I have lived at two places in Waikiki. When I was five my family moved from the Palolo Valley Housing Project to a building behind the convenience store Food Pantry on Walina Street. When I was in the eighth grade we moved to the 12th floor of a 14-story condominium on Keoniana Street. This condo is located across the street from Local Motion, where MTV's Real World Hawai’i was filmed. I had no idea that was happening until after the season ended.

My parents own a business at the International Marketplace, an area in Waikiki where stores and kiosks sell Hawai'i-themed merchandise to tourists.  They had a kiosk and sold a variety of items including jewelry, Austrian crystals, tote bags, and tourist goods like key chains and magnets. Like most of the people who worked there, my parents are immigrants with few job opportunities due to their limited English speaking ability.