HapaChild at Heart

Thomas S.

Original Hometown: Honolulu, HI

Current Location: Santa Barbara, CA

Places lived in the last 5 years: Newport Beach, CA and Provo, UT

Why Hawaii?

My parents moved to Hawaii in 1974 from Australia, father is from New York, mother is from Singapore. My older brother was born during the great earthquake in 1975 in Hilo. I was born much later on Oahu. Hawaii is the only place where I feel socially accepted. Everywhere else in the world, being mixed ethnically or “hapa” is looked down upon, you’re seen as dirty or foreign - not a pure bred person. However, Hawaii’s community is so strong as a collective because of this historically cultural mix. Strong Eastern ties mean a respect for elders and a timelessly ordered way of life; Newer Western trends mean a smarter Hawaii, streamlining the classic idea of paradise. Whatever your background, you’ll find a home and a friend in Hawaii.

Why not?

From a young age I was instilled with a growing desire to explore the world, see new things, and gain experience that I could not have been able to while living in Hawaii. My ignorance gave me the impetus to leave Hawaii and begin a global journey into professional tennis. I’ve learned a lot about hard work, diligence, passion, determination, and patience in my work. Could I have learned about these principles to the same degree while living and training in Hawaii? Nobody can ever know for sure, but everything logical in my life and my gut tells me: “no”. Life is too easy on the island, it’s too comfortable, people are too nice, there’s no such thing as a “Rocky Balboa” from Hawaii. The trials and strains of living abroad and constantly traveling through unfamiliar territories are priceless. Until I have enough experience to gain recognition, respect, and titles for my craft, I cannot return home. It would be like a journeyman giving up everything (family, home, friends) to leave paradise in search of treasure, only to come back empty handed.

What’s next?

I’m still driven to become a professional athlete, and I know my adventures along the way will dictate my travels and professional life for the next 20 years. I can only hope to make homecoming trips part of my routine. The only way I’d even consider moving back right now is if by strokes of supreme luck I can find a permanent stay in Hawaii that gives me the same demands, pressure, and difficulty of my current occupations.

Thoughts and Observations

Hawaii is the only place where I don’t need to know street names to get around, by geographic layout, building shapes/designs, and recognizable images I know exactly where I am. The most humble, kind, cool, fun, thoughtful, and attractive women are found in Hawaii - Trust me, I’ve visited a lot of cities/places around the world. An unbelievable mix of east/west/polynesian food make it a prime feeding ground for beasts of all nature too, furthering the allure for those who  wonder if Hawaii can satisfy all appetites.

Follow Thomas and his travels on the tennis website 10sballs.com.

HapaChild at Heart

Thomas S.

Original Hometown: Honolulu, HI

Current Location: Santa Barbara, CA

Places lived in the last 5 years: Newport Beach, CA and Provo, UT

Why Hawaii?

My parents moved to Hawaii in 1974 from Australia, father is from New York, mother is from Singapore. My older brother was born during the great earthquake in 1975 in Hilo. I was born much later on Oahu. Hawaii is the only place where I feel socially accepted. Everywhere else in the world, being mixed ethnically or “hapa” is looked down upon, you’re seen as dirty or foreign - not a pure bred person. However, Hawaii’s community is so strong as a collective because of this historically cultural mix. Strong Eastern ties mean a respect for elders and a timelessly ordered way of life; Newer Western trends mean a smarter Hawaii, streamlining the classic idea of paradise. Whatever your background, you’ll find a home and a friend in Hawaii.

Why not?

From a young age I was instilled with a growing desire to explore the world, see new things, and gain experience that I could not have been able to while living in Hawaii. My ignorance gave me the impetus to leave Hawaii and begin a global journey into professional tennis. I’ve learned a lot about hard work, diligence, passion, determination, and patience in my work. Could I have learned about these principles to the same degree while living and training in Hawaii? Nobody can ever know for sure, but everything logical in my life and my gut tells me: “no”. Life is too easy on the island, it’s too comfortable, people are too nice, there’s no such thing as a “Rocky Balboa” from Hawaii. The trials and strains of living abroad and constantly traveling through unfamiliar territories are priceless. Until I have enough experience to gain recognition, respect, and titles for my craft, I cannot return home. It would be like a journeyman giving up everything (family, home, friends) to leave paradise in search of treasure, only to come back empty handed.

What’s next?

I’m still driven to become a professional athlete, and I know my adventures along the way will dictate my travels and professional life for the next 20 years. I can only hope to make homecoming trips part of my routine. The only way I’d even consider moving back right now is if by strokes of supreme luck I can find a permanent stay in Hawaii that gives me the same demands, pressure, and difficulty of my current occupations.

Thoughts and Observations

Hawaii is the only place where I don’t need to know street names to get around, by geographic layout, building shapes/designs, and recognizable images I know exactly where I am. The most humble, kind, cool, fun, thoughtful, and attractive women are found in Hawaii - Trust me, I’ve visited a lot of cities/places around the world. An unbelievable mix of east/west/polynesian food make it a prime feeding ground for beasts of all nature too, furthering the allure for those who  wonder if Hawaii can satisfy all appetites.

Follow Thomas and his travels on the tennis website 10sballs.com.

Notes:

  1. Thomas Shubert submitted this to why-hawaii

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Whether you stayed, left for good, returned, moved for the first time, thinking of moving, or simply visited, this is a place to share your story. We’re exploring people’s strategies for coming and going and would like to hear from you. Did you move to Hawaii for a better job? Or decide to live elsewhere to pursue a better opportunity? Perhaps you hope you will move to Hawaii in the end? Tell us about it and whether you are satisfied with your decision so far. Your story will help us illuminate the myriad ways that we can make Hawaii a place for all to thrive. Submit your answer

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