Making the Move

There's a story behind everyone who lives in the Islands.


When I meet people who have recently moved to the Islands, I often ask them what brought them here. Maybe this is rude of me, but I can't help it. I'm fascinated by the circumstances that lead people here, to some of the smallest, most remote outposts of land on the planet. Fascinated because, for me, like anyone born here, living in Hawai'i wasn't originally a choice I had to make–the Islands were simply home.

But go back a generation or two, or more, in every local family and you find someone who did make that choice, who made some special effort to get here, for some reason or another. These are the people who amaze me, their decisions to come here strikes me as radical. For most of Hawai'i's history, moving here has meant leaving some other home far behind. It was often a one-way trip.

So I was intrigued by "Those Who Came Before," found here, from our associate editor Ronna Bolante. This month, Hawai'i celebrates the 100th anniversary of Filipino migration to the Islands. Bolante's own family history here dates back nearly as far and mirrors the century-long pattern of immigration from the Philippines, in which new people continue to move here steadily.

A 1931 photo of a seed cutter at Hawaiian Sugar Co. in Makaweli, Kaua'i, where Bolante's great-grandfather worked in the 1920s. See story, here.
photos: H.W. Waltz Jr./courtesy of Gay & Robinson Tours LLC

We have a second family history story in this issue, "The Right Thing," found here, by freelancer James Dannenberg. This one isn't so much a coming-to-Hawai'i story. Instead, it reminds us that people come to the Islands from all around the world, not just Asia and the Pacific. Some have fairly recent European roots, which, in Dannenberg's case, means a family history that still reverberates from the darkest events of the 20th century. Dannenberg comes to terms with how his American Jewish relatives ignored repeated calls for help from his German relatives, with tragic results.

A little more than half our subscribers are married at the moment. That means the other half, theoretically, are available. But hopefully, all of you will find something to enjoy out of our cover story on the single life. It's often fun to see how the other half lives. As we learned from our interview subjects, being single in this town has its own unique quirks–we'll help you figure them out.

Stories about singles are often exclusively stories about people in their 20s. But, of course, people of all ages are single. Here we take a look at the dating scene across different ages, and offer up some resources for people looking to make a connection. The package also includes a fun dating diary from freelancer Brandon Lee, who has tried both online dating and local matchmaking services.

The flirting begins here.

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Honolulu Magazine June 2019
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