Empty Nesters

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Without going into too many details about how we decided to move from Oregon to Hawaii for a few months, I’ll sum it up with just many.

Several years ago we started seriously thinking about what life would look like when our last child moved out.  For years we had avoided the term "empty nesters" because it felt old and postponed any major changes for several reasons: we liked where we were, our kids were in school, we had good local jobs and life was satisfying. But we started thinking.

Marty talked about living on a boat. Twenty-five years ago, with three kids in tow, we moved to Florida, bought a sailboat and spent a year cruising the Keys and Bahamas (see “People Live on Boats?” post).

That seemed a bit extreme because we had location-dependent jobs, all our kids (and grandkids) live in the western part of the US, and I have a healthy fear/respect relationship with the ocean.

So, we started talking about other options – tiny home, van, RV – that would allow us the flexibility to travel and see our kids without committing to a life in the Caribbean.

We ended up compromising. I’d consider living on a sailboat part of the year if we could live closer to the kids for the remainder of the year.

Over the course of the next few years we ended up buying a van and outfitting it (a work in progress) and found a spot for a tiny home (an amazing spot at a drive-in movie theater #thespud in Driggs, Idaho). We also took some trips to Washington and Florida to look at catamaran sailboats. The plan was to get serious about purchasing a boat in the summer of 2022 and then figure out the rest.

Then, as fate would have it, some friends gave us first dibs on a piece of property they were selling. We hit pause and decided we should build a home with an in-law apartment for Marty’s parents. Then when everyone was settled we’d pursue the downsizing direction.

Somewhere in there Covid-19 hit. Everything changed for everyone. It kind of forced us to reconsider our path forward.  

Marty’s work became location independent – in fact, like many, he had to work from home. Two of our kids decided to attend BYU-Hawaii. Suddenly it really was going to be just Marty and I in our home. Not a bad thing at all. And his parents and my dad and brother’s family were just up the road, so we had some pretty good reasons to stick around. But something tugged at us to uproot ourselves.

We like to take our kids to school for their first college semester but when we looked at flights at the end of December they were crazy high, but much lower earlier in the month. So why not? Sell almost everything, move to Hawaii and see what heppens. It's the best of both worlds -- empty nesters with two of our kids just up the road. 


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