You, dear readers, have given wonderful feedback on the last blog entry. I appreciate all of you! The following letter puts one reader’s move to Kauai in perspective. (Mahalo for sharing, Laura.)
Submitted on 2015/03/08:
“I’m going on my fifth year living in Kauai. Prior to living here, my husband and I visited the island either 1x or 2x/year for about five years. We decided one year to look at real estate and ended up buying a home and renting it for close to 3 years with our goal moving part time to Kauai. To make a long story short, we got tired of the cold weather and decided to move here. So here’s my take on it:
First know what you’re getting into. Living on an island isn’t for everyone. It takes planning. You don’t need a lot. If you are considering moving here, don’t bring much. It will be a waste. People are always moving and you can find anything you need on craig’s list or garage sales. The pros living here : amazing scenery, the ocean, perfect weather, being able to be outdoors 365 days a year, rainbows, monk seals, turtles, whales, snorkeling. If you like outdoor activities, this is the place for you. The cons: night life is boring, not enough restaurants/cafes and the restaurants that do exist are too expensive and not worth what you get for it, limited shopping except for art galleries/gift shops, and my biggest complaint no matter where you live or how expensive your home is, there’s still that neighbor who never throws anything out and makes his yard into the car dump. What’s up with that???? Would I do it again knowing what I know, I don’t know. It’s different working and living here than visiting on vacation. It’s funny that my vacation time is going back east. Don’t get me wrong, I do like living here. I don’t miss snow or bitter cold weather but I do miss going out to restaurants, good food, shopping malls and seeing well kept properties.”
Very well put, Laura. You have summed it up nicely, especially the things you miss (Maui has more than Kauai, and I still wish there were more decent cafe-type places),the exorbitant restaurant prices, and we DO have that neighbor four houses down who has fifteen cars buried in his yard (yes, I counted.) I really miss neighborhoods where people take pride in their properties.
As for why? Mike grew up in Hawaii, and all the guys he knows are hoarders of misc. junk. The reason they give is growing up in the islands, you never knew when the boat might not come in, and every single thing they bought was so expensive that they refused to throw anything away. They all have barns, sheds, warehouses full! It’s our big struggle as a couple. He hangs on to everything!
Laura, you didn’t share where you moved from, or what type of jobs you and you husband found. Please share if you would like. I’m sure readers would like to have the full picture. Again, thanks so much for writing!
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Oh dear, that remark about hoarding really makes me worry now! My husband is already somewhat of a hoarder, as in “you never know when you might need (fill in the blank)”, and now we have a 25X50 shop so full of stuff that I can’t even walk into it. Trying to find something in it (like a simple hammer or screwdriver) is nearly impossible, and even opening the door to it now gives me an anxiety attack!
I think our solution will be to live in a small house on a small lot, and take a firm stance against keeping or acquiring things we don’t absolutely need. My primary reason for moving to Maui in the first place, is to simplify life and have more time for other activities besides just “managing stuff”.
I do realize hoarding is more than a habit, and that it may take a few years to change an existing behavior or mindset, but with so many other activities on Maui to distract us (him) I think it can be done.
We just took another small step toward our move: traded in the Subaru Outback (with its all-wheel drive and heated seats), for a new Kia Soul+. We love it! It seems like the perfect island vehicle. Now we just need to sell our house and acreage…. and find some way to “rehome” all of the above-mentioned stuff. Then, we’re ready to sail!
Sounds like you’re making progress for your move. I have a friend on Maui who moved here with her husband, who was such a hoarder they shipped 160,000 pounds of stuff. She says that was AFTER she made him get rid of a lot, and that 10 years later he is still complaining! Her advice was to let them bring whatever they want so you don’t have to listen to it. 🙂
Best of luck with your home and acreage sale!