Game Changer

Brett and I are still coming to terms with how much of a game changer our move to Nashville is going to be for us going forward.

We have absolutely NO REGRETS about accepting our son and daughter-in-law’s request to move to Nashville for the next two years. The request was unexpected, but there was never any doubt about accepting. Brett and I have loads of experience making changes on the fly, can quickly adapt and adjust, and we always make the best of any situation.

However, this move not only changes our plans for the next couple of years, but, as we’ve been figuring out the last few weeks, also for years ahead.

There will be loads of things happening in the next few months we were not expecting to have to do again for a few more years, including purchasing a car and once again buying furniture and other things we’ll need, from a coffee maker to mixing bowls to bed linens and towels. We thankfully didn’t get rid of everything, but most of what we owned here in Hawaii is now gone.

With international travel off the agenda for the next couple of years, Brett and I knew the odds of returning to full-time travel once our DIL and granddaughter returned to Japan were greatly diminished. We talked about whether it made more sense to rent furniture for the next couple of years and buy a used car, but decided we would be happier in the long run if we purchased furniture pieces we could live with for the rest of our lives, and a car that would last the rest of our lives as well.

Once we accepted the above, we realized we wanted own a dog again as well and would adjust future travel plans around that reality. We’ve come up with two paths once our time in Nashville is over: putting our furniture and other possessions into storage and setting off on an extended road trip around Canada and the U.S. along with our puppy for a couple of years, or buying a house and settling down somewhere in the northeast, most likely Maine, and traveling during the winter months (our middle daughter, WenYu, has already offered to store our car and all of the girls have volunteered to watch Kaipo). Both plans have lots of positives and potential for us.

Brett and I were very excited about our upcoming full time travels once again, and have honestly felt sad at times about abandoning those plans. But we are both forward thinkers and optimists, and we also like the options and opportunities we’ve been given. We plan to make the most of our future, and will remain nomads, even if that only turns out to be occasionally.

30 thoughts on “Game Changer

  1. Please continue your blog! Even though you won’t be traveling we would greatly miss reading about your day to day lives. We know basically nothing about life in Nashville and would love to read about your adventures there. Your puppy is adorable-it occurred to me that you chose that breed/size dog so that Kaipo could accompany you on future travels-flying in the cabin with you. We are currently driving our RV from Arizona to Alaska-exploring Banff & Jasper National Parks along the way. Best of luck!


    1. Good to hear from you Lori! We were just talking about you two the other day because our condo is in the same complex where you guys stayed the last time we saw you on Kaua’i (Sandpiper Village in Princeville).

      I am going to continue to blog, although it may get a bit sporadic at times until we get settled in Nashville.

      We have previously owned a Shihpoo and the breed is a great fit for our lifestyle. Our last guy was too big to go in the cabin, but our new baby will be small enough!

      Have fun in Alaska – I still remember all those gorgeous photos you showed us when we met up in Arizona.


  2. I am really excited that I decided not to wait and am going to cross the U.S. this fall with my two terriers in tow. It will be a fun time for the three of us, as they will have mom all to themselves (rather than sharing with their grumpy kitty sister, who will be staying in her home with her human sister). I’ll end up in Richmond, VA in mid-October. I will probably spend some time down in Florida in January – February, and then, who knows?


    1. Your adventure sounds exciting – you know I will be following along on IG. Funny how we’re both ending up in the south, at least starting off. It would be fun if we could somehow meet up somewhere back there one of these day!


  3. Wait, wait, wait . . . when did Maine enter the picture??? So intrigued as to how it became ‘the place’ where you will eventually settle once this next chapter concludes!

    Over here we are on a two year time out, waiting to see where our daughter and family settle here in the US once their Germany stint concludes. Their eventual decision may have ripple effects on our long term plans, which I find exciting. Change excites me, as it clearly does you two as well!


