I decided to reach out to you and hopefully inspire you to do things that seem greater than yourself, at least from your current point of view. If I did it, you can do it too! I will tell you my life story and how I got to where I am today. It took a lot for me to open up and be bold enough to stand behind my life choices or simply who I am and always was, without the fear of judgment, my own or yours. I don’t really like the concept of linear time, so I won’t start my story from the beginning and follow events in chronological order. I’ll tell my story the way I think I should and in order given to me by the voice in my head that would not shut up. I was literally faced with: “You are either writing this book right here, right now or I’ll have to make you start all over again!” The message was loud and clear, so there goes…
It is really never a bad time to move to Hawaii. The story has it that after six long, cold years in Wisconsin, a lot of unhappiness about the weather, Packers losing (except 2011 when they actually won), numerous hunting stories we couldn’t care less about, a lot of bowling anecdotes we couldn’t associate with and this list could go on and on and on; one day we just simply packed four suitcases, two tennis rackets, one laptop and moved to Hawaii.
Saying I was unhappy is quite an understatement. I felt stuck, sad, depressed, done, dead. If you are somewhere along these lines; don’t despair there is always hope. I’m not saying that making a big change like that is easy. It took me six years. Not everything about my life there was so gloomy. I loved the people of Wisconsin. I made many lifelong friendships and found two surrogate mothers there. I tend to do that, find motherly figures wherever I travel. “Why not?”- I dare you.
Humor me and try to imagine peoples reactions when you happily exclaim: “I’m moving to Maui!” They have this blank look on their faces, they are certain they misunderstood, so they inquire: “I’m sorry, where?” “Maui!” – you say with a smile. “Maui!?” – still not quite getting it. “Is that on Hawaii?” Remember at this point you are still smiling: “Yes!” That’s when they realize you are being serious, but they don’t understand you or your decision. The next question is the one you have been anticipating: “Why Maui?” You knew very well this question was inevitable, it was coming, but no matter how prepared you were, the words aren’t flowing, you stumble, you try to explain, but it just doesn’t sound right. You would have to tell them your whole life story. Even then, they probably couldn’t put themselves in your shoes. You let that one go, for now and you answer with: “Why not?” “Who cares if they think I’m crazy”, you say to those that seem to understand you or pretend they do. After a while it all boils down to one question everyone will ask you sooner rather than later, it starts haunting you, it’s just always there: “Do you have a job?” “Of course I do, just not yet!” Honestly, I haven’t heard an original question on my move to Maui yet, I’m still waiting for someone to be a little more open-minded and surprise me.
We arrived on Maui very late on a very hot and humid September evening, frozen to our bones. This is not a joke; Alaska Airlines kept our plane well, freezing, so stepping out to a nice summer night in Kahului felt like walking into an oven. But that’s ok, not complaining, that is exactly why we picked these secluded islands in the middle of nowhere. I know it sounds crazy, I’m not saying that it isn’t. One day you just say enough is enough and actually do something about that gut feeling. You know that fire inside you that is just about to start coming out of your ears (some people might call it your ‘dream’)? Because you just can’t deny you are not happy, you heard the call and then you took action. In fact, you’ve been hearing that call most of your adult life, but there were always more important things to do. After all, you had to be responsible. Picking up four suitcases and just moving to a tropical island isn’t normally classified as; a step up in your career. Who cares if all those normal people around you think you went crazy? That really has nothing to do with you. Just let them lay on their couches, in their good old neighborhoods where they feel safe and comfy and there is no need for change, and neighbors can watch their kids any time, and their mothers live a few blocks down and bake the best apple pies…You are just not one of them (sometimes you wish you were)!
I’m the kind of person that absolutely hates winters. I’ve always been like that, so I will not blame that one on poor Wisconsin. Was it a great contributor to my decision? Yes, yes and yes. I’ve been dreaming about a life on a tropical island far away from the world for a long, long time now. There’s just one little detail I didn’t count with: the world somehow sneaked in here with me. All those things I was moving away from, guess what? Voilà, found them all right here. Thus, although I am in paradise on Earth, the bills come and need to be paid, they don’t just give me stuff in the stores here either, I do have to pay for them too, I can’t just take any car and drive it, people would think I’m stealing, common rules of human behavior apply as well and lastly, although it’s sunny 90% of the time, people are still people, and they get judgmental, fearful, hateful, angry, resentful and you name it… I still love it though.
We did move to Maui on a whim, but most people disappointed in life elsewhere or in my case, many other places, did the same and survived the ‘horrid thing’. Elizabeth Gilbert was kind enough to give me an idea of what Bali would look like in ‘Eat, Pray, Love’, so I opted for destination number two for tired and eccentric people: Maui. Don’t get me wrong, that doesn’t mean we didn’t do our homework. Oh no, we did Google Maui, several times, over the course of about five days. We looked at the images, checked out Maui blogs, read Maui Tweets and visited a few websites that helped newcomers make up their minds and give a lot of information. Over the course of those five days, we decided that it all sounded good (let’s not discuss cockroaches yet) and that we should definitively move there now. Incidentally, the night our decision was final, the price of our tickets was magically reduced in half! Our interpretation: God’s grace and blessing, off course. We had ten short days to pack, decide what we’re leaving behind (that part was easy, we left everything behind), say our goodbyes and not look back. It was a bit sad though. But, off to the future we went and what future!