So, it turns out I’m not in Kansas anymore – or anywhere even remotely near it. Aloha from our new home: Hawaii! Yes, you read that right. In a plot twist even I didn’t see coming, the year kicked off by trading freeway noise for crashing waves.
Island life is a change in many ways, biggest of which is that instead of long drives people take short flights. Our first island hop was earlier this month for a weekend camping trip on Kauai, where I shot my first little vlog from a 360 degree camera – the coolest tool since GoPros, check it out:
Moving out here was tough, more complicated than driving across the country twice, and we had to do it in a fraction of the time. At this point it feels like a blur, Christmas vacation was essentially spent at a storage unit outside of Los Angeles. Most of our belongings had been tucked in there since April, but with all the miles behind us it almost felt like another life.
Half of everything we owned needed to be repackaged and shipped, some of it tossed, other bits donated, but at least we could leave our winter closets waiting behind. Occasional stays with Rachel’s parents in Arizona lead to some overnight runs to the unit, including one which went straight to work in LA. The commute into my final day working in a California office did not disappoint, it took about six hours, but at that point you can’t help but embrace the absurdity of it all.
Leading up to the official move, our cross-country road trip lasted longer than expected. Well into 2023 we bounced between Oregon, California and Arizona, prolonging any need to lease on the mainland while we waited for our pet’s blood results to return from Kansas. That’s right, since Hawaii is rabies-free all dogs and cats entering the must follow strict import guidelines, many even face months of quarantine upon arrival.
Now settled here, I can say that two pets are plenty, but we almost went with three. During the last days of our initial November visit, Rachel rescued a stray kitten from the side of the road. He was adorable, but scared and very small, hardly more than a pound. At that size and age, no shelters could take him on such short notice, so it was essentially release him back into the wild, put him down, or take him back to the mainland.
So overnight, tiny Onyx went from rainforest to desert. We nursed him back to life and once healthy enough to play, he was raised by dogs. Sasha was never one for feline friends, let alone to share space and bond with one, so the little mongrel learned his doggone basics from our mutt Scarlet and her German Shepherd cousin. If you don’t know our Scarlet yet, I tried to make her famous on a fellow brand at work, The Pet Collective:
Onyx stayed on the mainland as he was too small to get his rabies shots by the time we were ready to finally move out here, so instead he’s been taken in by my brother up in Oregon. They were already eyeing a kitten, so Onyx is finally learning to be a cat. Pretty cool to see him growing from afar up on Snapchat, nice to know we helped give him a new beginning.
And so, our own begins on the North Shore of Oahu, more to come soon! But not too much, there’s no stop lights in the town we’re in here and I love it. Reminds me a bit of of New York, actually… it moves at a Dolgeville pace but with Manhattan prices.