We’re Not Freezing! Photo Essay from the Big Island That Will Make You Want to Move

Photo Essay from the Big Island

People on the Lost Coast were posting photos of the snow and rain on Facebook. I got cold just looking at ’em. The thought of going back right now with our one little propane heater, the un-insulated yurt, outhouse (in pouring rain, it’s beyond my sense of adventure), and well, the 700 round feet of being contained during bad weather in the yurt itself doesn’t fill me with as much unabashed glee as say, this does:

Lovely, warm water.

Soft sand.

Sun.

Happy, device-free children.

I get so sick of devices; they drive me crazy and yet I don’t know what to do without them when we have sucktastic weather at home.

I love the kids just playing in the water.

I’ve gotta say: I don’t think there is anything besides the ocean/swimming/the beach in which EVERYONE in my family is happy and content just hanging out, being together, not whining or complaining or wanting to do something else.

You know?

I love the crisp, cold air of the Lost Coast (in any season except summer) and I love the humidity that I was raised in, growing up in Fiji, Hawaii, Japan and to a lesser extent, Taiwan. I love moist, hot air. I know, I know, that probably makes me a freak, but I really do.

My skin always feels better, my hair definitely looks better. And somehow I always feel this sense of excitement with humidity, like something awesome is about to happen.

like some shave ice!

living the good life.

My mom has rented a place in Waimea, and let us crash her pad. We’re so grateful!

For those of you who aren’t familiar with the Big Island, Waimea is the colder part. It’s super green and lush, with cows, horses, cowboys and ranches.

From this playground in Waimea, we could see snow on the tips of Mauna Loa in the back. It’s the quintessential Big Island ad – ‘the island where you can go skiing and surfing in the same day!

Mikey couldn’t get over the enormous changes in the weather on the island, within just 20 minutes or so of driving.

I found myself getting all proud of my island, in that way that you get proud of the cool features of anywhere you’ve lived before. ‘Yeah, the Big Island has everything except tundra!

I appreciate this place now in a way that I never did when I was a teenager, coming here from Fiji.

I hated it. I loathed it. I was pissed off about living in Hawaii and I couldn’t wait to leave.

Oh yeah. I mean, it’s sort of understandable. I had friends in Fiji, I went to a really good school. My brother Dana and I had a great little business baking pumpkin bread and we made money, had autonomy to do things and bikes to get around (as well as a great bus system in Suva). In Fiji, I was still white (definitely a minority), but I had been there so long, it wasn’t a big deal.

In Hawaii, I was also a minority, WHITE and it was huge. Groups of kids felt segregated by race in school.

Dana and I couldn’t make money the way we did in Fiji (until Dana turned 15, the legal age to work, and he got a regular job for himself and also a newspaper job, which he gave to me – I did the work, but in his name, and he gave me the money).

Everything was way too far away to bike everywhere (it seemed), it seemed like everyone was at the mall (ugh) and there wasn’t a public transportation system.

I HATED IT.

But now… I’m 43. Things in my life have changed.

I look at things differently and appreciate things that didn’t matter so much to me before. Like beaches.

Big Island Photo Essay

and great weather in early March!

Heck, it’s great weather here most of the time.

I appreciate being able to spend time with my mom

And watch Micah drink in tropical gorgeousness and have fun with photos

I’m a mom now. It’s different. I’m a wife and a daughter. I’ll always also be a sister, to my brother who has moved on.

My world is different than it was when I was a teenager, and in that, Hawaii is a wonderful place to be.

Meriah
Meriah Nichols is teacher and artist who lives in a yurt off the grid. She is deaf, has 3 kids (one with Down syndrome) and a lot of chickens. She writes about travel, disability, and getting dishes done. She likes her tea Earl Grey and hot.
Meriah

@meriahnichols

#deaf mom, teacher & #disability activist, living in a yurt #offthegrid. 3 kids (1 with #downsyndrome), a camera and a lot of chickens. Never a dull moment
A comprehensive collection of resources for new parents of children with Down syndrome - https://t.co/WfzGfpmWm6 - 2 hours ago
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