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I can’t believe it has already been one year since we moved to Kauai! I feel like I say this every year, but this year seriously went by so fast! I want to fill everyone in on what’s new in our lives and share some honest details of what life for us is really like living in Kauai, I also have some photos below to show you a little bit of what we do everyday! I get asked a lot what life is like here and if we miss Vegas at all, so I will share all of that below, but first let me fill you in just in case you missed my last ‘Life in Kauai’ post and give you a quick back story on our reason for moving to Kauai. My husband was born and raised in Kauai, but he moved to Vegas about 10 years ago. We lived in Vegas together for 8 years and once our daughter was born we knew Vegas was no longer the place we wanted to be. Vegas was a great city to us, but it wasn’t somewhere we wanted to raise our daughter. We wanted to be closer to family and have a more relaxed lifestyle for us and our daughter. Knowing what a great childhood my husband had and knowing his whole family was in Kauai made it a pretty easy decision to move here, not to mention Kauai is incredibly beautiful! My parents were living in Napa, CA during the time we were in Vegas and after talking to them about where we would be moving they knew without a doubt they had to move here too. We have been pretty fortunate to have them here in Kauai with us. Not only does Mia get to grow up with her whole family now, but they have been a big help in raising her.
Not too much has changed since my 8 month post. Our jobs and home are all still the same and we are living in the same house in Wailua near all of our family. I am still teaching barre fitness and ballet classes at the studio Barre and Soul and I’m loving it more and more. Not only has it been something that I love to do, but it’s opened me up to such an amazing community of women that have become great role models and friends. Cijay is still working along side his dad in their construction company and doing great, although he did gash his forehead open a couple weeks ago while on the job and had to go get stitches, but besides that, he’s doing great haha. Mia is the one who’s had the biggest changes, she is constantly growing and learning so many new things everyday! It’s amazing at this age how much they can change in just a couple of months. Mia is now 20 months old (and for those of you who hate month references, she’s a year and a half old, lol). She’s becoming so independent, and if you saw in my most recent post, she’s also transitioning into a phase of ‘the terrible twos’ (take a look at that post if you want to read all about it). She’s talking so much now, to where we are able to have little conversations with her and she understands. I love the excitement she shows for us when she sees us and shouts “Mommy! Daddy!”. But more than anything I love seeing her excitement for living here in Kauai. Mia is the whole reason we moved here, so she could have the best life possible! I love how much love she has for her whole family and how much she loves being out doors, especially the beach, it truly makes this whole move worth it! Our dogs are even having a blast living here in Kauai. There are so many places for them to run around outside and explore with us, like the beach and on hikes!
Now, let’s get into what life is really like or us in Kauai. Since Cijay (my husband) is from Kauai, he already knew what to expect when moving here. Thankfully I was able to visit Kauai 9 times with him during our relationship, so I had a chance to really see the whole island and what it has to offer. I would have never imagined I would be able to say that I live in Hawaii, I mean, how many people can say they literally live in paradise?! When I was younger and I pictured my dream life, I imagined having a family of my own, living a relaxed lifestyle somewhere that was incredibly beautiful, while spending majority of our time outdoors, and being able to have jobs doing something we truly wanted to do. So, I guess you could say I’m now living my dream! How cool is that?!
