What It's Really Like to Quit Your Job, Drop Everything, and Move to Hawaii

By Avery Johnson, POPSUGAR

It's not hard to sit back and fantasize about leaving for a tropical escape when the weather gets moody and work deadlines are overwhelming. But actually making the move? Well, it's a heck of a lot more difficult.

Somewhere along the way, this fantasy became my necessity. I needed a shift and a change in pace after a long, tough year of health issues. So after some soul-searching, I bought myself a one-way ticket, quit my job, and moved out of my apartment. I said goodbye, San Francisco — and ALOHA, Hawaii!

[post_ads]The first few days were a vacation with my sister and my partner on the island with me — we joined my sister's friends for nights out to dive bars and house parties, rang in the new year at a Gatsby-themed soiree, soaked up plenty of sun on the beach, and drank too many mai tais. We spent the night at a trendy hotel in Waikiki and spent too much money on expensive appetizers. I got my honorary first sunburn.

Vacation life, ya know?

Having my dear friends visit was such a blessing!

I was quick to discover island living is not always sunshine and coconuts. Once my friends left, I was alone back at the house with myself, my thoughts, and one very fuzzy golden retriever. I realized that with the bustle of Christmas festivities and hours spent packing my life into boxes for storage, I hadn't really been alone alone in a while. When the outdoor voices quieted, the weight of the past two months' worth of big moments and big decisions let themselves be felt in their entirety.

San Francisco was my home for two years. I had made best friends that became family; I loved my job and the people I worked with; I was dating someone I loved; I had an adorable bedroom with old hardwood floors and a bay window. But even though the outside looked so picturesque, on the inside, I was slowly recovering from my mental illness — a wrestle with chronic depression and generalized anxiety — and the hustle of city living wasn't helping.

I had turned to the island of Oahu for an escape, a hope for a fresh start somewhere among the turquoise waters and sugary sand.

The truth is, no matter where you are in the world, your feelings still follow. Your story still has its past. Insecurities still exist. The questions and the fears and the hurt are still there. I couldn't 100 percent expect my struggles, my heartache, and missing my dear friends, old coworkers, and yes, even the city disappear in a bubble of beach happiness. I couldn't find healing instantaneously.

During my first few weeks on the island, I quickly learned that while moving can never be completely running away, I don't think it should be. Hawaii, while a gorgeous spot to lose oneself in a beach vacation, became my sacred, quiet place for processing and restoration. I had to remind myself this wasn't vacation — this was real life, my life, and I chose it. It was a dream 10 years in the making, and it was here.
It took a few 10-hour nights of sleep, unpacked suitcases, and pictures hung on walls for a comfortable reality to set in. I wasn't alone — I was a phone call away from those I love, a few steps from a welcoming roommate, an hour's drive from the North Shore and another dear friend on it.

But most of all, I was here — with me, myself, and I.

So far, this new chapter has been all about taking a long, sandy stroll back to myself, and I'm OK with it. Let the adventure continue.



