Our first two weeks have been a blur of activity.
We arrived at our new place at around 12am, 5am Kansas City time, and everyone was exhausted – lay down on the pavement and sleep, exhausted.
Carter and Pierce were incredible troopers during our flights, and fell right to sleep after we tucked them into bed. But thanks to jet lag, both boys were up at 5am. With no food in the house, we dressed and headed out to explore.
We spent the morning eating breakfast with my new friend Katie, and playing at the Koolina, pausing for what I dubbed our “victory lap.” After almost a year of planning and working toward this new life, it was time to savor some of our reward.
It’s impossible to describe the deep satisfaction and joy I felt while looking at the blue water, watching my toddlers splash and giggle. I would advise anyone who undertakes a feat like this one to spend your first morning doing something fun. There are a thousand tasks to complete in order to relocate, but taking time to enjoy the area around you is vital for decompressing and relieving the stress of a big move.
With renewed energy, we set out from the beach to accomplish our two biggest goals for getting settled – acquiring a vehicle, and trying to find long term housing.
Thanks to the power of internet research, we were able to buy a used Toyota Sienna our first day on the island. By our second day, we found the place that we are going to be renting long term. Both of our boys napped blissfully in their carseats as we drove around the island looking at cars and going to showings at potential rental homes.
Our current, one month rental is tiny – only 650 sq feet for the four of us. There is a nice lanai (patio area) where the kids can play, but space is tight and we are eager to get settled into our new home in June.
The townhouse we will be renting is owned by a lovely couple from Texas, and we are thankful to have kind and understanding landlords. The property is tucked in the mountains, but is still close to a grocery store and play areas for the kids (including a pool with mountain views). It’s also only a 20 minute drive from Lanikai, one of the most beautiful beaches in the world.
We have only been here two weeks, but the feeling of being on vacation has been replaced by a sense of permanence and peace. There were initial moments where we felt like we couldn’t cram enough into each day, but now we are pacing ourselves and enjoying what Hawaii has to offer – beautiful sights, outdoor adventures, and the perfect climate.
During our first few days here, I kept thinking, “wow, we really did it, we are really in Hawaii,” everywhere we went. Now the backdrop of mountains and ocean feels more like home. We are still in awe of the beauty around us, but the sense of “Aloha spirit” is overtaking our initial “tourist rush.”
Life in Hawaii is definitely slower, internet connection included (lots of 3G vs. LTE), but the trade offs have been worth it. We spend our evenings walking along the beach – rather than walking our neighborhood – and we are finally able to go hiking after purchasing child backpack carriers for our kiddos.
Hawaii is a magical place, and though we don’t know for certain how long we will stay, I know that right now, we are lucky to call it home.