Why’d You Move To O’ahu?
That is a questions I’ve asked many people since moving here and a question I’ve answered many times. This is why I moved to O’ahu.
In the summer of 2017, I had no interest in moving to O’ahu, but I did want to finally fulfill a desire since childhood to ride a wave. Hindsight, I find it quite odd that it took me until my 44th year to fulfill this desire. Since prior to O’ahu, SoCal had been home for nearly 8 years. And much of that time had been spent on the beaches of Redondo, Hermosa and Manhattan. I even owned a surfboard for 2 of those years there and had previously been to Hawai’i 4 times!
But I regress. Whatever the reason, 2017 was the year I decided to learn to surf. Next came the big decision – where? I’d been to Costa Rica and knew about the great surf there. I’d also been to Mexico and Peter Shmock, a friend and trainer has talked numerous time of surfing there. But then there were the places I’d never been – Australia, Bali, other spots in Indonesia that are known for great surf conditions. But eventually, after significant research, I decided to go where it all started . . . Hawai’i. And finally in November, I decided on O’ahu. Next, I scheduled a surf session with Sunset Suzy, and booked a VRBO for an 18 day stay in December.
Now throughout all this time, I had zero intention nor interest in moving to O’ahu. In Seattle, I was entering the eighth year of owning a profitable business and absolutely loved where I lived. I also enjoy hiking and consider the N.W to be one of the most beautiful spots in the world. So with my mind set that the N.W was home, I flew off to O’ahu.
Three days later in Haleiwa, my life changed.
One of my first rides ever
Surf Town Haleiwa . . .
The iconic surf spot on O’ahu that I knew nothing about until 2017. And though I had read that Waikiki is one of best spots in the world to learn to surf, Haleiwa was my spot.
So on that fateful day, with a patient and very supportive instructor, and while I was trying to suppress my fear of shark attack, I caught my first wave. If you’ve surfed before, you’ll know that words are incapable of describing the feeling of catching a wave. It simply must be experienced. A blast, I loved that first ride but in the grand scheme of things, no big deal. If I had stopped then, most likely I would not be a Realtor in O’ahu, Hawai’i and writing this blog from a rental in Aina Haina, while sitting in shorts and a shirt and feeling a little chilly, even though thermostat reads 78 degrees.
But this was a 2 hour lesson and I had a lot of time remaining. So I paddled back out. Now, I really can’t remember if it was the second or third wave, but after riding one of them, I experienced a very strong feeling to move to Hawai’i And as I got back out to Suzy, in a joking manner, I said “This could be life changing.” And then told her about my new found desire to move to O’ahu. She laughed and said, “I hear that from a lot of people.”
During the remainder of that vacation, while contemplating moving to O’ahu, I took several more surf lessons, and also explored much of the island. All the while, experiencing a peace that was rare to my life.
After flying back to Seattle, I quickly returned to my normal routine. And after a few days I decided it was a crazy idea to move to O’ahu but told myself I’d reconsider it in a year.
The Magic Of Hawai’i?
And then some weird things started happening in my life – actually 9 unique events over a 6 week period. I initially found the unusual events simply entertaining coincidences. But so many occurred, and they all seemed to be pointing me to Hawai’i, specifically O’ahu, that I started writing them down. Two of the incidents involved people who told me there is something magical about the Hawaiian Islands even before I told them I was considering eventually moving to O’ahu. Maybe it was all pure coincidence, but eventually I concluded the Universe was trying to get my attention. Therefore, after 6 weeks being back in Seattle, I decided to move to O’ahu. It took a couple of months to wrap things up in Seattle, but at last, here I am.
So why did I move to O’ahu? Until now, I would always answer “the surf.” But as I conclude this post, I realize I really don’t know. Definitely surfing was a huge part of it. But the vastly beautiful and magnificent Ocean was certainly a factor. As were the majestic remnants of the shield volcanoes, the albatross colony at Ka’ena point, seeing a sperm whale breech close offshore, watching a beautiful woman do tricks on a longboard in big surf off Makaha, and all the singing birds. Whatever the reason, I’m very happy to call O’ahu, “The Gathering Place” home. It truly is a magical place – just try surfing and you may discover it for yourself.