When I first joined the Army and left home, I certainly missed Lou, family, friends, etc.. I also would go into periods of missing home life, the simplicity and coziness of it, all the things about Guam that I couldn’t quantify to others around me.
I used to tell myself that I was going to do one enlistment and then get out and go home, where I belong.
Well, a marriage and a daughter later, my ETS date came and went and I was still in uniform and away from home. That was a conscious decision of course, and the best possible one as it turns out. But to this day I hang onto abstract reasons to want to go home one day.
People familiar with Guam (but not from the island) would ask me what it is about Guam that makes me want to chance giving up all the good things I have in life to go home… cost of living is as high if not higher than Hawaii; facilities and government services are substandard in comparison to almost anywhere in the U.S.; the corruption of government that affects those not on the current administrations gravy train; many everyday resources and merchandise here and on the mainland are not readily available; typhoons! The list can go on, yes.
How do I reason with those disadvantages? Are there logical and practical advantages that outweigh the down side? No. none that I can think of anyway. The thing is, people not from the islands (and I say the islands because i know a lot of Hawaii, Samoa, etc. expats who live elsewhere have the same abstract emotional ties to their home islands) don’t have the capacity to understand. It is too ‘sterile’ and unemotional to say it’s because of the food, the culture, the surroundings, the laid back island life, family, being able to identify.
I still tell people I want to go home and will one day (tongue in cheek). Realistically, that may never happen. I’m too deep rooted in Hawaii. My kids will never move to Guam because they didn’t grow up there. and I can’t imagine being too far from my kids. I can’t desert the base location they call home. But… still… I can dream, can’t I?
The Krush – Wailua Sky
For the uninitiated, no the song is Hawaiian origin, not Guam. But it reminds me of my longing for home in the same way the lyrics portray the singer (The Krush, circa 1980) missing is Waialua childhood home.