On May 29, 2013, my hubby and I moved to Kauai. Hawaii’s “Garden Island.” It’s funny, because just 2 months earlier, we were in Texas, enjoying our life on the road as full-time RVers. Life changes so quickly there are times I feel like a top, spinning on a tabletop.. stop? go? spin spin spin.
Last year with my sister and her husband, we spent 10 glorious days on the North Shore of Oahu. None of us wanted to return to reality on the mainland but for the hubby and I, it was especially difficult. With our ability to work anywhere, Hawaii became the siren call that grew louder and more pronounced as time went on. At first it was “we’ll definitely have to go back for 2 weeks in the next year or so.” As time went on, the 2 weeks changed to 4 weeks. The 4 weeks to 3 months. 3 months to 6 months. 6 months to a year. And finally, on an evening walk around the RV park, one of us voiced aloud what we were both thinking — “let’s just go NOW. For good. The trailer is totaled, we’re not sure what we should do about getting it repaired or replaced — so let’s just get radical and go to Hawaii”.
spin spin spin
And after driving to visit family in Denver, CO and Port Angeles, WA – we took one last ferry ride to Seattle and boarded a flight to Paradise. Our Yukon had gone on ahead of us by 10 days and would be arriving in Kauai just a few days after we did. With just 4 large suitcases (and our laptops) to our names we were off. From the miserable, cold, wet weather of the Olympic Peninsula to the tropical sun and showers of Kauai. From dreary gray into vivid colors, scents, sights, sounds.
The weeks leading up to our move had been filled with frantic searching for a temporary place to call home. We had decided in advance that we didn’t want to rent something sight-unseen for a year. What if we wanted to be on the other side of the island? No thanks. Craigslist proved the winner and we put down our deposit on a fully-furnished one bedroom rental in the town of Kapaa.
With our priorities in order we got off the plane, picked up on rental car and made our way to the rental unit. After quick introductions with the owners, we got back into the rental car and headed for Poipu and plates of fresh shrimp with rice. Yum. I told you it was all about priorities.
By the time we arrived back to the rental, we were both wiped out. And I was battling overwhelming depression and a feeling of panic – I hated Kauai. Really really hated it. It was wild and overgrown and.. small. So unlike Oahu that I felt like we were on an alien planet. How could I ever make it here? After falling asleep as I sat in the easy chair unpacking various items (I cannot even remember the last time I fell asleep like that.. lol) I went to bed and cried myself to sleep. There was no way I was going to tell my poor husband that I already deeply regretted our move. We’d only been here a few hours! I resolved to pull up my big girl panties in the morning and make the best of it.
I slept for 10 hours that night. Apparently I was really really exhausted from the previous 3 weeks, the 1500 mile drive, the flight to HI, the shock of the island, etc. We did a bit of unpacking and then set out to drive around the island and explore our new home.
In the bright light of the midday sun, things looked different. Bright. Cheery. I was quite surprised to discover that wow, I actually LOVED Kauai! The more we drove, the more I fell in love with the island and what had struck me as depressing and small the night before, was now cozy and perfect. This was exactly what I wanted – something similar to where I grew up (Neah Bay, WA) with a small population and no city life — but with the warm weather and fabulous beaches of the tropical region (while I love Neah Bay, it is rather cold there most of the year..).
Lesson learned. Never make major decisions when exhausted and emotionally drained. Best to save judgement for a clear head and focused thoughts.
It was during this first full day on the island that I discovered what would become one of the major obsessions in my life.. chickens. Wild chickens and roosters roaming all over the island! In the grocery store parking lot, outside Walmart’s doors, running under picnic tables, across outdoor eating patios at restaurants, crossing the road, walking the beaches. Roosters cock-a-doodle-doo’ing all over the place. Mama hens with chicks of all sizes running behind. Fascinating and beautiful wild chickens!
That first day, we drove from Kapaa to the end of the road in Hanalei and explored a few beaches in the area between the 2 towns. Love love love! Especially Princeville. We decided that we’d like to see about settling in Princeville when our 3 month lease was up.
A few days later I sheepishly went to the hubby and told him how I’d freaked out that first night. He laughed and said that he could see it on my face but decided to wait and see how I felt after some sleep. What a smart man I have.