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Vacation life vs. real life

Dreamy Hammock In The Virgin Islands

We’ve been here for 8 weeks now. In some ways I can’t believe its been that long, but in other ways, it seems about right. We’re now settled and getting into a groove and getting used to our new life.

And that new life is amazing. I am 100% happy with our decision to move here. I can’t even imagine still being back in Virginia right now. I feel so fortunate that we’ve been able to make this happen and I don’t regret a single thing.

The reality is definitely different than expected in some ways. I guess when you come here on vacation, its still this fantasy vacation world. Last summer when we spent a month in Hawaii, we spent our days doing activity after activity, eating out and living the life. Despite having kids, having to do laundry, cook and clean, and Chuck working, it still wasn’t exactly “real life”.

And I knew that coming here wouldn’t be fantasy vacation life but “real life” with real bills to pay, jobs to do, laundry and all that.

The thing is, I don’t think many other people realize that living in Hawaii is still real life just with better weather.

I get the impression that people think we’re living this dream life with maids, nannies, cooks, a fairy godmother and a money tree. Since I live in Hawaii, my days must be filled with nothing but snorkeling and sun and amazing dinners at the beach.

While the reality is I’m still running to Target and Costco, cleaning my house and eating my home-cooked dinners at home just like everyone else.

Even for me, it’s been an adjustment from what I thought life would look like and the reality. I thought we’d get up, eat, then go snorkeling or diving, eat lunch at the beach, maybe come home in the afternoon and spend our evenings strolling along the main street in town or throwing a frisbee at the beach. The reality? We haven’t scuba dived once yet and we’ve only done real snorkeling one time which was yesterday. We have yet to surf, or go on a boat.

Thing is, I’m ok with that. I’m ok with not staying so busy that we’ve seen and done it all already. I’m ok with the aspects of real life that are thrown in because the other parts have been replaced with amazing substitutes. It’s fine to spend my morning cleaning and cooking because I know the afternoon can be spent in our pool or at the beach or sipping Kona coffee at a park.

I can tell I’m starting to change already. I’m learning to appreciate things even more than ever before. From the tiny simple things like watching the mama bird with her adorable babies follow behind her and the itty bitty snails outside to the rudimentary things like cooking because I’m using fresh organic ingredients bought that day and getting to try new foods, textures and flavors.

I’m grateful for this opportunity. I’m beyond glad we took the risk and made the leap. And I’m grateful that life is full of so many opportunities right now. And I’m realizing my day is mine to make it anyway I want, and for that alone, I’m fortunate.span>