For the past 30 years I have always been away travelling to different parts of Asia or Europe during Christmas and New Year holidays. This year for once I decided to stay on American soil for the holidays and Kona, Hawaii is my favorite spot to be for this holiday seasons. I have enjoyed coming to the Big Island and fell in love with being here since summer of 2013. Now my first time spending Christmas and New Year holidays here on the Big Island has been a wonderful experience and because I have been here 5 or 6 times already so I am very familiar with the island as if I am a local because I often mingle with the local folks here. I have been to different parts of Hawaii more than 20 times and the Big Island is definitely my first choice to settling down when I retire. Kona is on the west side of the Big Island and the weather is warmer with less rain compare to Hilo on the east side. It isn’t as touristy as Maui, or Honolulu and not to mention that there is no traffic jam here on the island at all. To me being in Hawaii, I don’t feel like I am in America for the people are so nice where they accept and welcome everyone, the lifestyle here is so slow and relaxing and it seems like everything is in slow motion. At first I wasn’t used to it as most of you know that I am very intense and always in a rush to maximize productivity in the least amount of time. Now vacationing here on the island, I begin to blend in with the slow motion and hopefully it will not affect the way I do things when I get back to the mainland although I often fail. Now thinking very seriously about retiring on the island, I have to relearn the slow motion once I am here and perhaps I will become even a more pleasant person and be more approachable at time.

I have a very nice condo with 2 bedroom 2 baths , a full kitchen, a living room , dining room, and a big lanai overlooking the golf course. Yes, I do feel like home here and I am starting to get a feel about retiring and living here on the island. Christmas spirit here is great with decorations everywhere and filled with happy people and families. This is what holidays season is about. It is time spent with loved ones and surrounded by happy people without dramas or negativity. Of all the travelings I have done over the past 30 years, this is perhaps the most relaxing Christmas ever for I am away from all dramas, gossips, and negativity. I am spending this holidays totally on my own without having to deal with anyone I don’t want to, but to stay positive and peaceful which no money in this world can buy.

Christmas was my favorite holiday ever since I was a child due to the religious influence from Catholic schools for the tales about how the holiday came about were so wonderful. I even sang in a choir during the holidays and some of the songs are still enjoyable to listen to when I travel during the holidays. I see them performed on the Kona strip singing and dancing exhibiting the Hawaiian style cultures which was wonderful to watch. Yes, coming to the Big Island for Christmas and New Year is definitely a good choice I made and I just might come here every Christmas even though it is the highest season for travelings meaning it is more expensive than any other time. But the way I look at it like I did for the past 30 years, life is short, unpredictable and precious, I need to continue to maximize this kind of productivity within my limited time for tomorrow may never come.

Wherever I travel whether it is in Asia, Europe or as far as Africa, I always keep up with the news around the world. This year in Kona is no different. Ever since I came to the island on Dec 14, I read about teens got killed in freak car accidents on Christmas day, 10 year old girl died of a sudden cardiac arrest on the plane, buildings got destroyed by fire, young kid is devastated with contraction of some rare disease, more Church shooting, people got stabbed, helicopter crash in Kauai killing everyone on board and of course natural disasters as always such as typhoons hitting the Phillipines and winter storm caused accidents on the road. Tragedies happen to good and bad people everywhere at anytime with no apparent reasons and there are no reasons for anything happening to events in life. I know many people including some very good friends of mine believe there are reasons for everything that happen. As a scientist, I have looked at all of these events and to the best of our knowledge, there are no reasons but of course we can talk about cause/effects such as icy road condition plus speeding and/or under the influence while driving would have ended up in an accident, fatal at times. But causation are not reasons and that’s where most people don’t seem to understand and they often get those two mixed up as much as people who lack a good understanding of statistics would be confused about correlation vs causation. Whatever reasons they come up with are not testable and therefore nobody will ever see whether or not those are the correct reasons. As I said before that human beings are the most biased living things on this planet as most of us are wishful thinkers and subject to all sorts of biases. We like to come up with reasons so things are no longer mysterious but can be controlled. The fact is that events in life cannot be controlled and going through tragedies and experiencing catastrophic events such as natural disasters are all part of living and no reasoning task can be assigned based upon what you do, what you look like or what you believe. If anything is controlling our lives, it is randomness along with probabilistic nature of the laws of physics ( Quantum Mechanics). The laws of nature have no biases, no judging about us, no rewards or punishments granted to us and definitely no tears shed for us. The fundamental laws of physics are simply just some wave functions ( actually there is only one such function) evolving according to Schrodinger equation and wherever the amplitude is the greatest, the event should occur . There are no reasons to be assigned to the amplitude of the wavefunction. Randomness and probability seem to be dominating but we can certainly be more cautious about driving on the road to avoid accidents, retrofitting the home to minimize the amount of damages from an earthquake or even annual check on electrical system in your home to prevent a fire. But they are not reasons and by doing those above, there is no 100 percent full proof that the disasters or tragic events would not occur. Events in life are simply unpredictable but preventable up to a certain point. Fundamental laws of physics are without reasons, reasons only emerged from human beings trying to come up with some comforting ways to shy away from the unknown, very much like the Big Bang which happened about 14 billions years ago without any planning for automobiles or computer technologies in mind, but they emerged from humans because those are pretty good models to talk about large collections of atoms. All in all, enjoy your life and do whatever that is the most suitable for you to make yourself happy and most importantly, to fulfill your life and make it worthy to live because as far as we know, we only live once. Make the most out of it without speculating all of those fairy tale like reasons to explain why you become a victim of fire, earthquake or some freak car accident. There is a saying; ” Tragedies are tools for humans to gain wisdom”. I am not so sure about getting wiser, but it can certainly make you stronger. The way I look at my life in the past, I was not born a strong person, but it is only the harsh storm I went through relentlessly time after time that made me strong today.

I want to wish all my friends here and abroad a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. Always stay happy and be with positive people for they help contributing happiness within you. Stay healthy, be safe and that’s really the best you can do while the rest isn’t up to you. From Kona, Hawaii.