The life changing magic of not being able to afford a shipping container

Here I am, burnt to a crisp, rolling into week 3 of FUNemployment in Paradise (which is the name of a program I’m developing for wealthy millennials who want to take photos for their Instagram in developing equatorial nations, sign up today)!

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Me having fun @ the beach!

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Tip: compare bananas

One of the beautiful things about donating most of your worldly belongings to Goodwill for a second time in three years is that it builds…character. When we were weighing our options to stay or leave California, our hesitation was seasoned with a dash of salty memories from being BROKE from moving. They say financial challenges are the leading cause of divorce. I say financial challenges are the leading cause of a good marriage if you’re willing to get crafty -but then again what do I know, I’ve been married for like 5 minutes TBH.

BONUS: If you want to test your relationship but are all out of ex-texts and pregnancy scares, here’s how to do it.

  1. Get rid of everything that wont fit in a 2-door Honda Civic and drive with your bae through the Heartland a.k.a. Purgatory. Make sure to get the flu by Iowa.
  2. When you arrive on the Golden Coast, spend all your money at IKEA and then realize you cant eat matching nightstands. Fill your over-sized, overpriced condo with pillows. Justify each of 12 slotted spoons’ place in your home with reasoning that some are wooden and some are better for certain sauces.
  3. Don’t take the cat to the vet,  commute 3 hours a day,  be a student for eternity, fall into a series of brief and disillusioning jobs that suck your soul out of your body, plan a wedding, see the sun once every 7 days, stay when rent goes up, go back and forth between hating yourself and hating everyone else, finally take the cat to the vet.
  4. All of this.
  5. Be at a crossroads where you can decide to do it over again.
  6. Say yes.

This time, not just any slotted spoon is going to crowd up our tiny kitchen. When we decided to relocate again it was with a serious intention to do it right, without falling into expected routines unintentionally laid like traps by literally everyone -make money, spend money, sleep, repeat, eventually disappear from the face of the earth still talking about high school. I think simply knowing that there are alternative ways to live is enough reason to fight like hell to get there. I’m lucky enough to have a best friend to make that journey with. Our old routine didn’t leave me with much energy to be as grateful as I should be for that, but in the act of letting go of things, like belongings, you can decide what stays, like gratitude (AND WHAT YOU CAN INTRODUCE, LIKE BOOGIE BOARDS).

Here’s an idea of what downsizing looks like right now:

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Things are less impressive and less expensive! We just got a used futon (which is at all times absolutely covered in sand). Our apartment is less than 400 square feet and the kitchen consists of a hot plate and toaster oven. There is one closet. We have approximately 3 outfits each, and my butt cheeks are always 1) visible & 2) sticking to something. Stacked up next to the lives of other people our age from similar backgrounds, what we have doesn’t look like much. In a repulsively cliche way, I’ve never been happier.

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Picked these babies up in a Sears parking lot

Sometimes it gets hard in the middle of daily life to put little details in their place. There’s a tiny Emily Post in the back of my mind screaming like a banshee when we opt out of owning more than 2 bath towels…And then I realize I don’t care and go have a delicious Li-Hing malasada while floating on a watermelon tube, butt cheeks in the sun.

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Hopped off the plane at HNL in all black with a winter coat

Aloooooha -that means hello and a few other things because Hawaiians know how to keep it simple. The past few weeks have been hectic to say the least, but now here I am, literally in the middle of the ocean.

For those who are yet to be updated: My husband was offered a job on the island of Oahu, Hawaii within the same half hour that I was offered a permanent position at a firm in San Francisco…So we opted for the more dramatic choice, as usual. We ended up apart for two months of the first six of our marriage to make the move more “do-able”, which I’m going to say was uncomfortable -but worth it as most uncomfortable things are.

