I didn’t realize this then, but growing up in a Filipino household set up for a smooth transition to a Hawaiian lifestyle. While not exactly the same cultures, there were some pretty close similarities. I knew and loved Spam, I knew to take my shoes off at the door, and I knew that if I didn’t know the name of the woman who just hugged me I could probably get away with calling her auntie. Coming to Hawaii and transitioning into the island life wasn’t all that difficult for me.
As I travel more and more, my love and desire to expand my worldview grows. I enjoy immersing myself in other cultures and opening myself up to new things. I make myself say yes before I say no. I try to understand other perspectives before jumping to conclusions. I can thank my wanderlust for creating in me a passion of learning cultures.
So visiting the Polynesian Cultural Center in the heat and walking around in the blazing sun was still like a field trip to me. I was fortunate enough to have gone last summer, so it made me even more excited to go again this summer. I loved learning the differences between the different island cultures like Tahiti or Fiji or Samoa. I was intrigued to hear about the unique characteristics each nation had. I was excited to see the different dances like hula and Tahitian and Polynesian dancing. So even though sweat dripped down me like a waterfall, I knew I was adding to my worldview. Because of that trip I have a greater appreciation for the special qualities each culture has.