February 1, 2023

…and just like that, everything has changed again. After four relatively boring years living in the same bland apartment in the same bland Honolulu neighborhood, our landlord decided that the end of the pandemic was the perfect time to end our tenancy so she could remodel and sell.

It’s not the first time that this has happened to us – and it never seems to come with any warning at all. We managed to find something better, in a neighborhood I’ve been wanting to live in again – though, I have to admit – Hawaii has largely lost it’s luster for me. The lack of tourists during the pandemic year was blissful, though it would have been nice to experience that without a pandemic.

I was fortunate to be able to take a brief trip to Australia in the very earliest days of the pandemic and then a few family trips to the Big Island last summer and a trip to California to finally sell my VW Van – rather than move it to Hawaii. I took one more trip to the Big Island where I was keen to buy a house, but the pandemic real estate boom drove everything above what I wanted or was able to pay. The few that fell in my budget were either vetoed by the bank because of HOA fees or because they were off grid. Homeownership has eluded me for fifty years. Then, as if to rub salt in the wounds, the former landlord rugging us just as rents have gone sky high for summer tourism and due to the state’s ridiculous ‘come work remotely from Hawaii (and drive up rental costs for people who already can’t afford to live here)‘ program. So, as I mentioned, we have found a new place to live, but the lease is six months and frankly, I’m in no way certain that I want to stay in Hawaii any longer.

We’ll be taking a trip back to Oregon to see friends and I will be seeing what kinds of houses we might be able to buy. Everything has changed…I can’t even begin to explain what that means, but just know that it is true.

I never particularly wanted to return to the USA and with travel restrictions finally lifting, maybe it will be time to say sayonara m’salamma to the USA and look for greener pastures. They certainly exist. In particular if it looks like the past administration has any chance of bringing chaos in a new campaign (or god forbid winning the next election). We will see.

In the meantime, I’ve finished bringing my list of famous vagabonds to the site and will start bringing new travel content again starting in July – or at least that’s the plan. We’ll see how it goes.

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