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3 Things I Wish I Knew Before Moving Away From Our Entire Family

It’s been over a year since we packed up our lives in Connecticut and moved away from our family to Hawaii. Let me tell you, as dreamy as it sounds, it wasn’t an easy decision. Moving to an island that’s a 9+ hour flight away from everyone we know? Yeah, it definitely gave us pause. There was a lot that we considered. But looking back, there are three things I wish I had known then to help us make our decision. 

1. You’ll Grow Stronger as a Family Unit

Moving across the world brought our family closer than ever. And that’s exactly what we were looking for when we were considering moving. We wanted a place where we could spend a lot of time outdoors, where we could connect with one another while connecting with nature, and where we didn’t have to live fast but could lean into a slower pace of life. Adjusting to a new place, new people, and new ways of doing things can be exciting while also creating its own set of challenges. We learned to lean on and support and encourage one another. 

If you’re a homeschooling mama like me, moving can also be an opportunity to bond with your kids in ways you never thought possible. Exploring a new place, and trying new things – it’s all part of the adventure. And trust me, the memories you make along the way? They’re worth their weight in gold!

We’ve really had a chance to build our own sense of independence here. It’s a completely different experience when you don’t have your parents nearby to lean on. And while that’s challenging for sure, it’s also allowed us to see the full extent of our capabilities and step into them!  

2. Time with Family will be Intentional and Memorable 

Being far from our extended family has allowed us to appreciate the time we have together with them during visits. We’ve traveled to Connecticut for a family wedding, we had a cousin come and stay with us for a week, and my husband’s parents came and stayed with us for three whole months!  We spent more time together during those three months than we had over the last few years combined. And I don’t say that because we didn’t see them a lot when we lived close by, but we definitely saw them way more while living together under one roof during those three months. 

Now I know not everyone is going to come and visit for three months, but you can do a lot even during a 1-week or 2 week stay. That’s because you are going to be intentional and really appreciate and take advantage of the time together. I used to hear people say this who lived far from family but I could never grasp the idea of it until it became our reality. And during the time we are apart – we use facetime pretty much daily! 

Thankfully, we can accommodate frequent and extended travel. As a homeschooling entrepreneurial family, we have full control of our time and schedules! That has made the move a lot easier. 

3. You’ll Build a Community Filled with People who Become Family 

One of the best things about moving to Hawaii? The ‘Ohana’ we’ve built here. [Best Stitch impersonation: Ohana means family, and family means never getting left behind.] We’ve met some incredible people here who have become family. They’ve been here when cars have broken down, when kids have been sick, and even as travel buddies to nearby and faraway places. 

We were blessed enough to find a Wild + Free Homeschooling Group that meets every Friday for a fun adventure. It’s become the highlight of our week. 

It takes a village, but I’ve learned that you can build your own village. The people who make up our village here in Hawaii will never replace the village we had in Connecticut, but they have instead become an additional village that we love just as much. 

So there you have it – three lessons we’ve learned from moving halfway across the world. It’s not always going to be easy, but we wouldn’t change a thing. We are all extremely happy living here on Oahu and we know it’s where we belong. 

To all of the mamas out there dreaming of something more for their families, I say this: take a chance, trust in the journey, and above all, cherish the moments – they’re what make life worth living 

If you enjoyed this read, check out the podcast I co-host with my husband  ‘Not Your Average Family’! 

Listen on Apple Podcasts here!

Listen on Spotify here!

Follow our journey on Instagram @hifivelivinglife

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