I think we owe it to ourselves and one another to be our happiest, best selves…So we’re taking this opportunity to build a more mindful and purposeful lifestyle than what we had fallen into back on the mainland. Its not quite that we were unhappy in California, but more that we spent our energy on things that weren’t bringing enough value into our lives with massive commutes, excessive square footage, and unfulfilled aspirations. If you know me at all, you know I have a tendency to make big moves without hesitation. This was not the case with leaving the Bay Area; this move is particularly bittersweet for me leaving a salary, an incomplete bucket list, and some of the most important leading ladies in my life across the Pacific. All things considered, I’m ready to move forward to new adventures with the world’s best husband. I’m ready to build a more peaceful life in paradise based on our priorities and values. That’s how I know I’m an old person! I’m practically retired and its amazing!

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I arrived this past Tuesday in Honolulu wearing an outfit fit for Dolly Parton’s funeral (GOD SAVE THE QUEEN), which you can feel free to imagine. Ethan brought me a gorgeous lei from Sophia’s Lei Stand and a pink and purple ribbon lei that he made. It was so hot and we dragged my 150lbs of luggage to the truck sweating and grinning like goofballs.

I’ve been living out of a backpack for a while now, between emptying our California condo and traveling to the East Coast, so moving into a new apartment feels like an extension of that. We currently have camping chairs for furniture in our living room and are getting dressed out of suitcases, but I am in love with the one-bedroom Ethan scored for us here in Kailua. Its the perfect size and has very few right-angled corners. Home tour to come once we get more settled.

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Changed the airport outfit BTW.

After stopping briefly at the apartment we went to downtown Kailua to reunite with fruit/vegetables at Nalu Health Bar & Cafe. We took our lunch to the beach at Waimanalo Bay where Ethan dragged me into water that was more sky-colored than the sky itself. The ocean was shockingly chilly and I protested all the way out to belly-button-depth as more of a “slow torture” methodist than cannonball type girl. Once we were out to our waists, the waves forced us up to our shoulders and soon enough over our heads in a salty baptism by the sea. I think swimming is one of those things that you can easily forget how much you love until you’re finally splashing around again. Its like a trampoline; no one can deny how fun trampolines are when you’re up there bouncing your stress away. And by the way, if you don’t like trampolines you can just stop reading this because I cant have that type of negativity in my life right now.

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Waimanalo! Wai-Mahalo? Okay.

After beach time, we went for Pho at a place I cannot remember because I was falling asleep at the table. Going from Eastern Standard Time during Daylight Savings to Hawaii Standard Time is no joke…

The past few days have been a very relaxing blur, so I’ve been writing and deleting lots of ideas about this transition to Hawaii life. To save your time and confusion, the main points of interest beyond what’s obvious are (in no particular order):

  • Birds. There are hella birds here! There are more pigeons than I’ve ever seen in the city, which is nothing short of thrilling. I cant help but try to strike up an understanding with them like that girl from Fly Away Home. Plus there are plenty of hens and roosters rooting around in the bushes at intersections, we actually crossed the street the other day to get closer to a wild rooster fight. You could say we’re adrenaline junkies.
  • There are tons of flowers that I cant recognize all over the place. People literally wear flowers in their hair while working the cash register at the pharmacy.
  • Things aren’t that much more expensive than they were in California except gas, milk, things like that. Rent and utilities are a couple hundred dollars less each month but we’re still all about that Signature Select lifestyle (available at Safeway and Shaws near you).
  • People seem to like yoga here A LOT. On a similar note, there are A LOT of white people who eat dinner at Whole Foods. I wonder if the other white people at the Whole Foods also had a moment of self-awareness about how we all seemed to be wearing variations of the same exercise clothes and a $250 balayage? Hmm.
  • Here is a photo of Ethan at a farmers market. He’s happy because he bought me a full-body deep tissue massage that magically disassembled my neuroses so we can enjoy living in the Garden of Eden together. Also here’s some of our farmer’s market haul including a passion fruit, jalapeno hummus made of breadfruit (‘Ulu), and local honey.

That’s it for now! Save your pennies to join us soon. We miss our friends and family so much, but cant wait to explore further and share our stories with you. Feel free to leave comments or questions anytime!

How does a person end a blog? Okay, Its done now.