HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsnow) - "A friend of mine wants to take up paddle boarding so I might go out and try that", Governor Linda Lingle shares.
When you think about it, paddle boarding may fit Lingle's lifestyle. An avid swimmer, she's in the water six or seven times a week.
And she loves movies. Especially foreign films.
"I'm the kind of movie buff I'll go to four or five films in a day", Lingle explains, "especially during the film festival."
On December 6th, the outgoing governor turns over the keys to the state to governor –elect Neil Abercrombie. After 8 years of living at Washington Place, she's ready to move out and move on.
Lingle says with a smile on her face, "I will be living in the Hawaii Kai area. And I've already been moving my things out there. People have been so excited and welcoming to me. I show up at Costco on a Sunday, eat a piece of pizza outside and I shop around a little bit. And it's just been great".
As governor, Lingle pushed for energy conservation and independence from fossil fuels. No surprise she's going green with her automobile.
"I haven't driven over the past 8 years. But I'm going to pick up my car on Sunday", Lingle details. "It's a loaner because, in February, I'll be getting the new Nissan Leaf all-electric vehicle."
Lingle is setting aside 6 months to rest. Then she'll decide if she'll run for the U.S. Senate. After a 24-seven job, she relishes the chance to read.
"I like to read. It's one of the things I look forward to", the governor reveals. "I'm reading a lot on China now because it's an area I'm very interested in. Israel is another place I'm very interested in. I just finished reading not long ago a great book called 'The Startup Nation'."
Lingle could write her own books about her two terms as governor, how she met with 2 presidents and addressed the Republican National Convention during the 2008 elections.
What are those, "Oh, wow!" moments for Governor Lingle?
"Certainly the event that I'll always remember most is flying into Iraq in 2004. It was a secret we couldn't reveal until we got there. Being able to meet with our Hawaii troops there was a highlight for me. These are not soldiers in the sense that it was their life. These are people who we're with every day but for this period of life they've been willing to go and sacrifice for our way of life to be maintained."
When she was elected in 2002, Lingle became Hawaii's first Republican governor in 40 years and the first woman to hold that seat.
"I like to use it to inspire young people, young girls in particular", Lingle mentions. "So I think being the first woman is only important in the extent that you can use it for something positive in the community, rather than something that you list on a resume."
Lingle says being Hawaii's governor has been an honor and a privilege. Being a private citizen will be an adjustment and it's right around the corner.