make the best food

You would think you’d get bored with the food when you really only have these two places that make good quality food in town, but oh no. We still dream of the Coconut Macadamia Nut Shrimp from Kahuku Grill and the burgers and fries from Seven Brothers.

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9. The beaches are beyond amazing

Whether you wanna surf, snorkel or just take a casual swim, Hawaii is the place to be.

In conclusion, Hawaii will always be our home away from home. It is the place where we spent the first year of our marriage and where we set most of our family goals. It really is a pearl in the pacific, but the beauty of the island is just a tiny part of why we miss and love the place so much. The Aloha spirit of the people is something I hope we can keep in our family for the rest of our lives. The dreams and goals we set, and the friendships and memories we made will truly live forever.

Mahalo, Hawaii.

The rest of the Holidays in pictures

driving_on_oahu-(25).jpgYHWe’ve already had our rental car for two weeks. It’s gone so fast – we got a little too used to being able to transport ourselves too fast. But we’ve had an amazing time. The driving has been amazing in itself! I love driving so much! Though I have to admit driving automatic is just not the same as driving stick. I feel like I’m the only person in the world who can possibly think that driving automatic is harder. I black out every time I have to shift the gears – is that what you say in an automatic? And I can’t wrap my head around driving with just one foot. Why make it so simple when it could be nice and complicated, right? (more…)

Mele Kalikimaka, our Christmas in Hawaii

melekalikimakaThat was Christmas! That went by fast. Once again. So, I figured I would write a quick picture-post to recap what has been going on with us this Christmas, but according to Marcus I have already spent way too long just going through the pictures. So let me just tell you about these last fooour days? yes, four days… through the pictures from our phones :) (more…)

Stolen 30 minutes

photo 1 (6).jpgYHHow on earth we could have gone all of about 6 weeks without going to the beach properly, I do not know. And by properly I mean actually wearing swim suits and getting in the water or at least lying down and enjoying the sun. So I am not counting our “beach walks to the store” or the couple of times I’ve sneaked a run down to the sand on my way home from campus. (more…)

That good day

photo 3 (5).jpgYHYes, had a pretty good day today!

We’ve had a few rough moments this week. One of them being Sweden’s kick out of the soccer World Cup. One of us was very sad about that. The other one of us cooked dinner and gave massages.

But bad days just make good days even better.

Today our day began at 11 when the finale of the Great Ideas Competition on campus took place. Marcus competed yesterday by presenting his great idea for a business to judges and last night we got an email that he had been selected for the finale. And what a marvelous job my man did today. So marvelous that he came in first place! A prouder wife was never before seen.

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Thank goodness for good friends!

Coming to Hawaii was something else. We were dropped off at our new apartment at 6 in the morning. New to the village. New to the island. New to the Pacific even. Far far away from anything familiar. Having travelled from the opposite side of the world we didn’t exactly feel at home at first. So what do you do when you can’t go back home? You bring a bit of home over for a week. (more…)

Toe curlers – by a newbie Hawaiian

Something we heard a lot from people when we announced that we were moving to Hawaii was, “Hahaha! You are gonna die of island fever before you last 8 months!”. We shook our heads and smiled. We didn’t think being far away from any sort of mainland would affect us. How bad could it be living within walking distance of the beach with beautiful summer weather all year round?

Well we haven’t experienced island fever yet (ask me what I think in 6 months though) but rather I’ll admit to having been hit by culture shock. Coming from Scandinavia there are just certain things you’re not used to having to worry about. Here are my main toe curlers as a newbie Hawaiian. (more…)