Moving To Hawaii

Why I Moved to Hawai’i

Why Move To Hawai’i?

That is a questions I’ve asked many people since moving here and a question I’ve answered many times. This is why I moved to Hawai’i.

In the summer of 2017, I had no interest in moving to O’ahu, but I did want to finally fulfill a desire since childhood to ride a wave. Hindsight, I find it quite odd that it took me until my 44th year to fulfill this desire. Since prior to O’ahu, SoCal had been home for nearly 8 years. And much of that time had been spent on the beaches of Redondo, Hermosa, and Manhattan. I even owned a surfboard for two of those years there and had previously been to Hawai’i four times!

But I digress. Whatever the reason, 2017 was the year I decided to learn to surf. Next came the big decision – where? I’d been to Costa Rica and knew about the great surf there. I’d also been to Mexico and Peter Shmock, a friend and trainer has talked numerous time of surfing there. But then there were the places I’d never been – Australia, Bali, other spots in Indonesia that are known for great surf conditions. But eventually, after significant research, I decided to go where it all started . . . Hawai’i. And finally in November, I decided on O’ahu. Next, I scheduled a surf session with Sunset Suzy and booked a VRBO for an 18 day stay in December.

Now throughout all this time, I had zero intention nor interest in moving to O’ahu. In Seattle, I was entering the eighth year of owning a profitable business and absolutely loved where I lived. I also enjoy hiking and consider the Pacific Northwest to be one of the most beautiful spots in the world. So with my mindset that the PNW was home, I flew off to O’ahu.

Three days later in Haleiwa, my life changed.

surf riding wave haleiwa oahu

One of my first rides ever

Surf Town Haleiwa…

The iconic surf spot on O’ahu that I knew nothing about until 2017. And though I had read that Waikiki is one of best spots in the world to learn to surf, Haleiwa was my spot.

So on that fateful day, with a patient and very supportive instructor, and while I was trying to suppress my fear of shark attack, I caught my first wave. If you’ve surfed before, you’ll know that words are incapable of describing the feeling of catching a wave. It simply must be experienced. A blast. I loved that first ride but in the grand scheme of things, no big deal. If I had stopped then, most likely I would not be a Realtor in O’ahu, Hawai’i and writing this blog from a rental in Aina Haina, while sitting in shorts and a shirt and feeling a little chilly, even though thermostat reads 78 degrees.

But this was a two-hour lesson and I had a lot of time remaining. So I paddled back out. Now, I really can’t remember if it was the second or third wave, but after riding one of them, I experienced a very strong feeling to move to Hawai’i  And as I got back out to Suzy, in a joking manner, I said, “This could be life-changing.” And then told her about my new found desire to move to O’ahu. She laughed and said, “I hear that from a lot of people.”

During the remainder of that vacation, while contemplating moving to O’ahu, I took several more surf lessons, and also explored much of the island. All the while, experiencing a peace that was rare to my life.

After flying back to Seattle, I quickly returned to my normal routine. And after a few days, I decided it was a crazy idea to move to O’ahu but told myself I’d reconsider it in a year.

The Magic Of Hawai’i?

And then some weird things started happening in my life – actually nine unique events over a six week period. I initially found the unusual events simply entertaining coincidences. But so many occurred, and they all seemed to be pointing me to Hawai’i, specifically O’ahu, that I started writing them down. Two of the incidents involved people who told me there is something magical about the Hawaiian Islands even before I told them I was considering eventually moving to O’ahu. Maybe it was all pure coincidence, but eventually, I concluded the Universe was trying to get my attention. Therefore, after six weeks being back in Seattle, I decided to move to O’ahu. It took a couple of months to wrap things up in Seattle, but at last, here I am.

So why did I move to O’ahu? Until now, I would always answer “the surf.” But as I conclude this post, I realize I really don’t know. Surfing was definitely a huge part of it. But simply the vastly beautiful and magnificent Ocean was certainly a factor. As were the majestic remnants of the shield volcanoes, the albatross colony at Ka’ena point, seeing a sperm whale breech close offshore, watching a beautiful woman do tricks on a longboard in big surf off Makaha, and all the singing birds. Whatever the reason, I’m very happy to call O’ahu, “The Gathering Place” home. It truly is a magical place – just try surfing and you may discover it for yourself.

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Considering moving to Hawai’i?  I recommend you read “Is Moving To Hawai’i Right For You?” to help you make your decision. If you decide to make Hawai’i home, and have questions about any neighborhoods, or would like to tour a property, you are welcome to contact me at any time. I’m here to serve you. Aloha

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April 5, 2019

Love this article, this is something my family has been wrestling with for several years, can we? should we? what kind of work would be there for us? can we leave some family behind?
Thanks for the entertaining read!

James Haskins

February 13, 2021

I had a similar experience. Living in NorCal, I had many opportunities to visit Hawaii, but for some reason, never did. Then on my 50th, I made the trip. After just a couple days, I kept saying to myself, “Why don’t I live here?!”. I had never felt so drawn to a place. Originally, it was my love for hiking, mountain biking and swimming brought me to the town of Auburn in the Sierra Foothills. I came to the realization the universe kept me from Hawaii until I was ready. My daughter has a year and a half left of school. Plenty of time to plan, prepare, and make my move, with nothing but my carry on and a suitcase or two… and likely daughter, who has come to the though decision that Hawaii might be a nice place for ones first year of college. 😎

Bryan Vukelich

February 13, 2021

Hi James, I enjoyed reading your comment and love your realization that the universe kept you from moving here until the right time. And fully agree, hindsight, I would have loved to gone to college in Hawaii – though the ocean would have been a big distraction. Wish you best with your move and you are welcome to contact me if I can be of value to you in any way. >

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