I know what you're thinking, "Hawaii is too expensive," or if you're local, "We don't need anyone else moving to Hawaii, it's a finite resource." I understand there are sensitive cultural issues at play, and I understand most people can't afford to live here.
What everyone should understand is that if living in Hawaii or some other destination is your dream, you should do whatever you can to make that dream your reality.
In April of 2010 we vacationed in Maui and feel in love. We got back to Wisconsin and started talking about retiring here. That talk lasted a few months and then "normal" life took over.
It wasn't until the death of my father in April of 2012, that reality hit us and I determined to honor him by not living a life of regret. It took a few more years, but in April of 2014 we moved to Maui.
Living in our dream designation has opened my eyes to so many experiences, and changed the way I see life. It's shown me these five reasons why everyone should move to their dream designation (Hawaii or elsewhere).
1. Life is short
This message has never been stronger to me than it has today. Yesterday my grandfather died. I knew it was coming, but it still hit me like a ton of bricks. I'm just grateful he got to read the open letter I wrote to him.
We know life is short. We realize all of us only get one life to live, yet we live everyday like we're immortal. We put off our dreams for another day, but too often that day never comes.
When we deal with death, we get a vivid lesson, but it doesn't have to take a death for us to be shaken out of our comfort zone. We have to power to live the life we truly want to live, in the place we want to live it. All it takes is doing something about it. Your dream will take time, but if you start today you're one day closer to an amazing life.
2. Simplicity is freeing
When we moved to Maui, we sold everything and came here with 15 checked bags. It was freeing to start our new life without all the clutter and stuff we never really use. As we've added items to our home, we've asked if we really need them before we bring them in.
Living a simple, clutter-free life reduces your stress. You don't have to worry about buying all the new "must get" items. You learn to use what you have and embrace life over stuff.
3. Local is a way of life
One of the things we loved about Maui (and Oahu) when we vacationed, was the strong emphasis on fresh, local food. It's a place where you can escape all the processed junk that affects people's health. You can find fresh fish, local produce at farmer's markets, and yummy veggies in your own backyard!
"Local" goes beyond the food though. In Hawaii, there is a movement that we call the, "Aloha Spirit." This means relaxing more, looking out for other people, embracing life and the land. It means becoming one with Hawaii.
Whether it's Hawaii, or some other dream designation, embrace the local way of life. If you try to bring the place you just moved from with you, life will rough. You moved for a reason, so enjoy your new life. Choose local over commercial.
4. Experience is more important than stuff
At the end of our lives we're not going to remember all the stuff we had, we'll remember and cherish our experiences. You can live a comfortable life with all the fancy toys, and stay well within your comfort zone or you can say, "screw it" and create a life most people dream of.
Choose experience over stuff. Choose your dreams over your comfort zone. If you have a chance to take the road less traveled, take it. That's where the magic happens.
5. Existing only leads to regret
Staying in a toxic relationship, settling for a job you hate, not living a healthy lifestyle, and living in your comfort zone are a few signs you're existing in life. We only get one life to live, and living life this way leads to bitterness, sorrow, and regret.
Moving to your dream designation will be hard, but the lessons you'll learn will be invaluable. We don't respect things that are just handed to us, when we earn them, we cherish them.
We are entering a new year. This could be the best year of your life or the same as every other year. I hope you choose the road less traveled and choose to move to your dream designation. I hope you choose to live an amazing life.
What's your dream designation? How are you doing about it?
Photo is author's own