Week One: Hello, Hawaii… and Hello, Humidity.

I got onto the airplane in Vancouver’s climate-controlled airport, made myself comfortable in my little window seat, and six and a half hours later stepped off the plane in Kona, Hawaii.
All I could think of at that moment, seeing palm trees with my very own eyes for the first time, was that I was glad I didn’t bring a jacket on the plane with me. The air felt like I just stepped into a sauna room. HOT. HUMID. Even at 10:30 pm local time when I arrived.

I started sweating then, and I don’t think I’ve stopped since. Maybe once in my sleep when the temperature dipped down (?) to +20 degrees Celsius.
Today it’s 27 degrees Celsius. For my friends in Canada… Make that ABOVE ZERO. Considering I just came from MINUS 27 degrees Celsius a couple weeks ago, my body doesn’t have any idea what to do with weather like this.
But, thanks to a lovely little thing called “humidity,” it actually feels like +34 degrees Celsius. Whew. That’s pretty close to the hottest day I’ve ever experienced in Canada. In July. But the thing is. it’s January. Weird.
According to a highly reliable internet source (Ahem, HowStuffWorks.com), humans normally feel most comfortable at a relative humidity of about 45%. Well, hello Hawaii and 60+% humidity. No wonder I just want to lay on my bed right under the fan, or take nine cold showers a day.

Another fun fact is that your body produces this thing called sweat in order to keep cool and maintain a comfortable and ideal temperature for your cells to work. The skin relies on the air to get rid of moisture (aka sweat). If the air is too humid (full of water), then the air cannot absorb any more water. Therefore, if the air is too humid, sweat will not evaporate. Making me a pretty good mess these days. It probably doesn’t help that I’ve developed a nasty chest cold, likely thanks to the drastic temperature change and new bugs that my body has no idea how to fight.

Don’t worry, though, I appreciate this weather, especially considering it’s a good -20 degrees Celsius where I’m from right now.
But sometimes, I walk to my room and open the door to the freezer and remember what it feels like to be in Canada in January. And then I look outside and see sunshine and palm trees and close the freezer. I can dream all I want about cooler weather, but I may as well enjoy the heat while it lasts!


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