Sailing Across the Pacific to Find Home

There’s no place like home, especially if it’s on Oahu’s North Shore. Earlier this year I was married to my husband, Jesse Horton. For our unconventional honeymoon, we sailed our 32-foot mono-hull sailboat from Mexico to French Polynesia. The voyage took us 29 days. We spent two and a half months cruising through the remote Marquesas island chain and the atolls of the Tuamotus before returning home. It was the experience of a lifetime! With our boat, the S/V Valkyrie, we explored islands so remote that we went days without seeing another human. For food, we relied on fishing and limited supplies. Now returning home, our trip has made me realize a few things about Hawaii. It is the most remote island chain on the planet, yet the balance we have on the North Shore have made me realize that we live in the perfect community. In my experience helping buyers and sellers, I have learned that this balance is what attracts so many people to this unique community.

Jesse and I at a reef pass in an atoll in the Tuamotus.

The S/V Valkyrie under full sail somewhere in the middle of the Pacific.

Accessibility and Options

Hawaii offers a balanced lifestyle. Being an outdoor enthusiast, I have found that you can get lost in hobbies such as surfing, swimming, diving and my recent obsession, sailing. Hawaii’s culture is accepting of all walks of life taking to the ocean for enjoyment. Everyone is welcome, and even more so if you are interested in learning about Hawaii’s rich history, culture and ocean environment. Jesse and I chose to cruise the Tuamotus to “get lost” and explore a completely isolated island paradise. I learned that remoteness isn’t always a geographical distance, but rather access to people, foods, cultures, and transportation. In the Tuamotus, if we were craving bread we made it from scratch. There were no stores or natural vegetation (other than coconuts). It was an absolute dream, but after a while, we began to appreciate the ease of first world comforts, such as food accessibility. Hawaii has some of the best and most fresh options when it comes to cuisine. There are grocery stores that give locals discounted options, farmer’s markets that offer the freshest island ingredients and restaurants in the city serving international cuisine. Gardening yourself is also an economical and practical option, even if you don’t have a green thumb, Hawaii’s rich soil makes it easy to learn.

Sifting flour while making bread on the boat.

The farmers market on the North Shore with such a wonderful variety of vegetables!

For most of our meat Jesse and I would fish or capture octopus.

Budgeting for a Home

Your quality of life has great value. Practical matters like the cost of living and property taxes don’t have to be a barrier to that life. Budgeting on a sailboat is like budgeting for a home. Work hard, plan appropriately, and put your money where it will make you happy. Some may say that Hawaii real estate is “too expensive.” When comparing Oahu’s market to another major city, like San Francisco, you will realize that Hawaii’s real estate is very valuable. Hawaii’s steady market growth is slow and ongoing. According to a presentation by the University of Hawaii’s Economic Research Organization, Oahu will experience a steady increase in home value over the next 5 years. Buying or selling at the right time is a key piece of knowledge that will help you budget.

Not another human for miles. Soaking up the solitude.

Jesse husking a coconut on a walk for us to drink the delicious water, and then eat the mean on the inside.


Living on the islands is a lifestyle. It’s the Hawaii Life. You don’t choose to live here because of one specific reason. Rather, you choose it because you love it. After sailing with Jesse through the French Polynesian Islands, I have realized that Hawaii is a paradise. Paradise is a balance, and Hawaii offers a balance between seclusion, first world comforts, and opportunities. It truly is a unique paradise. You can sail between the islands for an evening sunset cruise or overnight to a neighbor island. You can hop on a flight and explore the outer islands in one weekend. There are endless opportunities to enjoy the perimeters of the most remote island chain in the world.

Beautiful day on the bay


Contact me today if you are interested in buying your dream home or looking to sell! Have you been pre-qualified? Contact me also for a list of excellent and proven lenders to get you started!

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