Friday, September 9, 2011

Living the Dream Down in Ewa Beach

It’s been almost a year since we left Southern Oregon to pursue our lifelong dream of a coastal life. After spending most of our lives wishing we lived near the beach, my husband and I realized that we were at a turning point in our lives and careers. It was time to put up or shut up, either we leave the stability of successful careers, friends and family and completely start over again or give up our dream, and wait patiently for 15 years and ultimately retirement. We both realized that we were quickly approaching that point of no return, that point where waiting any longer would make it that much more challenging to leave-- and so we finally decided it was time. This wasn’t the first time. We almost moved to Maui a few years ago. An opportunity arose and we almost jumped on it, but our children weren’t completely on board, and we felt we couldn’t make such a drastic move without everyone in agreement. After all, this move would affect them just as profoundly as it affects us. Luckily the second time around our kids were both just as excited about the prospect of a new adventure as we were, and we decided at last, it was time.

Well, we have met that year milestone. Yep, we have officially been in Hawaii for a whole year. (On average most people that move from the mainland to Hawaii move back within two years) Funny thing is I almost didn't even notice. Life has been good, great even. There has been a lot of adjusting but I think we are fitting in just fine. We moved from Kapolei to Ewa Beach a few months back with the purchase of our home here. And since we moved in, or before actually, it has been a whole lot of work. Fixing up a fixer can be all consuming, but it's worth it and I love our home. And at some point it will be done...maybe.

It’s amazing the street cred you get from local people when they discover you live on Ewa Beach Road. Generally when a haole says they live in Ewa Beach they mean Ewa Gentry, a planned pristine, cookie-cutter, community on the other side of Ewa Beach. Ewa Beach Road has an eclectic mix of residents nestled along a mile long oceanfront road sandwiched by the Pacific Ocean and government owned property. I think it is an ideal snapshot of true local living. All races, ages and tax brackets.

"Living the dream down in Ewa Beach" is a bit of a joke between my husband and I. When friends or coworkers find out that we live on Ewa Beach Road, they usually say, really?
I have to admit that the first time I laid eyes on Ewa Beach I was not impressed. We were on the search, scouring our new island for a little place to purchase. A little place as close to beachfront as we could afford. I was put off by the fact that so many of the homes in Ewa Beach suffer from neglect, disrepair and clutter. It seemed so tired and used up. How did these people not realize where they lived?

So what changed you might ask? I did. And Ewa Beach began to grow on me. And the local life. And I have no complaints, well except maybe for the neighbor boys who ride their extremely whiney mopeds up and down the street. But the fact of the matter is-- we live on the beach, just steps to the sand. We're all good... and living the dream.