Rainbow over Hanalei Bay
You raise your glass with a smile and look at your family, “We did it, here is to our big adventure.”
You all sit back in the stretched limousine as it pulls out of the long driveway. Your son has never been in a limousine, this being a big day you decide to surprise him. It’s 4am, but you can’t even think about the time, you are thinking did I do this, did I do that, I hope that will be okay, and so on. Finally, you have to tell yourself to relax as this is supposed to be one of the biggest days of your life.
You boxed most of your stuff up and have it waiting to be shipped to Kauai once you are settled. All you and your family have is two suitcases and items for the kids to help pass the time on the long plane ride. This is all to make the trip easier as you only need clothes for now. The first flight of three is about to begin and all you can do is look into the eyes of your wife, smile, kiss her, and say I love you!
There it is! In the distance you can see the tiny island of Kauai. The lush green mountains and bright blue ocean has you grinning from ear to ear. The plane lands, you get your luggage and rental car. “Let’s go to our rental house and get settled in”, you tell the family while trying to contain your excitement. Your wife and kids are exhausted and so are you for that matter, but something keeps you going. Finally at your rental house at least for the next week while you look for a long term rental.
This is supposed to be a family adventure so don’t forget that. You are doing all of this because it sounded fun and exciting. That being said, you know you have tons of things to get in line, like housing, school, car, job, bank account, and so on and on and on…Nobody has superpowers so don’t think you do. Take one thing at a time while not forgetting you live in paradise now, so enjoy it. Go to the beach go play with the kids and spend time with your wife. All the other stuff will work it self out one by one. Relax!
Your wife and you decide school for your son is first priority so you soon realize living on the North shore of Kauai does not have many options for middle school. Your options are home school, public school 30 minutes away or private school 50 minutes away. “He is too smart for either of us to teach him at home, and he needs to meet new kids” says your wife. “Public school makes me nervous as this is middle school and kids are going through big changes and he is the new kid. Lets go talk to the people at Island school” you reply. Island school is the private school 50 minutes away. You realize quickly this is the place for your son, and in no time you have him signed up. A sigh of relief comes over you when they say. “We offer bus service to the North shore.” One item down a few to go!
Craigslist, great place to find a long-term rental. Finding a home was easier than expected and it’s furnished. Many of the homes and condo’s come furnished in Kauai. Now you have an address so you pull the trigger on sending your boxes out. Eight boxes, two weeks, and $600.00 later you have toys, more clothes, pictures and other belongings to help make you new place feel like home.
The island has many people come and go so finding needed items is fairly easy. There are always garage sales for furniture. Cars too, you can find a great car for a good price. Now you have school, shelter, car, and personal items on the way.
Lastly what are you going to do while you live here? For the first couple of weeks try to enjoy the island like a vacation if money permits. Even though you live in paradise you need some kind of balance between being a beach bum and moving forward with life. If you didn’t come here with a job already lined up then you will need to find something to keep food on the table and gas in the car. Kauai is obviously huge with tourism, so there are many resorts, restaurants, and activity based jobs. Maybe you are thinking with all things new to you and your family a new career would be the icing on the cake. You have always been interested in real estate. Sick of looking on craigslist for work you come across an ad for “real estate assistant”. You call and talk to a woman named Donna. She tells you, you should get your real estate license and points you in the direction of All Islands real estate school. You look at the calendar and it’s only September the next class isn’t until December. You sign up for it anyway not knowing what to think.
“Trick or Treat”
A couple of months have gone by and Halloween is here. Your daughter is a Hula girl and your son a scary monster. The kids go out and get candy from the surrounding homes and then its off to the Fall Festival in Kilauea. Games, food, contests, and lot’s of kids dressed up and having fun.
Something strikes you that night…”look honey there is the woman from the grocery store and look over there its Michele and her kids from the park”. Your wife and you begin to realize that you are seeing familiar faces and that Kauai is special in that it has a small town feel. Kauai is a place where you know your bank teller by name and the woman at the grocery store may have kids that play with your kids. You share a place on the beach with people you play with at the park. Kauai has a wonderful feeling of family or “Ohana”. Getting lost in the shuffle doesn’t happen here.
Thanksgiving is around the corner. This will be the first time in your life that you don’t share the day with your extended family. That doesn’t get you down, it brings the four of you closer. You eat outside on your lanai and talk about where you have come and what it means to you, to live in Hawaii. You call back home to wish everyone a Happy Thanksgiving and go to the beach to have desert with friends.
Wow, it’s been 3 months since you moved and you have done so much. Your family is really settling in nicely. December is a big month. Christmas at the end of the month and Real estate class. Sure feels different putting up a tree and lights when its 80 degrees outside. Coming from the Midwest where it’s usually snowing is what feels normal. Tourism is booming with people all over town. Shopping, hanging out at the beach, restaurants packed and sense of happiness amongst all.
Eight days go by with more real estate information than your head has room for. You pass the class and now have to get ready to take the national and state exam. Saturday morning comes with a nervous stomach as you drive to the exam location. Four hours later you get your results to be reminded that all those long days paid off and you passed. You are a licensed real estate agent in the state of Hawaii!
Look at what you and your family have accomplished in such a short period of time all while enjoying the wonderful island of Kauai. You have bonded as a family and become closer than ever before. You embrace the island and what it brings to you and your family. Proud of your wife and kids would be an understatement.
March 5, 2012:
You are sitting at the front desk at Century 21 All Islands in Princeville Kauai as a new agent. You sit back, smile, and think to yourself “We did it!”
This is a true story of my family’s adventure. I am here to tell all of you that, anything is possible as long as you and your family are all on the same page and your determination overcomes the natural obstacles that you will encounter along the way.
Remember our lives are our adventures and you can create what ever kind of adventure you want to live.
More adventure to follow so stay tuned…