Thursday, August 18, 2011

Go West, Young Man...Far West: Day 1

Three weeks ago today, Roxi was offered a teaching position at Hawai'i Pacific University in Honolulu. Of course we were excited but there were so many things to plan for: Roxi is required to be there by August 27, we had to figure out what to do with everything in our apartment and we had to figure out where we would live on Oahu.  The prospect was exciting but extremely overwhelming to say the least.

This didn't exactly come out of the blue.  Roxi and I have been scheming on how to get to Hawai'i for a while now but didn't expect it to happen so soon.  We spent our honeymoon on the island of Oahu three and half years ago and of course we loved it; it is paradise after all!  As long as we've been together, Roxi and I have never really agreed on where we would to settle down.  I don't care for extremely cold winters and after years of life in south Louisiana, Roxi is tired of the endless summer heat and humidity.  I would prefer a Stateside life while Roxi has dreamed of living abroad.  Six or eight months ago, we discussed the possibility of Hawai'i.  It seems that the islands offer everything that we want: a moderate climate and an idyllic setting that is part of the United States but feels foreign thanks to the cultural differences and the fact that is in the middle of the Pacific Ocean.

It is a daunting task to try to make such a major move given several months notice but it is even more extreme when you have about twenty-eight days. This process has been stressful but it has also been extremely liberating.  When we moved to The Netherlands a few years ago, we stored our things in a POD and arranged for them to meet us in Memphis when we returned to the States.  When we opened the POD and saw our things after nine months overseas, we couldn't believe that we had actually paid to store so much junk.  We decided that we would not repeat our past mistake this time.  It made more sense to sell everything and only take with us what we truly need.

The process of letting go has been a very rewarding and freeing experience for both Roxi and I.  We have come to realize that so much of what we have are just things, many of which we don't use often enough to keep.  What's more, nearly everything is replaceable if we want it again.  Of course there are a few items that have sentimental value and those will be saved and graciously stored by our parents, but everything else is just stuff.  I've always tried to be a practical person but now, if there isn't a frequent and practical use for an item, I will not be buying it.

After three weeks of planning and several moving sales, yesterday we loaded up our remaining things along with our cat Jupiter, and left Memphis, our home for the last two years.  Although we have gotten rid of nearly everything, we are taking a car to Hawai'i because it will be a useful thing to have plus it is a convertible and what better place to have one than a tropical island?  Very practical if you ask me!  We are shipping our car from Long Beach, CA but to get there, we are taking a trip through Louisiana and Texas to see our families.  The full trip will take us 2250 miles but we are fortunate to have friends and family along the way who we will also be able to visit.

Sadly our cat Jupiter will not be able to travel with us to Hawai'i.  Hawai'i is rabies free and there is a strict protocol for any pets entering the state.  After proving that the pet is rabies free by blood test, there is a 120-day quarantine period that can occur either Stateside or in a facility in Honolulu.  Neither option is great but it is better for Jupiter to stay with family for four months than to stay locked up on the island in quarantine.  As of today, Jupiter passed her blood test and the clock has started so she will be able to join us in four months.  It will be hard on us and her but it is in everyone's best interest this way.

We left Memphis at around 4:30 pm yesterday afternoon, several hours later than expected, but we made good time and managed to arrive at Roxi's parents' house a little after midnight.  It was a long day of packing and driving but it was nice to get the trip started and finish the first stage of the process.  We will be spending the next two days here in Lafayette getting Jupiter acclimated to her home for the next four months.  Stay tuned for daily updates as we make this trip and begin a new life in the 50th state.

Day 1: Memphis, TN to Lafayette, LA, 443 miles


Luke Sonnier said...

Congratulations to Roxi on the new job, and to you too Wes for the chance to move to Hawaii.

I'm happy to see that you will be posting updates on your blog. I look forward to reading more.

Good luck and Namaste!

Anonymous said...

Hope you guys are enjoying Lafayette. We went to Le Chardonnay and YoLo tonight. Be safe, and I look forward to reading more about the trip!
- J. Sasser

Wes Raine said...

Thanks for reading, Luke. It's nice to be blogging again. I suppose that Twitter and Facebook made me lazy last year but writing this post made me realize that it's nice to be back!

Wes Raine said...

Thanks for the Memphis update, Jason. We will miss our Midtown life and are glad that we got to know you while we were there. We'll be in Arizona at Amy & Jason's on Monday evening. Perhaps it will be a good opportunity for a Skype conversation!

Angela Piccinin said...

Congratulations!!!! Now we are going to have to check up on you guys! Have a great time in Hawaii! Wish we could RV to see ya'll. We put a bunch of our stuff at my mom's and three months later, I can't tell you what's in there. It's unreal how much junk we all have. We are going to be in Los Angeles in the beginning of the new year. Maybe if you are coming stateside, we can meet you in person ;)
~Angela and Danny from the RV!

Roxanne Benoit Raine said...

Hey Angela! You never know, we might end up in LA for the new year! We are definitely going to the mainland for the holiday, just haven't worked out all of the details yet. I hope you guys drive down highway 1 to get there from Oregon though. I've been hoping that you would get around to doing that because I love, love, love that drive!!! Plus it should be pretty fun in an RV!

Wes Raine said...

Thanks for reading Angela! As Roxanne has mentioned, we've enjoyed reading your blog and keeping up with your travels in the RV. Looking forward to reading about what you and Danny will be up to next!