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.