Something I haven’t really shared too much about is my childhood. Most of you may not know this but I was born in California, lived in Israel for the first few years of my life, came back to California when I was about 8, then moved to Maui shortly after. I returned to California the summer before high school started, which is coming up on 16 years ago (eeek!). My family was always big on travel and for the first 7 years of my life I was an only child so moving was not a big deal for my family. However, even with my 2 younger sisters in the picture we still always managed to take trips that I still remember today (Turkey, Egypt, Tel Aviv, Holland, Hungary, to name a few). I attribute my wanderlust to my parents who just couldn’t sit still.
Moving to Maui at my age (5th grade) was rather traumatizing. I was the “new girl” in school, and the new girl was haole (Google it), loved to dress like Cher from Clueless (everyone wore flip flops to school), and the 2 beauty marks under my eye, which adults had always complimented me, were teased and called “centipede eye.” Coming from California I had no clue what a centipede even was, so the name didn’t make sense to me. I later learned that a centipede stings and leaves 2 little bites, much like my little freckles that are still there today.
I was pretty miserable, to say the least. Then came middle school. I lasted one year in public school before my first first fight (for dressing the way I did) before my parents put me in a private all-girls school. I made some of the greatest friends that I still love and call my friends today at my new school. Things were looking up. Living on Maui, outside of my school life, was as amazing as it sounds. The beach is your after school and weekend activity. Hiking is your exercise. Animals like chickens, horses, dogs, and cats are just your average house pets. Living on Maui was a lifestyle I truly enjoyed.
Of course once I finally acclimated to the culture and lifestyle we were headed back to Cali. Majority of my family is here and I was starting high school so my parents felt it was best to head “home.” While I always felt like California is home, it was a culture shock to be back after living this slow, down to earth lifestyle. The people I surrounded myself with on Maui weren’t superficial or materialistic. It didn’t matter what car you drove, what designer you wore, how much money you had. Some of the wealthiest people I knew lived in the most modest homes and as an adult (now) I can recognize that and admire it. I hope to one day move back to Maui once I start my own family, as I truly believe the values taught at home have a better chance of sticking out there. Just my personal opinion.
Coming back to Cali from Maui was major. I started high school in the Valley and knew no one. I later discovered I did actually know a handful of people from pre-school but they all had their own group since they grew up here. I was a complete outcast. Making friends all over again was tough. There are hundreds of people (my graduating class was something like 800 kids) and yet I was totally lost. It took a while but I eventually found my group. My best friend from high school is still my best friend today. Anytime I look back I want to shake (or slap) myself. I was so intimidated by it all. I guess living on an island can do that to you.
Each time I visit Maui I am more convinced that I want to spend the rest of my life there. It just fits. And I’m pretty sure that going back will be a lot different than my initial move there. I’ve learned who I am as a person and I own it. With confidence. I do care what people think about me, but I don’t let it change who I am. I look forward to the day I write my blog post about moving back to Maui a second time. But until then, Cali is where I am calling home.
I’m wearing: Dress c/o VICI // Dune London shoes