    1. The girls all live back east – two in the Boston area, and on in Philadelphia. We decided we wanted to live close by but not too close, and after researching cost of living, taxes, etc. Maine came out on top. Winters were going to be awful no matter where we settled, so we gave up trying to factor that in. One great thing about Maine is that we can still affordable live close to the ocean, a big draw for us. Also, the proximity to Canada – lots to explore there.

      We’re always up for a change, which is why I think military life suited us so well, and why making a change doesn’t faze us too much now. Change is exciting – it is what you make of it.


  4. As far as furniture, I think you’re doing the right thing buying versus renting. If you were going to be in Nashville 6 months to a year, then renting might make sense, but 2 years would be a long time and it might be cheaper to buy. Also, if you decided you didn’t want to keep it, you could always sell everything when you leave like you did in Kauai. I like your post-Nashville plan. Traveling around the US and Canada sounds like a lot of fun, to be honest, and I would think you’d be able to take a trip or two overseas if you wanted to.


    1. We have sold our furniture both times we left Hawaii, and I told Brett that this time if we decide on the road trip plan we’re put the furniture into storage so we don’t have to buy it again!

      We’re pretty much 50-50 right now on what to do after Nashville. One day Maine sounds great, the next day we think we’d do better to hit the road. There are pluses and minuses to each. We’ll have it figured out by the time we’re ready to leave Nashville.


  5. I was disappointed that you chose to abandon your plans for extensive international travel and move to Nashville, especially after all the effort and planning you had put into it. Just goes to show that the best laid plans, no matter how well they are laid out, can change. You and Brett clearly are adaptable and very flexible but you haven’t even arrived in Nashville and you are already making plans for when you leave it? Its nice to have long term goals but don’t forget to live in the moment. It’s here, as a semi long term reader, that I leave your blog, but not before I wish you the best of luck and safe travels. Aloha ‘Oe.


    1. We’re honestly disappointed too, but there was never any question that we wouldn’t adjust our plans to help our daughter-in-law. We’ve turned our ship and are now looking forward to our time in Nashville, and plan to make the most of it.

      We learned through our years in the navy that it’s best not to wait until the end when you know you’re going to leave someplace in a couple of years. Although we never knew exactly where we be going until about two months ahead of time, Brett and I always had plans in place knowing we would be moving in a couple of years. That was over thirty years ago though, but we are dusting off all our old skills once again.


      1. I think looking ahead makes perfect sense. If you were staying in Nashville for 10 years, planning that far out wouldn’t make sense, but two years goes by fast. I also think helping out your DIL is wonderful and I think of all the priceless memories you’ll be making with your granddaughter that you wouldn’t have if you decided to travel instead. And those are memories she’ll have as well. You can travel after the two years are up, if you choose to, or maybe even travel during that time for a short trip somewhere if you need a change of scenery.


      2. LOL – we’re already thinking of trips we want to take while we’re in the area: Washington D.C., up to Michigan, the Gulf Coast and New Orleans, and the family wants to have a reunion at DisneyWorld. We won’t get all of those in, but maybe some of them.

        We can’t wait to see our son and family again in August – it’s been over two years! Our granddaughter is already talking about coming over to grandma and grandpa’s place every morning for breakfast – we’d love it!!


  6. It’s great that you have options for post-Nashville. Hawaii to Maine……quite a change! We have family there and I personally love Maine, especially in the winter. (I know, I’m crazy!). And it’s not that far from some great trips into Canada.
    Looking forward to your Nashville adventures as well.


    1. Although the winters are brutal, Maine turns out to have most of what we’re looking for in a permanent location if we decide to go that route, from housing to taxes to proximity to our daughters and so forth. Western Massachusetts is also a possibility, but Maine tops the list.


      1. My brother was stationed there when he was in the Navy and liked it so much he decided to stay when he got out. They live inland during the winter and on an island during the summer.


    1. It just has the most of what we want in a future permanent location: we’d be close to the girls, we can afford more house there, the tax situation is advantageous for us as military retirees, and so forth. Plus, it’s beautiful and there’s plenty there to keep us busy.


