Why not? This is my new slogan. It’s a funny phrase really. If my daughter asks, “Why not?” after I tell her she cannot have candy, she is expressing disappointment (a daily occurrence in my household). But, my use of this phrase acts as a question to myself. A thought-provoking statement, which requires me to truly reflect upon the reasons why I should or shouldn’t do something. So, recently, when my husband and I realized moving to our dream spot just may be do-able, we asked ourselves, “Why Not?”
Why Are You Moving to Hawaii?
April 20, 2002. Scott and I were married on the island of Maui. It was perfect. We were both big dreamers at the time. And we dreamed of living in Hawaii. We vowed to move back as soon as the opportunity arose.
Nearly twelve years and two children later, we were not living in Hawaii. I felt like a stuck tape recorder, replaying itself. Get up at 6:00 am, rush the kids to school, race to work, hurry home, get the kids to bed, escape to our phones or the television, then do it over again. There was little joy in this life and our relationship deteriorated. The divorce papers were ready to sign…then something changed.
After a brief separation, my husband and I both recognized that we were making a huge mistake. We understood that we had lived a “lie.” We were both part of the rat race, just so we could finally “live” when we turned 65. We were dreamers who had lost our dreams. We wanted to live now. We didn’t ever want to find ourselves asking “what if”? So, I shred the divorce papers ($300 well-wasted) and we decided that every day would be a new opportunity to create something beautiful. We were ready to dream big once again. We received counseling. Life got better. Eventually, permission was granted by my husband’s employer for him to work remotely. I purchased four one-way tickets to Kona, Hawaii. We would depart in 3 months. The pendulum had been set into motion.
What Are You Doing with All of Your Stuff?
Selling it! Shipping belongings to Hawaii from the mainland is more costly than just buying new stuff when we arrive. We are taking suitcases and shipping one vehicle (we sold our second vehicle to put the money in savings). Regardless, purging our stuff has helped us realize how unimportant things are, so our goal is to minimalize and have as little as possible. The money we make from selling our belongings will help us with our move. Also, gutting our home of 15 years of possessions has been both cleansing and eye-opening. Aside from a few sentimental items and pictures, there isn’t anything we wish to keep. In fact, we now view “stuff” as a burden rather than something to be prideful of. We spent many years trying to find joy at RC Willey, but never found it…go figure!
Do You Already Have a Job?
No. I don’t presently have a job in Hawaii. However, I am so grateful to have a husband who has purposefully worked very hard, so we could pay most of our debts and afford to get to the island. Because of the time difference, Scott will work remotely from 5 am to 1 pm each day and I will homeschool Grace (12) and Ella (7). I also intend to spend more time writing. I want to practice and improve, especially in the area of creative writing. Depending on how things continue to go for us financially, I may pick up a part-time job.
Isn’t it Expensive to Live in Hawaii?
That depends on how you look at it. Yes, the cost of food, housing, and electricity is significantly higher in Hawaii. However, most of our expendable income currently goes toward expensive outings such as movies, dinner, fun centers and shopping. In Hawaii, we will be surrounded by what we love the most…warm weather, plentiful fruit (the majority of our diet now), the ocean, nature, and a low-key lifestyle that encourages “living” rather than simply “existing.” All of these things are free in Hawaii and they are all we need.
What Do the Kids Think?
Fortunately, Grace is a dreamer and Ella is an adventurer. Their sister (my step-daughter, Laura) is in college and has opted not to join us. All of the girls are excited. Grace is unique in that her thinking is “outside the box” and she doesn’t fit any “norms” for kids her age. Home-schooling gives her more flexibility to be creative. Ella is a nature-lover and an explorer. She’s “rough and tough.” Has been since the day she entered this world and refused to cry. She cannot wait to explore the island, volcanoes, and sea life.
Of course, Scott and I understand that living in Hawaii is not all fun and games and the kids may encounter prejudice or be called “haole” by the locals. They will most certainly get homesick and things will seem strange and unfamiliar for a while. We continue to remind Grace and Ella of these things, so they don’t experience too much shock when it happens. To help, their dad and I will do our best to keep them busy and excited to learn.
Do You Plan to Stay Long-Term
If there is one thing I’ve learned, it’s that you can’t plan your life. Life is meant to be wondrous. What lies around the corner is uncertain. Just accept what comes your way and find good in it. It. So, do I intend to stay long-term?