Kalaheo via Austin, Dusseldorf and London ...
February 19, 2014
Welcome to my first bog post! I’m excited to share with you all the changes that are taking place and the new adventure we are preparing to embark on. So much has happened in such a short time and you may have heard snippets here and there about some of what’s up for us. I haven’t been able to keep in touch with everyone in the way I would have liked with all the details so I decided to write a simple travel blog to share our experience, and of course lots of photos, as we move through this next phase of our lives. I hope you will follow along, make comments and share it with anyone you would like. I promise to post often – I won’t promise to spend lots of time editing so please enjoy it as it is as I attempt to let go of my perfectionist nature and try to simply have fun with it.
To begin our story, yes, we indeed bought a house in Kalaheo Kauai , and no, we are not moving there. Not yet anyway. Ultimately we do plan to make Kauai our home at some point and excited to see that in our future.
It’s a sweet little spot on the sunny side of the island and although smaller than we are used to and in need of some work (we’re always up for a project!), the house has a magical quality we both felt and fell in love with immediately. It was lovingly cared for over the last 16 years by the previous owners who had a passion for gardening – the fruits of which we will someday enjoy as we relax on our deck surrounded by papaya, mango and avocado trees and all of the natural lushness of the island.
At the end of our street is Kukuiolono Park which means “Light of Lono”, originally named for the fires which were built on the hillside to guide Hawaiian seafarers. This piece of land was donated to Kauai by former owner Walter McBryde and is now one of the best kept secrets on the Island with walking trails, a Japanese Garden and a 9 whole golf course which you can play for only $9 a day! Thank you Walter … we can’t wait!
So what are we up to in the meantime? We’re moving to Europe … Dusseldorf Germany to begin with and then London. You know, just something to keep ourselves busy (those of you that know us well will definitely see the humor in that!)
We actually began setting this plan in motion several years ago having no idea what it would actually look like in the end. It all started with Richard and I having a series of conversations about what we would like our future to look like. For Richard, he clearly wanted to retire somewhere tropical and for me, that all sounded great but I definitely wanted a bit of adventure and to see more of the world before chilling in a hammock somewhere for the rest of my life. We spent more than a year looking at possibilities and began to take action, “moving our feet” as they say. We knew something big was going to show up for us, we just didn’t know what or when. We spent many hours looking at RV’s and airstreams and considered a US tour (which still hasn’t been entirely ruled out), watched House Hunters International for hours on end while simultaneously conducting internet property searches on everything from Bali to Curacao, talked with our families, and even looked at multiple job prospects overseas. But most importantly we set an intention, opened ourselves to the possibilities of “this or something greater” and then went about our business. The Universe responded and it all happened very fast when the time was right.
In September of 2013 we took a trip to Kauai with our friends Tom and Shari, and knew the minute we got off the plane that this was our Island. We had been there several times before and found it to be magical. We found our future home – both physically and spiritually and it all felt right.
Shortly after returning home to Auburn, the company Richard works for asked if we would be open to the possibility of a short term assignment in the UK. Richard had planted this seed in previous talks with his boss letting him know that we would be very interested in a position abroad if the opportunity arose. We actually had Singapore or Australia in mind but Europe works for us too. Although I am well-traveled in Asia, I have spent little time in Europe and welcomed this new experience. Having said “YES” we quickly put things in motion and within period of less than two months had sold our home as well as many of our belongings and moved the rest into storage. Escrow closed one week before Christmas and off we went to rest and celebrate the holidays in Kauai. It was a wonderful and much needed time and we had the pleasure of spending Christmas with our new friends Patrick and Rita, the ministers of CSL Kauai. We also met new friends, Brian and Molly, who are from Hayward California but currently building their future home in Lihue.
The month of January was bittersweet indeed as I was simultaneously looking forward with excitement to the future while letting go of all that I had come to know and love and the beautiful life we had created in Auburn. Richard was in Austin for most of it and I remained in Auburn to take care of final details staying in a little cottage I was able to rent for me and Lu. It was the perfect spot for us and showed up at exactly the right time. Imagine that...
Time spent with friends and family seemed all too short and I was often overcome with deep emotion and appreciation for the friends and community that had welcomed us just a little over three years before and had come to mean so much to us. I felt like my heart would break as I said goodbye to my sons and my grandson Aidan for the last time and spoke with my Aunt Linda as she prepared to make her transition, which she did just a few weeks ago. I questioned often why I hadn’t spent more time with those I had come to love and why I hadn’t reached out more to those I was just getting to know.
On January 27th after weeks of packing, re-packing and many restless nights trying to decide how many shoes I could really bring, I made my way to one last hair appointment with my hair goddess Nicky (who I’m seriously considering buying a plane ticket to Germany), loaded my car with a ridiculous amount of luggage and Lulu and I made our way to San Leandro to spend the evening with my dear friend Susan. It was great to spend time with her and was again questioning why I hadn’t made time sooner.
Early the next morning I began my 1900 mile and 4 day journey to Austin to join Richard and prepare for what lies ahead …. a little nervous and scared? Yes. Completely exhilarated and more excited about life than I’ve been in ages? Absolutely