When we mention that we’re moving to Kauai from Minnesota to people for the first time, they’re astonished. Most people who know us well have had a chance to get somewhat used to the idea of us living in Hawaii, especially with all the emphasis on travel we’ve had in the past couple of years. But it still appears that some view moving to Kauai as a novelty. One of our sons didn’t believe us when we told him what our plans were earlier this year. “I guess you really weren’t talking trash about Hawaii,” he said. It made me wonder how many times he thought we were “talking trash” about our plans in the past. 🙂
Here’s the thing: we’re moving to Kauai because we can. We made a plan to become location independent so that we could travel more several years ago, and have steadily worked that plan, although Hawaii wasn’t specific to it. We decided then that we would diversify our income sources, much in the same vein as financial advisors recommend you diversify your investments. This would lead, we thought, to less vulnerability should the economy or uncertain circumstances interrupt our income. We knew that the “safe bet” of employment was actually the riskiest bet; when you work for somebody else, you’re vulnerable to being laid off or let completely go at any time, for almost any reason.
So our plan was to cast the entrepreneurial net wide at the beginning, and then (to continue with the angling metaphor) reel in the most likely prospects for a longer term yield. Once we became location independent, we could travel more and experiment with running our businesses from wherever we were. We fine-tuned things on shorter trips during the past year and a half after Pete quit his job. When we visited Hawaii earlier this year, we thought, why not enjoy it longer term? Because being location independent means you can work from anywhere, moving to Kauai was not just a dream, it was possible!
We often respond to people who say, “Oh, I wish I could do that!” with “You can!” It’s amazing and disheartening to see the look on their face as they mentally talk themselves right out of the possibility before they verbally respond. The boxes we put ourselves in! Whether it’s moving to Kauai or any other dream, the fact that it is a dream doesn’t mean it has to stay one. Dreams can be reality, but you have to act. Acting on this dream has been one of the most fun things ever!
We’ll continue to work our businesses after moving to Kauai. The Aloha State will be a great base from which to begin working on our goal to travel in Asia. While it will be difficult to say a temporary goodbye to our family in the Midwest, we’ve entered that “sweet spot” in life after the kids are grown and before the grandchildren arrive. Our health is good and we’ve got energy to spare, both critical requirements for longer term travel. It may very well be that in the future we could have difficulty being location independent.
More than one person has remarked that this is a courageous decision. That always gives me pause. There’s far less courage in this decision than there is fear of regret. We don’t want to look back and say, “if only.” My father’s advice those many years ago is still just as appropriate. It’s now or never! Travel will never be this easy later on. It’s possible that after moving to Kauai, we decide to give the ex-pat thing a go. Being truly location independent might mean that we spend an extended period in another country, for example. That remains to be seen. Moving to Kauai might not be forever, but it’s for now.
If you’re thinking of making a change to accommodate more of what you’d like to do, you might want to check out the series of questions in this post: “Personal Goals and Lifestyle Design”