Fast forward a few years. I never imagined that I would want to leave my island home, but that's what was happening. Ryan and I felt it very strongly: we needed to go. I didn't know why I felt this way and I had no reasons to give my friends in Laie so I just told them cop-out excuses that I myself didn't believe. Things like "we want to be closer to family" even though we haven't lived in the same state as our families since we left O'ahu in 2012. I couldn't explain it, because I myself didn't understand it. In time it became apparent that I was in need of medical care that I could not have gotten on the island, but we didn't know that at the time.
Two weeks ago it all came to a boiling point - I took my kids to see the new Disney film Moana. It was during the credits that I turned to my husband and with tears streaming from my eyes said, "I have to go back." I have no cultural ties to Hawaii, but the islands still have claim on my heart. It's more than just palm trees and sand, I can find that here on the mainland. It's more than that. It's more than green mountains and blue ocean waves. It's a love for a people and a place that are unlike any other.
"Drums of the islands, I hear you calling me and I'll return forever yours."