Miss/Not Miss

As we get ready move through our last couple of months on Kaua’i. Brett and I have started reminiscing and thinking of the things we’ll miss about our life here, and always remember fondly when we think of our time on the island.

Below are a few of the things we’ll miss the most:

  • The weather: We’ll miss all of it, from rain to crazy wind to blue skies. It’s mostly been as beautiful as hoped for when we decided to move here.
  • Our apartment: We were so lucky to find this apartment when we returned during the height of the pandemic lockdown in 2020. The size has been perfect for us, the location fantastic, and there’s been wonderful airflow through the apartment keeping the humidity at bay and often making it feel as if we have air-conditioning. We’ve had a fantastic landlord as well. The good has always far outweighed the not-so-good.
  • Our yard: We’re going to miss looking out on our wonderful, private back yard every day. Lush with plants and flowers, filled with birds (and now chickens) we still pinch ourselves that it’s pretty much been ours alone to enjoy. Every day the yard reminds us we live in Hawaii.
  • Sunsets: The sky puts on a show most nights, depending on the weather, with everything from pale pink wisps to flaming red skies as the sun goes down. Even when there are no clouds, the dimming of sky is still calming and beautiful. (Sunrise is also beautiful here, but I’m not a morning person so have only rarely ever seen one.)
  • The sky at night: There’s no ambient light pollution on Kaua’i and when the sun goes down the sky is pitch black, filled with a million stars. A full moon shines brighter here, and when the sky is full of clouds the light of the moon dances off of them in a magical way.
  • Living on the south shore: Location, location, location. The south side of Kaua’i has been a revelation. We’re close to great beaches and hiking trails, but haven’t had to deal with the traffic and crowds we encountered living up on the east side. We live further away from Costco in Lihue but get there in half the time it used to take us driving down from Kapaa. I always thought of the south side as sort of dry and dusty, but in reality it’s breezy, cool, and lush.
  • Beach days: Brett and I rediscovered what a pleasure it is to plant our umbrella in the sand, set up our beach chairs, and either open a book, take a walk in the sand, or just stare at the waves breaking for a few hours of pure relaxation.
  • Walking/hiking: One of the best things about living on Kaua’i has been the ability to walk almost every day of the year, either out on a trail, on a path along the beach, or up at Kukuiolono Golf Course & Park. We’re in better shape than we’ve ever been.
  • So. Much. Green: Kaua’i is called the Garden Island for a reason, and we’ll miss the green found all over the island. We’ve never grown tired of the many beautiful flowers, the massive variety of other plants and trees, and the local produce from farms all over the island. Along with the trade winds, the abundance of plant life has meant we all breath nothing but clean, fresh air.
  • Allie the cat: She’s been a daily visitor since we moved in, and became BFFs with YaYu. Even when “the girl” is not here she still comes by almost every day for a chat (she always “talks” to us), a scritch on her back, a drink of water, and to stretch out in the sun for a while.
  • Feeling safe and staying healthy: Although the Hawaiian islands are the most isolated spot on earth, COVID still found its way here, but our island home has been an extremely safe place to wait out the worst of the pandemic. Locals still practice kokua, a Hawaiian word meaning help but in the sense of making a sacrifice with no desire of personal gain. Two years after our arrival, everyone is still masking up without complaint to stay safe and protect others.
  • The aloha. It embraces the island and makes Kaua’i such a special place, every day.

Of course, thinking of the good things also reminds us of the not-so-good parts. All has not been perfect in paradise, and below are few things we won’t miss:

  • The apartment’s kitchen: While we’ve been able to create some great meals and worked with what we have, we will not miss the crappy small refrigerator and freezer; the crappy electric stove; and the bar sink. Much as we otherwise love our apartment, these three items have been less than ideal.
  • Clompy neighbors upstairs: We’ve had two loud upstairs neighbors during our time here, both men who seemed to stomp versus walk around the apartment. The first neighbor actually jumped rope over our heads a couple of times, but both have always sounded like they walk with iron boots on. A couple of others have shared the apartment with these two men, and we almost never would have known they were there, so quiet has always been possible.
  • The cost of everything: Kaua’i has always been an expensive place to live, and although we’ve managed to budget and save, we’ve been completely priced out of the housing market. The lowest priced gas on Kaua’i (Costco) is now at $5/gallon for regular (and we have to get in our car to do or go anywhere on the island). Supply chain issues that come along with living here are starting to wear on us as well.
  • Big pickup trucks: THE car to own on the island is a pickup truck. A BIG pickup truck. We are looking forward to not having to deal with them for a long while.
  • Humidity: Humidity was the bane of my existence when we lived here from 2014 – 2018. It’s still here, mostly experienced when we’re out walking or hiking. Thankfully it’s been much, much less awful here on the south side than it was up on the east side, and the breeze through our apartment has kept it tamped down inside.

