Please note: This post was originally written at the end of February. About a week before our lives and the course of our future was forever changed due to COVID-19.
Months have been spent worrying about The Hubster’s life and those of his patients and my loved ones before considering anything else. The least of which would be posting about something exciting we’ve worked so hard for.
Truth be told, even with a contract signed, we didn’t know if we would ultimately get there. Unless you’re in the medical field, you may not know about it, but hospitals and organizations were canceling contracts for incoming doctors.
Not to mention, Hawaii is under a strict quarantine, it’s tough to find a place to live and maneuver the logistical nightmare of shipping our home across an ocean all during a pandemic–we just didn’t know if it would all happen anymore.
Much to the Hawaiian way, we’ve been assured for awhile now to move forward as much as we can as we’re still wanted and needed. We’re so grateful.
This week was the first time in nearly 2 months I smiled when discussing our future plans again; it doesn’t seem so bleak or farfetched anymore. I’ll allow myself the small pleasure of being excited a bit.
We may not know an exact date, but we’re still moving to Hawaii.
Check that off as words I never thought I’d say.
We’re moving to Hawaii.
Home of luaus, hula dancing, Mai-Tais, rainbows and enough mahalo-ing to make this Midwesterner’s heart happy.
And we’re moving there. We’re going to live there.
As I typed this I’m still shaking my head. I can’t believe it and it’s been months since we visited and the hubster got a job offer.
This starts the beginning of the end in a volcanic journey towards becoming a doctor. I couldn’t help it, guys. The Hawaii puns will be plentiful. You’re welcome to punch me.
So, let’s quickly recap for those new readers–HEY!
- Hubster and I met.
- Hubster went back to school, worked full-time and applied to medical schools for 3 years.
- Hubster and I moved to Florida for medical school.
- Hubster matched for an EM residency in Michigan.
- We lived 1400 miles apart for 2 years.
- I started my own copywriting business so I could have the job flexibility to move after residency.
- I moved back to Michigan.
- We went on many trips exploring areas we may want to live post-residency.
I just summed up 13+ years of busting our asses in 7 bullet points.
Suffice to say, there were a lot more sub bullet points below each. A lot of uncertainty. A lot of career shifting. A lot of tears. A lot of miles moved in-between. 3 homes. 2 surgeries. 2 therapists. 1 wedding overseas. And a partridge in a pear tree.
I’ll save you the details.
After exploring the west coast this past fall, from Oregon to California and then Nevada, we fell in love with Central Oregon. I’m telling you, I still dream about that area. I can see myself there, and more importantly, we can see ourselves there.
Cut to the reality that there were no open ER physician positions at that time and it left me and the hubster scrambling to define what’s next.
I’ve been pretty open–LOUD AND PROUD–that I’m done with the bitter cold and grey Midwest winters that last far longer than anyone wants to admit.
From the moment I started dating My Main Squeeze, to now-hubster, he always said he never saw himself staying in the Midwest long-term. We silently smirk at each other when he grovels how cold it is or how warm it is in our former Florida home.
But, there are creature comforts of “home.” There’s a pull to the certainty of it, especially if where you’d like to live doesn’t have job openings at that time. Especially if moving again and the fear of failure or not liking it lurks in your mind.
I get it. But, my close friends knew how frustrated I was at that point.
The Hubster slowly started applying elsewhere. Places we knew we may like based on previous travels: Arizona, Nevada, all the while keeping an eye on Central Oregon.
Believe it or not, we had Hawaii on our list from the get-go.
But, because we hadn’t visited there before, it seemed like a pipe-dream.
Timing. No job openings where we wanted. A friend who recommended an ER group in Hawaii. An application sent. An interview scheduled.
Pack your bags, kids!
It happened in a matter of weeks, as most wonderful life adventures do.
We flew to Hawaii, then Arizona and finally Nevada for job interviews.
By mid-January he had a job offer. Several, eventually, in fact.
What has seemed like a lifetime of commitment to this medical journey, culminated with us blissfully smiling over cold Kona beers. Quietly taking it all in as the world around us became a murmur of submerged sound; ruminating and enjoying the moment while eagerly wondering what’s next.
It was magical.
The weeks that followed were full of financial benefits spreadsheets, entertaining discussions and a hankering that we both knew what the answer was regardless.
We have, quite literally, set up our careers, moves, life sacrifices and many margaritas for even the chance at an opportunity like this.
Him putting in endless hours studying, training, working and missing so many of the fun events all us non-medicine people look forward to, including sleep, and me leaving a cushy paycheck to start my own biz, which gives us the flexibility that medicine requires, among other things.
Which is why our decision to move 4,500 miles away truly boiled down to only living once. We knew we’d always wonder about an opportunity for adventures in Hawaii if we didn’t take it.
Some of the best decisions we’ve made have been full of both fear and faith that things would be okay…and this is certainly one of them.
Excitement and fear can coincide together, in fact, I think they always should.
As scary as it may be, as many logistics that need to be figured out, as much as we’re going to miss our crew, Hawaii was saying Aloha to our hearts.
So, this summer depending on when quarantines are lifted and essential logistics allow, we’ll be setting up shop in Hilo on the Big Island of Hawaii.
The group the hubster is working with values a work-life balance that other organizations may turn their nose up to in preference for the hustle culture. It was a welcome surprise. Something I think both of us could benefit from.
Not only that, Hawaii is full of some of the kindest, friendliest, most-mahalo-ing people around. We were enamored with the plentiful opportunities for adventures on the Big Island. Did you know it has 12 of the 13 world ecosystems?! We can drive up to snowy tops of mountains where telescopes are housed, and then back down through rainforests and across to the dry climate of the Kailua-Kona side. It was incredible. We can do anything from stand up paddle boarding to surfing to swimming to running (the Kona triathlon is run here for a reason) to zip lining to hiking to climbing volcanos to golfing to sitting on my lanai listening to the coqui frogs.
Soon enough, we’ll be packing up our home, preparing the ginger kitty for gecko hunting again and moving to an island in the middle of the Pacific Ocean.
I simultaneously can’t wait and am scared shitless. As it should be.
You can fully expect I’ll be sharing lots of pictures of lush rainforests, lagoons, black sand beaches and Mai-Tais.
I will not be sharing pictures of me getting lei’d.
Oh man, these jokes are never gonna get old.
Mahalo, my friends!
Excited for your new adventure! I have a good friend who is from Hawaii (Oahu, not the Big Island) and the glimpses she shares from her cultural history are incredible. I hope you’ll get the opportunity to dive in and learn while living there! Also excited for a slower pace for both of you… It’s certainly deserved after everything you’ve done for others during this time. <3