I left Tokyo the other night to come to Hawaii. I have noticed quite a few differences since I arrived this morning.
First of all, the weather is nice and warm, unlike very cold and harsh days in Tokyo last week. Though it is breezy in Hawaii and you need sweater or some type of jacket at night (people from here are in T shirts!), the mild weather warms you up, I feel.
The state of Hawaii has suffered from poor economy and many people have two jobs to support themselves, the atmosphere is upbeat and positive, it seems. People are very friendly, and I feel even more so than last year.
Because it was a long weekend (Presidents’ Day), many families are around and they enjoy good times. Disney Resort which opened a few months ago nearby seems to have attracted so many people. (They were taping the live TV show, and there was a LONG line of people waiting to get in.)
The pace is much slower and you can almost feel difference in the air. People say something funny and we laugh, too. Immigration officer at the airport wanted to know where I live etc. and we ended up talking about jogging in Tokyo! The air, people and the pace seems to be more relaxed than in Tokyo.
Naturally I feel more relaxed as I have no deadline coming every day and my days are not filled with meetings. The fact that I am a visitor (i.e. not from here) makes me feel freer and more relaxed, too.
Getting away from it all helps, if you can.