How I Found Love In Hawaii

It was like every girl’s dream. It was better than every fantasy I ever imagined. Nighttime had fallen and the beautiful lights of the city reflected against the ocean waves that gently rolled onto the shore. With the moon high in the sky, Hawaii’s nightlife awakened. Beautiful music and the sounds of good conversations and laughter filled the city. We walked to the beach and waded into the cold water together. We chuckled as my teeth chattered uncontrollably and wondered why the hell we chose to go swimming at night with the sun no longer heating the water. He pulled me into his arms to help each other warm up. The closeness made my heart beat faster. He was tall, military haircut, and tattoos scattered across his body; and of course, handsome as hell. As the waves crashed upon us, we laughed even harder as I proceeded to accidentally swallow some of the salt water. I could feel him pull me even closer and I was now looking into his stunning blue eyes and I felt myself melting from his smile. I was thankful he was holding me close because I could feel my knees become weak. I tried to comprehend how this attractive man could want anything to do with me and yet here we were in the ocean, holding each other close, and engulfed in the moment. It wasn't before long that it seemed as if the universe had hit pause for us; it was just him and I as he gently pressed his lips against mine for the sweetest kiss I’ve ever had in my life. It was the kind of kiss you’d find in movies and fairytales and so here I am writing the ongoing tale of how I found love in Hawaii.

So, let me go back to the beginning. It all started after finding out my parents were taking me along on vacation to Hawaii. Our original plan to make the most of our time there was to split the week in half, so we spent about 4 days on Oahu and the remaining on Kauai. So, after the painful 8-hour long flight, we finally arrived in paradise and paradise indeed it was. I had never seen such a beautiful place before as this was my first time out of the states (excluding Canada). It was such an exciting experience to be able to smell and taste the salty ocean, try the wonderful tropical foods, and of course, see all the cute surfer guys. Now, let me make myself clear here, I was on a fun vacation with my parents, I wasn't just out looking for my Prince Charming by any means especially since I would only be in Hawaii such a short time. To make the trip more exciting than it already was and since I already had Tinder downloaded before I arrived, I decided to see who was in the area. I'm sure you can guess where this is going. It wasn't even a couple hours before I had matched with multiple guys. I knew my parents wouldn't let me just freely go and meet all these boys, so I just stuck to chatting with them and that was it. That was until I matched with one guy in particular. Now, there wasn't really anything super outstanding about him- don’t get me wrong, I thought he was attractive as all get out and he was in the Marines which was a double bonus. But, I just couldn't put my finger on it. We exchanged numbers and social media and I thought that would be about all until one night when he asked if I wanted to hang out. Knowing my over-protective parents, I knew they wouldn't let me just go out in Honolulu with a guy I’ve never met before from Tinder. Are you kidding? To add to it, I’ve never snuck out before. This night I had made an exception. C’mon, I was in Hawaii. This was probably going to be a once in a lifetime opportunity and so I accepted his offer.

He met me at my hotel I was staying at in Waikiki, which was literally across the street from the beach. That would only be the beginning of our story. After our fun little adventure swimming, we hurried off to his truck. He said he wanted to show me something, and yes, that does sound a bit sketchy. However, I was enjoying our time together and knew it wouldn't last long. My thoughts were racing around the idea that if I die, at least I died in Hawaii. (Now do not take my advice, be safe out there.) We got in his pickup, bringing basically a whole beach with us from our late-night swim. We finally arrived at an overlook that showed off the whole city. The twinkling lights left me breathless. I was lost in his eyes, his personality, and the moment. I could feel my heart being tugged with these new feelings and I tried to silence it. We ended the night talking about ourselves and how we were both from small towns back in the states and love the country life. He was from Minnesota and me, Wisconsin. Our connection was growing rapidly and I was praying for the night not to end. Before my parents could start asking where I was, he dropped me back off at the hotel. I turned to walk back to my room forcing myself not to look back knowing I would never see him again. A tear streamed down my cheek. He went from just some guy I met, to some guy I needed more of in my life. The next day my parents decided to drive around the island and make a stop at the Dole Plantation. I knew I had to see him one more time before I left for the next island, but the only way would be for him to meet my parents. I never meant to rush things with him, but he had my full attention. Much to my surprise, he agreed to meet us there. We had a great time despite the nervous tension between all of us. Later my parents agreed to let us go and have our own dinner together alone as if giving me the seal of approval. I had never been in this situation before, and I was hesitant to fall too quickly but his smile kept drawing me in more and more. The more we talked, the more I fell. Without hesitation, he was there to catch me.

Even after I left the island, we kept in close touch. We both couldn't get enough. As if the stars were aligned perfectly, he was set to go on leave and come home three weeks after I came home. Completely unplanned, but it worked perfectly. By now our conversations had grown longer and feelings became more solidified, I agreed to pick him up from the airport and meet his parents. There were no words to describe my excitement of seeing him again. That was when he blew me away and asked me to be his girlfriend. I knew the distance would be challenging, but I was already invested now. My heart knew what it wanted and accepted the consequences anyway as he was too by asking me. I graciously accepted and met his wonderfully loving family. It was hard to say goodbye to him once again as he had to go back to Hawaii. It wouldn't be for another eight months until I would see him again.  Until I had a crazy idea. What if I went back by myself to see him? Yes, you guessed it. I went on the flight back to Hawaii to see him. We had all our plans set and everything ready to go. My stay lasted nearly two months and this time it was with my amazing boyfriend. I had the most amazing time being with him every day, making him meals, kissing him good morning and goodnight, and all our adventures. It was almost surreal being back with the same feelings I felt when I met him and how strong they were now. I loved him and he loved me. I had found my Prince Charming and I was his Cinderella. I never meant to find love, but it found me and that’s exactly how it happens: when you’re least expecting it.

Now, we are going on eight months strong. The distance is still challenging and the 5-hour time difference can get the best of us some days, but we never stop trying. Our love always pulls us back like magnets. He is my heart and soul. Perhaps he will even be my Mr. Forever. I would never have expected my life to happen like this, yet I’m so thankful it has. I always thought I would never be in a long-distance or military relationship, but I’m so grateful that we can be strong even when we aren't together; because that just means when we are finally together, we will be unstoppable.