|Featured Content_$type=three$c=3$l=0$m=0$s=hide$rm=0

Made with in NYC

Abu Dhabi,3,Adventure,27,Adventure Travel,709,Advice,72,Africa,28,Air Travel,180,Alabama,5,Alaska,27,Albania,2,Alberta,2,America,81,Amsterdam,3,Anguilla,4,Antarctica,8,Antigua,4,Argentina,17,Arizona,25,Arkansas,4,Aruba,1,Asia Travel,46,Athens,3,Austin,8,Australia,104,Austria,17,Azerbaijan,1,Bahamas,15,Bangladesh,8,Barbados,1,Beach Travel,67,Belarus,2,Belgium,13,Belize,16,Bermuda,7,Bhutan,10,Blue Lagoon,2,Boatswana,2,Bolivia,6,Bosnia and Herzegovina,2,Boston,3,Botswana,3,Brazil,51,Brunei,1,Budget Travel,97,Bulgaria,2,California,126,Cambodia,5,Canada,86,Caribbean,50,Caribbean & Mexico,5,Chicago,11,Chile,10,China,26,Christmas Travel,18,Clothes,1,Coliseum,1,Colombia,19,Colorado,40,Columbia,3,Connecticut,6,Corporate Travel,1,Costa Rica,16,Country Travel,253,Croatia,22,Cruiser Travel,17,Cuba,18,Cultural Travel,65,Cyprus,2,Czech Republic,7,D.C.,2,Delaware,2,Denmark,16,Dominican Republic,2,Dubai,16,East Africa,4,Easter Island,1,Eco Travel,19,Ecuador,11,Egypt,8,Emirates,1,England,18,Estonia,2,Eswatini,1,Ethiopia,2,Europe,118,Fall Travel,46,Family Travel,134,Faroe Island,2,Featured,71,Features,417,Festival Travel,26,Fiji,9,Finland,16,Florida,81,Food,7,France,50,Free Travel,1,French,6,French Polynesia,7,Galapagos,3,Georgia,16,Germany,23,Ghana,2,Greece,46,Greenland,2,Guatemala,2,Halloween Travel,8,Hawaii,62,Hayden Panettiere,1,Hiking Travel,67,Historical Travel,85,Holiday Travel,34,Holland,1,Honeymoon Travel,138,Hong Kong,15,Hotels,73,Hungary,3,Iceland,48,Idaho,7,Ideas,11,Illinois,13,India,39,Indiana,5,Indonesia,15,Iraq,1,Ireland,44,Island,59,islands,2,Israel,12,Italy,71,Jamaica,11,Japan,56,Jordan,6,Kansas,8,Kentucky,2,Kenya,3,Korea,2,Kosovo,1,Kyrgyzstan,1,Las Vegas,3,Latin America,3,Latvia,1,Lithuania,3,London,26,Louisiana,10,Lowa,4,Luxembourg,2,Luxury Travel,35,Maine,10,Malaysia,1,Maldives,22,Malta,5,Maryland,8,Massachusetts,14,Mauritius,6,Mexico,85,Miami,14,Michigan,7,Mississippi,2,Missouri,8,Moldova,1,Monaco,3,Mongolia,1,Montana,15,Montenegro,2,Morocco,22,Myanmar,9,Namibia,5,Nature,4,Nature Travel,117,Nepal,6,Netherlands,13,Nevada,26,Nevis,2,New England,6,New Hampshire,3,New Jersey,3,New Mexico,10,New Year's Day Travel,5,New York,67,New York City,30,New Zealand,55,Newfoundland,1,Nicaragua,2,North America,12,North Carolina,9,North Dakota,1,North Ireland,1,North Macedonia,2,Northern Ireland,1,Norway,23,Occasional Travel,8,Oceania,1,Ohio,6,Oman,5,Oregon,13,Pakistan,4,Panama,8,Paraguay,1,Paris,26,Pennsylvania,12,Peru,24,Philippines,3,Phoenix,2,Photo Feature,1,Poland,5,Portugal,24,Prague,1,Puerto Rico,10,Qatar,6,Quebec,1,Resort,13,Rhode Island,3,River Travel,1,Road Trips,62,Romania,6,Romantic Getaways,16,Rome,6,Russia,17,Saint Lucia,2,San Miguel de Allende,1,Scotland,16,Seasonal,55,Seasonal Travel,58,Serbia,2,Sightseeing Tours,2,Singapore,20,Ski Resorts,11,Slovenia,7,Solo Travel,26,Solomon Islands,1,Somoa,1,Soth Africa,1,South Africa,19,South America,7,South Carolina,6,South Dakota,7,South Korea,6,South Pacific,3,Space Travel,15,Spain,41,Special,21,Special Features,304,Spring Travel,23,Sri Lanka,8,Student Travel,1,Summer Travel,67,Summer Vacation,10,Sweden,21,Swiss Alps,1,Switzerland,26,Sydney,2,Tahiti,4,Taiwan,5,Tanzania,4,Tennessee,8,Texas,59,Thailand,39,Thanksgiving Travel,6,Things to Do,167,Tibet,2,Tips,116,Train Travel,26,Transportation,20,Travel,188,Travel Advice,66,Travel Apps,1,Travel Guide,39,Travel Stories,26,Travel Technology,1,Travel Tips,244,Tunisia,2,Turkey,16,Turkish,1,Turks and Caicos,1,Tuscany,1,UAE,10,Uganda,1,UK,45,Ukrine,1,Urban Travel,54,Uruguary,3,USA,662,Utah,19,Uzbekistan,2,Vacation Travel,295,Vehicle Travel,1,Venezuela,1,Vermont,6,Victoria Falls,1,Vietnam,7,Village Travel,1,Virginia,11,Virtual Travel,6,Wales,5,Washington,16,Washington DC,21,Weddings Travel,4,West Indies,2,Wildlife Travel,13,Winter Travel,65,Wisconsin,7,Worldwide,161,Wyoming,8,xxx,1,Yemen,1,Zadar,2,Zambia,5,Zimbabwe,6,
Travel Magazine: What It's Really Like to Quit Your Job, Drop Everything, and Move to Hawaii
What It's Really Like to Quit Your Job, Drop Everything, and Move to Hawaii
Travel Magazine
Loaded All Posts Not found any posts VIEW ALL Read More Reply Cancel reply Delete By Home PAGES POSTS View All RECOMMENDED FOR YOU LABEL ARCHIVE SEARCH ALL POSTS Not found any post match with your request Back Home Sunday Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat January February March April May June July August September October November December Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec just now 1 minute ago $$1$$ minutes ago 1 hour ago $$1$$ hours ago Yesterday $$1$$ days ago $$1$$ weeks ago more than 5 weeks ago Followers Follow THIS PREMIUM CONTENT IS LOCKED STEP 1: Share to a social network STEP 2: Click the link on your social network Copy All Code Select All Code All codes were copied to your clipboard Can not copy the codes / texts, please press [CTRL]+[C] (or CMD+C with Mac) to copy