When friends or family make sacrifices to visit the island, BYUH students agreed the time they spend to be here has a special worth. By planning the trip and the experiences, you can make good use of the time you have together before visitors have to return home.
Balancing between work and school can be difficult to plan for family and friends who decide to visit Hawaii, according to Jose Gomez, a senior from Guatemala studying business marketing. He shared how he planned for his mother and brother who recently visited. Even though the planning can be difficult.
He said the best part of Hawaii is when you experience it with your family and friends. “Plan the trip - being in school and working can be hard because you don’t have as much time as you want to be with them, so the time that you’re with them has to be quality time.
Gomez recommended a few things to do when visitors come. “Make a list of places to go, but also a Plan B, in case of rain or something else. Don’t waste too much money in restaurants... [Remember], it is good to have your family here, have a good time together.”
When Laycee Liston’s father came to visit, she shared how excited she felt, but also the concern she had because she was worried about how she would make time for her family and her studies. “I was worried about how to organize my time," said Liston, a senior from Utah studying general biology. “I talked my father beforehand to discuss my level of involvement in his trip. I just gave him a heads up on how busy I would be once school started. Setting expectations was really important in helping me be able to prioritize my schooling."
Regarding her family, Liston said, “I felt really good to have them, because in one sense, it felt like going back home. It is always good to have family close to you. Our relationship grew because we’ve missed each other, but it also required me to spend some time to pay attention to them.”
Fun places/things to do
A few BYUH students shared that a normal time period for family to stay is about one to two weeks. Students such like Laiken Tomie, a senior from Canada studying accounting, shared how she would love to have them here forever if she could, but a few weeks is a good-time period for them to get a feel of life on the island.
“Having my family visit me is very rewarding,” said Tomie. “Hawaii has become my second home and it is fun to share it with the people who know me best. I have been blessed to have my family visit me in Hawaii a few times. Just do what we want and if weather permits.
“We have enjoyed hiking and swimming at Lanikai Beach and visiting the Mermaid Caves on the West Side. Sunset Beach, Sharks Cove, and Haleiwa are also among our favorite day trips. We never have too detailed of a plan, but my favorite place to take my family is Waimea Bay. Waimea was the best experience because there is something for everyone. People can jump off the rock, play in the waves, hike the valley, or just enjoy sitting on the beach. It works well for my large family where everyone likes to do different things.”
One piece of advice Gomez offered was to take them where you yourself would like to be taken if you were to come visit here on limited time. Gomez shared some ideas. “I took them to the principle places in Hawaii. We went to the beach, snorkeling, and popular hikes. We also went to town and visited Waikiki. We went to Makapuu Lighthouse, Pearl Harbor, PCC, and BYUH campus. My mom loved snorkeling, but my brother loved skydiving.”
Extensive monthly planning is what helped Liston and her father to have the experience they wanted. She shared how she did her best to help him enjoy what he could in the short amount of time he had.
“We planned for like three to six months,” said Liston. She continued and said she knew her father “loves snorkeling, so we went snorkeling a lot. We went to Electric Beach and went snorkeling behind my apartment. We also went to Papa Ole’s Kitchen a few times because it is the best. We went to the Big Island and did all the sites there; the green sand beach, the black sand beach, volcano national park etc. I know that when my friends and family come to visit they also go to another island for a few days, so that is sometimes something you can do with family.”
Until we meet again
Feeling sad when family has to go home is common, and Liston said as much as she loves her family, she was ready to go back to normal life. “The best thing about family coming to visit in Hawaii is usually you get to spend a lot of one-on-one time together that you wouldn’t get if you went home because you would be surrounded by a lot of family and friends. I loved spending one-on-one time with my dad, and I felt I really got to know and love him a lot more.
“It is normal to miss family and friends, and it’s okay to miss them. Immerse [your] selves in life here. The best way to not feel homesick is to be where you are, to be involved in your own life and get to work. My boyfriend lives in Utah right now, and I miss him a lot, but it has gotten a lot better when I became more focused on what I was doing here in Hawaii and my work here.”
Tomie shared a thought, she said, “being away from family is always hard but, I try to remember I should be thankful I have someone to miss. It means I was blessed to have a life with good people who loved me and gave me joy.”
Gomez said, “They understood I have to be here, so it wasn’t as hard as other times we had to separate. I would say to someone who misses someone else, just think of the day when you will be reunited again. A good thing about being here is you know it won’t be forever. At some point it will finish, and you will be able to see your loved ones again."