Monday, March 4, 2013

Why Choose Hawaii?

                                                        Mauna Kea dusted with snow

People seem so skeptical of my motives when I say that I moved to Hawaii to simplify my life and live a more homestead style life. I believe that's because of the public misconception of what Hawaii is like. Ya know....Waikiki Beach, sunshine, palm trees, surfboys. Yes, that's here but it isn't what Hawaii is all about. It would be like expecting to see cattle drives going through Oklahoma City, or  everybody riding horses down the street of Houston, Texas. So, I didn't choose Hawaii in order to sit on the beach and eat coconuts.

Grower older, I wanted to go someplace where the weather would be easier on me. I had had my fill of snow, ice, wet cold mud, bone chilling rain, dreary days, stifling humidity, raucously hot summer days. I was looking not only for gentler weather but someplace where I could grow food year around, be rural or semi-rural, have the freedom to express myself, and be able to survive on my meager savings. Lots of locations fit one to two of my requirements, but finding the "ideal" spot took a lot of searching. I hadn't even considered Hawaii until I took a pre-retirement trip to fulfill a dream to see an erupting volcano. The wish took me to Hawaii, the easiest one to access. And lo and behold, I discovered a Hawaii that wasn't anything like I had envisioned.

Hawaii is really, really diverse. In the short distance of five miles I can go from a wet, lush area to hot, dry desert. And that is exactly what the area I settled down is like! My farm is sheltered from the trade winds, but a short drive away the trades can practically blow you off your feet some days. Mornings and evenings on the farm are chilly, making a small wood burning stove welcome. A couple of miles up the mountain that wood burning stove becomes a necessity, while in the opposite direction down the mountain makes that stove not needed at all.

So, Hawaii fit our needs. The only difficulty was cost. I was not use to land being so costly. So finding the right piece of land took us years of searching and a lot of dumb luck!

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