Ten months ago, an idea emerged from the dust of who I used to be, pulling me back to the ambitions I had before becoming a mother.
In college, I was an adventurer, a fearless woman looking to make my life a story worth telling. I traveled overseas 3 times during my years at Harding, and almost accepted a teaching position in Germany after graduating.
But after getting pregnant on our honeymoon, Brett and I quickly settled into the comforts of marriage, home ownership, and raising a family together in Missouri. Though we were happy, I couldn’t help but miss the parts of my life that had been tied down by the weight of being a parent.
After three years at home, I needed to reclaim a piece of myself. I craved the refreshment and challenge of change, but I also needed a way to integrate two hyperactive children into my scheme. Disenchanted with Missouri winters, I pined for warm climates where our family could be outside year round.
With the urgency of a mother whose children are napping, I slipped into Brett’s office and casually asked the question that would be a catalyst for the biggest adventure of our lives thus far.
“What if we moved to Hawaii?”
The question hung in the air as Brett (eventually) looked up from his computer, registering my presence.
“What? What are you talking about?” he said through a work induced haze.
“Hawaii is the only place I’ve ever visited and thought, ‘wow, people actually live here.’ You work from home, and I’m home with the kids. We may never have this kind of flexibility again.” I paused.
Brett raised his eyebrow, and bit his lip.
“Don’t say anything. Just think about it.” I smiled and walked out of the office.
Two hours later, he emerged and said what I hope he will never regret. “Let’s do it.”
We have spent months researching what life is like there, aside from gorgeous beaches and incredible hiking. We know the good and the bad.
Rent will be more than our current mortgage, and our place there will pale in comparison to our home now. Groceries will cost time and a half what we currently pay.
People get island fever.
There are giant centipedes and flying cockroaches.
We have to sell/donate almost everything we own.
All of these things are true, and there are definitely other negatives – Native Hawaiians are not always welcoming to transplants from the mainland, family will be far away, schools aren’t ideal, etc.
BUT we still want to go.
Our hesitations for not going came down to two reasons: losing the comfort of home and family, and finances.
We will desperately miss our families. We will save less money. We will have fewer possessions.
But we will live more.
In these precious years when our children are underfoot, our days will be spent running outside, splashing in the ocean, and hiking on weekends. We aren’t naive enough to believe that it will be paradise all the time, or that we will always feel up for a swim or hike. We will still get sick, have disagreements, and it will be a challenge being far away from family and making new friends.
We are incredibly fortunate that this opportunity is even possible for our family, and we just can’t pass it up, whether it winds up being short or long term.
Through this experience, we hope to grow closer as a family, spending our time together exploring mutual interests, and also growing as individuals.
Our time on earth is limited, and our time together as a family even more so; that’s a guarantee. How I spend that time, fighting for dreams or coming up with reasons not to, is within my control. I don’t know that we will love it there, or that in a year I won’t be writing a post about my desire to move back to the mainland. But I do know that at the end of life, you regret the things you did not do.
This is our year of doing, growing, reaching, and achieving dreams I never thought were possible.
How long will you be there?
We’re not entirely sure yet! The answer will depend on how much we like it, finances, schools, etc.
Have you sold your house?
Yes, we are currently under contract and set to close in early May.
Which island are you moving to?
Oahu – we aren’t sure what part of the island yet, but will keep you posted!
When do you leave?
The end of April, or early May
Are you buying a house there?
No, we plan to rent.
What will you do with your stuff?
We are selling almost everything, moving with essentials, and storing some keepsakes in Missouri.
Can we come visit?
Please do! We love to host, and hope that our good fortune may provide friends and family with the opportunity to visit Hawaii affordably.