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Hawaiian family talks leaving home in search of lower cost of living

The Loando family
Courtesy Stacia Loando
The Loando family

For Asian American Native Hawaiian Pacific Islander Heritage Month, The Conversation is exploring the issue of belonging. We've talked to two people who moved to Hawaiʻi and found belonging. But what about when Hawaiians leave Hawaiʻi?

The Conversation talked to Native Hawaiian Stacia Loando, whose first trip to the continent was a big move to Murfreesboro, Tennessee.

"I do miss home. That's where I was born and raised. But it was time for me to just pack up and leave and find a better opportunity up here," she said.

Loando, her husband, her two kids and her father have been there for a little over a year.

The former Kalihi resident said she has experienced name-calling and derogatory comments but stays strong and determined to pass on the aloha spirit.

"From generation to generation, I was always taught that no matter who's mean to you, or who was racist or discriminating against you, to always try to love and show them kindness and not worry about their negativity or their hate crimes against you," she told HPR.

Loando said the move has been positive overall for the whole family and her kids are loving their new schools.

This interview aired on The Conversation on May 25, 2023. The Conversation airs weekdays at 11 a.m. on HPR-1.

Stephanie Han is a producer for The Conversation. Contact her at shan@hawaiipublicradio.org.
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