Freed these past two years from the needs and schedules of our children, we’ve enjoyed a wonderful two years of island life. Kaua’i is our home, and living here has been a dream come true, not once but twice. Negatives aside, we honestly would be perfectly happy to stay if our children didn’t live so far away and we weren’t still itching to see the world. We’ll carry a piece of the island in our hearts for the rest of our lives.

18 thoughts on “Miss/Not Miss

  1. Hi Laura — I loved your wrap-up of your time on the island. I was going to just “like” it, but I’ve found that, while the email version has a “like” button, when it takes me to the website, there’s no “like” button. So, please know I “liked” this post 🙂

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    1. Thanks, Debbie. Living here has honestly been a dream come true for us, and our two youngest both consider it home now even though they spent more time in Oregon! We’ll miss our quiet, relaxed life but it’s time for us to get moving again.

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  2. I’ve enjoyed reading all about your Hawaiian experiences! When you talk about the joys of beach visits, I realized that I don’t see swimming mentioned. Is it preference, safety, water temps, or ???
    Looking forward to following on your moves!

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    1. I would love to go in the water and play in the waves, but I won’t go in by myself and Brett does not enjoy going into the ocean for any reason. When our daughters are here I go swimming with them, but otherwise I sit on the beach under the umbrella with Brett.

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    1. We will celebrate our 50th anniversary in seven more years and have decided when we reach that milestone we’ll come back to Kaua’i (and drag our family along) to renew our vows!

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  3. Who wouldn’t miss that incredible backyard? That is just so lovely. Some sadness at leaving Hawaii, but a lot of excitement about your upcoming adventure, I bet.

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    1. The backyard has been an amazing part of our life here. The plants have grown and expanded in the past two years – it was beautiful when we moved in and is beyond that now. It will be greatly missed.

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    1. We have been blessed this time that there have been so few negatives – we really can say, “lucky we lived Kaua’i!” It wasn’t true last time – location and our former landlord had made us pretty miserable by the time we left.

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  4. I’m already missing a lot of those same things. While we’re excited for this next phase of our lives, Kauai will always be my happy place. Best to you and Brett as you begin your next adventure.

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    1. I read your list on Instagram and laughed because your list pretty much matched mine. We even have a white-rump shama family in the yard now too!

      Blessings to you and yours in your new home. Kaua’i will always be our happy place as well – we’ll leave behind big pieces of our hearts. We have been so lucky to live here.

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  5. I would miss the cat! I have so enjoyed, both times, your lives in Hawaii! It looks so beautiful!

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    1. Allie will be greatly missed, and we can only hope the new tenants form a relationship with her as well. We have lots of pictures to remember her.

      Hawaii is beautiful, Kaua’i exceptionally so. When we decided to come here we picked the right island, and the right place for us. We have all thrived here.

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  6. Lots more hit than misses. 🙂 We did a similar comparison before we sold and moved. I still miss a couple things about our old house, but mostly I’m really glad we took the leap.

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    1. We’ve had a much more positive experience these past two years than we did our first four here (bad landlords, not-so-great locations). This time has pretty much been perfect, COVID notwithstanding.

      So funny to think back and think about putting on Hawaii on our list of locations to move to as a joke. It’s been a wonderful place to live and one of the best experiences in our lives. A couple of things different than they are now and we wouldn’t be leaving.

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  7. It has been lovely getting to see the island through your eyes. I doubt I will ever go to Hawaii, and it has been great to see it as a non-tourist with you

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    1. We have been blessed to live here for so many reasons, and we’ll always miss it. We plan to come back for our 50th anniversary, to renew our vows on the beach!

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