Having heard from Ali Lawrence about how she lives a lovely life for less in the US and specifically in Pennsylvania, Brandi-Ann Uyemura’s guest post now takes us south to the beaches of Hawaii. But it’s not as enviable as we northerners may think as we shiver in the start of winter!
Brandi says: If you’ve watched The Descendants, starring George Clooney, you know that living on a tropical island is like living anywhere else. Locals don’t all live glamorous lives, sipping mai tais in a hammock as they watch the sun set over another glorious ocean filled day.
In fact, being born and raised in Hawaii, I know for sure we have the same problems and desires as anyone else. Actually, living on an island makes things a little more challenging. But with obstacles come unexpected precious gifts. Here are a few valuable ones that have taught me to live a lovely life for less in Hawaii, and that you can cultivate in your own hometown.
1. Finding new experiences.
I grew up on Oahu and have visited everywhere a multitude of times. For someone who craves adventure and novelty, finding different things to do is a constant challenge. To change things up, I’ve had to see things with fresh eyes.
Engaging in activities that are new to me like taking cooking classes, joining a choir, and starting my own community of like-minded members has helped me to become a beginner again. Doing so has taught me it’s not where you live, but how you live that matters.
2. Being present.
Traffic on an island can be monotonous and frustrating, especially when it can take over an hour to get somewhere that normally would take 20 minutes. It’s taught me the gift of enjoying the moment. Instead of fighting what is, I’ve learned to use the time for meditation, contemplation and even listening to podcasts.
3. Feeling grateful.
Resources are not as freely available when you live on an island. This just makes every experience, opportunity and resource extremely valuable. When there is a potential hurricane, tropical storm or monthly civil defense warning blaring nearby, I’m reminded of how vulnerable I am and how precious life is.
4. Peace is just a few steps away.
Like you, I often get caught up in trying to check off everything on my to-do list. But when overwhelm and busy-ness are right around the corner, I remember that I’m surrounded by the sea and nature is just a few minutes away. Sometimes that realization is enough to calm me into a state of presence and peace.
Living on Oahu makes me the envy of a lot of my friends. But life here is as difficult as anywhere else. Thankfully, the idiosyncrasies that make living here challenging are also the things that have forced me to learn to live a lovely life for less in Hawaii.