Before I get into the many things we love about life here, let me be honest about some of the struggles. One of the biggest questions we get asked is “Do we miss living in Vegas?” and that is a yes and no answer. Would I ever go back and live in Vegas? Definitely not. While the city of Vegas gave us an incredible life for 9 years and incredible friends, it’s not the lifestyle that we want to go back to (plus it cost A LOT of money to move here and I’m not doing that again! ha). Even though we would never want to live there again, it doesn’t mean we don’t miss things about Vegas. Hands down the biggest thing I miss is my friends! Cijay and I both made some of the best friends we have ever had in that city and it’s hard to not still be with them. One of the biggest adjustments from life in Vegas to life in Kauai was the money. We went from jobs where we made incredible money and the living was cheap, to now paying crazy amounts for living while making very minimal money. I would be lying if I said it wasn’t a struggle at times to afford living out here, but I have to remind myself that it has only been a year and a big life adjustment like this takes time to settle in to. That is also part of the sacrifice that we were willing to take in order to raise our family in paradise. Of course we miss little things in Vegas like some of our favorite restaurants and shops, like Target! If you have never been to Kauai and you’ve only visited Oahu or Maui, let me just explain to you how small the island of Kauai really is. You can drive from one end of the island to the other in two hours and the only major stores we have are, Walmart, Kmart, and Macy’s, that’s it! Now I know that may sound superficial of me to miss stores like Target, but I do actually like the fact that not having these amenities has forced me to live a simpler life. All of these items that I was so used to buying and thinking I needed, I can no longer get by just driving around the corner. It’s something that I’m slowly becoming okay with, because I don’t need all of these stores to live my best life. So on the brighter side, not only is it saving me money, but it’s been kind of refreshing! One more thing that has definitely been an adjustment is the fact that there is NO air conditioning out here! Ok, I shouldn’t say none, because some of the major stores and hotels do have air conditioning, but as far as homes and other businesses, there’s none. Some people do opt for small window unit air conditioning in their homes, but that can get expensive. This time of year right now has actually been perfect, I love winter in Hawaii! The windows in our house always stay open and there are some nice trade winds that come through and make it really cool feeling, but during the summer there are some brutal days where you feel like your butt might sweat off! No joke! Ok, sorry, enough about butt sweat…Ok, so, another question people ask a lot is if I ever feel like I’m getting island fever. This is definitely a small island and while taking a flight to the other islands may be quick, it isn’t as cheap and easy as most people may think. It definitely was something that would get to me in the beginning and still does every once in a while, but it’s all about learning to reconnect with the things that we love about Kauai. Anytime I start to feel a little restless here, I immediately get my self outdoors and remind myself of this paradise that I live in. I live in a place that people may save up their whole lives to visit, so I can’t ever take where I live for granted, not even for a second!
That brings me to all of the amazing moments we have everyday living here in Kauai! So, let me walk you through a typical week day for us. Cijay wakes up early, around 5:30 am, to go to work. Mia wakes up at 7am and that’s when us girls start our day! On the mornings that I teach classes, my parents will watch Mia and I am back in time for her nap, but if I’m not teaching, I like to immediately wake up and get outdoors! I always try to use the morning time to go explore with Mia, it’s my favorite time, when we are alone and get to explore the beautiful outdoors together. We love going to the beach, but lately it’s been a little bit chillier (which I’m not complaining, because it’s so nice), so instead we will go on little hikes or sit in some of my favorite areas by the water and feed the chickens or drink our smoothies and go for a walk. After nap time we like to go visit with family or spend some more time outdoors while we wait for daddy to get home. Once Cijay is home we get to enjoy our nights together, making dinner and relaxing at home as a family. On the weekends Cijay is off so that’s when we get the most family time together. I haven’t lived near family since I graduated high school and moved away, so it’s a pretty amazing feeling to constantly have family around us now. Below are some photos of our (well mostly Mia’s) daily adventures that we’ve had within the past few months…
I love making fires on the beach at night, just relaxing under the stars and making s’mores!
Mia is seriously obsessed with smoothies and cold pressed juices. Anytime we walk up to Kauai Juice Co, she starts shouting “JUICE!”, and yes, she can drink that whole bottle of juice!
Mia loves feeding the chickens. This is actually one of our favorite spots to go and just relax all together, especially around sunset. This spot is literally less than a minute from our house and the view is pretty spectacular. The two photos below are from the same spot and looking at the last photo you can understand why we love it so much! How lucky are we to live here!
This past year has been an incredible one and it’s only the start to our journey as a family. It’s been a year full of struggles, adjustments, and some of our happiest moments! I can’t wait to keep sharing our journey with all of you and as always, if you have any questions, feel free to comment below!