  7. If they are in the Boston area then don’t forget about the cape. I love Maine too. Especially Portland and a place called Peaks island which is off the coast of Portland. We almost retired there. We should have in hindsight. I love Arizona but no-one comes to visit us here. It is quite hard to get here to Tucson from Boston and both of my kids live there. My grandson lives in Tacoma but he is in the military so that will change in 3 years and who knows where he will be after that. When we moved here to Arizona we had big plans to take road trips all over the west. Now we can barely stand to drive to the store. LOL. As I say, we love it here but since the pandemic we realized how isolated from our families we are. Good luck to you. I will continue to follow your adventures!


    1. We sort of made a spreadsheet like we did before moving to Hawaii, and Maine ticked off most of the boxes for us, like Hawaii did back in 2012.

      Your experience in Arizona is similar to what eventually happened to us here in Hawaii. All the kids talked a good game about visiting but it just didn’t happen, and for them it was a difficult, long, and expensive journey. It was the same for our son and family. Our son has said he probably won’t come to visit us in New England (too far away for them) but we’re more than happy to make a journey to Japan every year.


  8. I’m looking forward to your adventures in Nashville, and I really hope you get up to Michigan. 😊 Having a plan two years out sounds logical to me, regardless of living in the moment. I would want something in the planning stages just because the uncertainty would bother me. I’m also chuckling at the people who are shocked by Maine. When my DD was in Worcester doing her masters at Clark, I realized that the East Coast is really drivable in every direction. And being close to kids as we age is priceless. I think you will love it there if it ends up being your home. We love Maine. d


    1. We’re really going to try to visit Michigan. It’s destination higher up the list than others (and of course we can get together!).

      Yesterday for fun Brett and I did a general search for houses in Maine in our price range – WOW! There were so many to choose from. I know none of the ones available now will be available in two years, but that gave us a lot of hope. And, drivability is right – we may actually purchase our car in Maine because it’s not that long a drive from where our daughter lives.

      P.S. I visited Maine when I was 13; still remember it and I loved it then.


  9. Maine is ideal. Find a great insulated house with triple pane windows. Ours is super insulated and our average fuel bill this winter was $100 when the temps were in the negative numbers. Portland is walkable and the train to the rest of the Atlantic coast is easy. The Navy base in Bangor is great. Travel to Japan can be over the pole. Lots of time on the plane, but no stops!
    Travel is messy right now. Long,slow travel will not be as easy in the future, but a week or two someplace else seems very possible. You certainly have some great ground work on where to go to enjoy some areas in shorter periods of time. Seems to me your mother was pretty old when she passed. I think you may still have five or ten years of moving after your time in Tennessee.


    1. We’re going to start at the top of Maine and work our way down until we find something we like that we can afford. We sure saw plenty that caught our eye yesterday.

      I am dreading our trip on Monday – it’s going to be brutal.

      We do our best to insure a good, long life. Right now the trick seems to be to avoid COVID. We’re double vexed, doubled boosted, and will be masked EVERYWHERE no matter what anyone thinks or believes!


  10. You’re right, things can change dramatically in a blink of an eye and that’s why being flexible is so important. What I appreciate about being older and hopefully wiser😃is that by now I have my priorities set and it seems like you have them as well. Family comes first, doesn’t it?
    Maine sounds like a good place for the future, I’ve never been there but planning to one day. Nashville is a fun place to be, Grand Ole Opry is there, and if you like music, you’ll love it. Willie Nelson has a bar there, BB King has a bar there, and all famous country, bluegrass, blues, and rock singers have a presence there. It will be great for your granddaughter to be immersed in the local American culture for a couple of years, and get to be a little cowgirl-how fun! I think you are on to a great time in Nashville.


    1. We continue to hear nothing but good things about Nashville and are looking forward to our time there. It will be a good chance to reset, and figure things out further going forward. Maine is definitely in the picture for many reasons.

      Things seem to be moving along for our DIL; can’t wait to learn where she’s chosen to live. And of course can’t wait to see the grandkids again and our son as well. It’s been too long.


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