Living in Hawaii: Vog

Living in Hawaii has its perks, most people would agree. There’s the sand, the surf, the sun (which I don’t hate, but I’m not in love with it either. Don’t be hating!). There are also the rainy moments which creates lovely rainbows, the waterfalls, the lush greenery (now this is more my speed 😉).

As I said. Perks. 

But there are some things that aren’t so pleasant as well. One of those things is the vog.

If you don’t know already, Hawaii has an active volcano. This active volcano is around 296 miles from where I live, but our trade winds tend to carry this vog up the island chain. Vog is sulfur dioxide, emitted by an active volcano, that mixes with other gases and lingers in the air. It makes for gorgeous sunsets. And I mean gorgeous sunsets. Because of all the colors the sulfur makes.

The down side of that is it messes with the air. For some of us, allergies flare. For others it’s wheezing. For me, my allergies flare and I get headaches. When the vog is in town my eyes tend to burn/sting/tear up at random moments and by nightfall I’m taking ibuprofen to ease a headache. 

I say this because not everyone chooses to see some of Hawaii’s drawbacks. I hear comments like “Yeah, but come on. It’s paradise” or “that’s the price you pay” and while I get it–believe me, I do–it doesn’t make pulling over to the side of the road because your eyes are stinging and won’t stop watering any more pleasant to deal with. My headache doesn’t go away simply because I stand in the sun or tell myself “suck it up, that’s the price you pay.” Comments like these are bit insensitive because it makes it sound like we’re being ungrateful when we talk about challenges such as these. That some how my allergies or headaches are less important because “hey, I’ve got the sand and the sea.” And that is not the case. I’m just saying that every place has its sore spots. 

The vog has been lingering over our island for a few days now and it hasn’t been pleasant. It’s the reason I’ve fallen behind in posting. It’s difficult to write while your is pounding away. So, I go to sleep. Sleep helps. Unless you wheeze. Then sometimes even sleep can be unpleasant. I hope this week is a better week. That our trades will return and disappear this vog so things can get back to a relative norm 😊.

So, here’s to a better week. (And can you believe we’re halfway through January?! I mean,weren’t we just celebrating New Years? Sighs.)


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