The 24 Best Things About Growing Up In Hawaii

05/15/2015 10:00 pm ET | Updated Sep 01, 2016

Prepare for nostalgia, hana buttah style.

For those who grow up in Hawaii, it's hard to imagine a childhood anywhere else. Between the merging of cultures, the appreciation for nature, and the aloha spirit, it's a place like no other, and its people reflect that -- especially those who spent their formative years in the islands.

Below, 24 things that will make you feel truly lucky to have grown up in Hawaii.

1. Your parents had you in the ocean before you could walk.
And you quickly learned that it was the most beautiful (and most terrifying) place in the world.

2. And some of your fondest memories took place en route to the beach in the back of a pickup.
Wind in hair, don't even care.

3. You knew more than one person who used a McDonald's tray at Sandy's.
And learned to accept that you'd never be as cool as them.

4. With all that beach time, you cultivated an impressive collection of swimsuits over the years.
And still refuse to get rid of any of them.

5. Playing outside year-round meant you did a lot of life-threatening and life-changing things growing up.
What good is a cliff if you don't jump off it?

6. And going barefoot to school was totally cool.
The more calluses, the better.

7. Speaking of footwear, the words "flip" and "flop" are not in your vocabulary.
It sounds so wrong.

8. But if you did wear slippers, you never forgot to remove them before entering the house.

Risk feeling the wrath of Auntie? No way.

#houserules #slippers #hawaii #hilife #slippahs #aloha

A photo posted by @arakiryan on

9. Your friend group could have been an advertisement for diversity.

10. Actually, you were constantly surrounded by so much culture, it was easy to forget your ethnicity altogether.

11. There were so. many. celebrations. (And so much food.)
Gao on Chinese New Year, chi chi dango on Girl's Day, laulau at your cousin's birthday luau...

12. Which made potlucks next level.
If you had a nickel for every time someone said "take a plate home."

13. And after-school snacks were unreal.
Kakimochi, li hing gummies, hurricane popcorn...not to mention spam.

14. Plus, the manapua man was your homeboy.
Pork hash all day.

15. It never crossed your mind that getting sushi from 7-11 might be considered gross.
It's legit.

16. And you've still never found mangoes that tasted better than the ones from your neighbor's backyard.
Or avocados, or lilikoi...

17. When someone asks "Where'd you go to school?" you know they don't mean college.
And you'd better have school spirit, even 30 years after graduation.

18. When you finally go to the mainland, you have zero sense of direction.
"Excuse me, which way is mauka?"

19. And fielding Hawaii questions when you're there is a full-time job.
" you surf to school?"

20. Sometimes you and your mainland friends don't speak the same language.
The moment when you ask someone if they want to go grind.

21. And they'll mock you mercilessly for your meager understanding of winter.

And all seasons for that matter.

22. But your Hawaii friends, they get it.

23. Because in Hawaii, everything is about ohana.
Not related? Doesn't matter.

24. And no matter where you end up, Hawaii will always call to you.
After all, there's no place like home.

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