In just a few days, I’ll finally be making the big move I’ve been talking about for months. This weekend, I’ll be getting on a plane to Honolulu, Hawaii (on the island of Oahu) with nothing but a backpack, a carry-on suitcase and a whole lot of trust in the universe that now is the right time. In many ways, relocating to Hawaii feels like the final stage of my journey to become location-independent. After two years of downsizing, traveling, building my business and experimenting with different living situations, I’ve achieved the possibility of being able to live and work from anywhere in the world. Something tells me that this move is only the beginning of another year of personal and professional adventure!
I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t scared. But I’m feeling the fear and moving anyway. Here are a few other things that have happened ever since I made the choice to move to my ideal location. If you decide to embark on your own big move, you might experience some of them, too.
1. You Start Fantasizing About Going to the Beach All the Time
I’m a big believer in visualizing your goals, and I’ve definitely been picturing myself laying on the beach pretty often. And the closer I get to the date of my move, the more difficult it is for me to stay present. I’ve had to be really intentional about participating fully in the current reality of where I am right now, versus where I really want to be. And it didn’t help that a few weeks ago (once it started getting cold in the DMV), I downloaded the Yahoo! weather app on my iPhone that tells me what the temperature is every day in Hawaii. Today, the high was 84. Perfect weather for the beach!
2. People Look at You Like You’ve Lost Your Damn Mind
I’ve mentioned my relocation plans to a lot of people over the last few months. If they don’t know me that well (like the receptionist in the Visionworks optometrist office when I asked if they had a branch in Hawaii), they pause for a moment and just give me a look. You know, that “what the hell?” look that says without saying that you’re thisclose to crazy. Then, they usually say something like, “must be nice” or “I wish I could do that.” And then I realize that the look on their face isn’t one of judgment, but of jealousy. I want to say “but you CAN!” and start coaching them through all the action steps they could take. Instead, I just smile and keep it moving.
3. You Donate Your Clothes to Charity and Regret Spending So Much Money on Shoes
Last month, I dropped off four (four!) garbage bags full of clothes, shoes and winter coats to my local Goodwill donation center. Now ALL the clothes and shoes I own fit into one small carry-on suitcase! It felt so liberating to finally let go of things I never needed in the first place. I also tried my best to let go of the thought that if only I hadn’t spent so much money on clothes and shoes in the first place, I would have more savings for traveling! It’s just a lesson learned that in the future, my purchases should be in service to my big goals.
4. You Sell Your Car and Get Used to the Idea of Depending on Public Transportation
When I bought my trusty black Honda almost six years ago, I said I would ride it until the wheels fell off. Last weekend, I SOLD it as part of my final purge before I move. I made the decision to sell my car because the cost of shipping it from Virginia to Hawaii was more money than the car is worth! Not to mention the DMV hassle of getting it registered, etc. in another state. Plus, it always helps to have some extra cash when you’re relocating to a place that’s 5,000 miles away. It still feels strange to not have a car key anymore. But seeing how much I disliked driving in the first place, I’m looking forward to becoming a public transportation ninja with all the Honolulu bus and trolley routes memorized!
5. You Give Away All Your Books to Your Local Library. And Then Cry About It.
Before I handed over the keys to my car, I used it for one last trip: to my local library to DONATE all but a few of the 200+ books I’ve collected over the years. Believe it or not, the books were MUCH harder to let go of than my car! It’s amazing how attached we can get to our stuff. Books have been so much a part of my identity over the years as I’ve always been a “bookworm” and someone who has prided herself on being a lifelong learner and critical thinker. I’ve had to remind myself that I can still find most of my precious books at the library (for free!) and purchase the really good ones for my Kindle. And now, someone else can enjoy the physical books that I no longer need.
6. You Realize How Weird Your New Office Hours Are
You know it’s real when you add new office hours to your email signature: Monday-Thursday, 2:00pm-10:00pm Eastern Time (8:00am-4:00pm Hawaii Time). Not only am I moving, but my business is moving with me as well. It finally hit me about a month ago that I’ll be SIX whole hours behind most of my clients, customers and readers on the east coast. I’ve always run my business on Eastern Time, but now it’s time to make the switch both mentally and operationally. I’m a little worried about how my business is going to change with the new hours, but I’m also super excited that now I can offer more EVENING HOURS for all my coaching clients without it being an issue with my personal schedule.
7. You Find a Temporary Place to Stay and Still Feel Homeless
On my last visit to Hawaii, I stayed at the YMCA to save money and enjoy the island on a budget. I had a great experience back in 2011, so I plan to stay there again for a while until I learn my way around the island enough to be confident in booking a long-term condo rental. I’ve found some promising options for “vacation rentals” on websites like Craigslist, VRBO and Homeaway, but I still want to get to the island first and see the actual properties and neighborhoods for myself. There’s nothing worse than a listing stating they are near a bus stop and it’s actually more like five miles away!
8. You Begin to Doubt Your Decision…and Even Your Ability to Make Decisions
When I first announced that I was moving, I received so many well wishes from all my peeps in the DC area. I had originally planned to schedule a ton of meetups with folks before I left, but after just a few “goodbyes” with friends and colleagues, I started feeling sad and conflicted about moving. Was it really the right time? There were still so many opportunities for me there…did I really want to leave the professional network I’d built? Finally, I decided to just chill with family for the remainder of my time in DC so that I could fully honor my decision and make this transition on a high note.
9. You Keep Reassuring Yourself That You Can Always Leave if You Don’t Like It
Over the last few months, I’ve had quite a few people express concern about whether or not I’ll enjoy living in Hawaii. But what’s important for all of us to remember is that at any given point, if you don’t like living in a certain place anymore, you can begin making plans to MOVE to a different place. Sure, you can change certain things about your life, but none of your decisions are permanent unless you want them to be. You don’t have to stress yourself out because you’re not sure if it will “work out” or if you’ll “like it.” There’s no way to know anything for sure until you make the decision, take action and experience it fully for yourself. And if you don’t like the outcome, you can regroup and shift direction. You can always start over. Always.
10. You Listen to This Song…and Remember That the Universe is On Your Side
I recently found out about a new artist from the UK named Sampha through one of Drake’s new songs, “Too Much.” I fell in love with this brother’s soulful voice and immediately put his song “Indecision” on repeat.
On the chorus, Sampha repeats, “let it all work out” over and over. When I first heard it, I took it as a message from the universe that there’s no need for me to worry about all the things that could go wrong. My only job is to allow everything to unfold as it should.
So of course, that line has become my mantra and prayer as I prepare to move.
Let it all work out.
Let it all work out.
Let it all work out.
Please God, let it all work out.
Leave a comment: Have you ever made a move that scared you? How did you handle it? How did it turn out?