Jun 092015

It looks like Maui will be put on hold for the time being.  As much as I want to go, it just ain’t feasible at the moment.  Here’s why…

At the end of June a friend of mine is going out of town for an extended road trip of about 2 weeks.  She asked me if I would like to boat sit while she was gone and would I take care of her cat.  I said no problem and then my cunning little brain thingy began to churn.  If she was gone for two weeks, then it would be two weeks I could live on the boat rent free, giving me a chance to build some cash reserves.  And since my current room would be gone, when she returned I would be homeless and free to move about the country.  I could probably extend out to a third week by going up to Orlando and visit with a friend there.  After which, I could hop a flight out of Orlando, or return to Miami, and head out to the Pacific.  A perfect scenario which of course, probably won’t work.

My income stream is slowly growing but not quite fast enough.  Three weeks of rent free living would help but it wouldn’t be sufficient.  I can cover the airfare, at least a one way ticket fairly easily, but when I step off the plane onto Maui, I won’t have enough to last more than a week or two, if that.  Given also I have no place to live out there yet, and won’t know my way around for awhile, I would be putting myself in a potentially dangerous financial hole with no getting out.  Which is exactly what I want to avoid.  I would much prefer to head out there with at least a couple months worth of living cash so I could at snoop around and see how I like the place.

So, clearer heads will prevail, and I will hold off booking any flights for now.  It’s not a big deal, I’m still living in Key West and everything is fine here, it’s just, I’m a bit bored right now and this looked like a chance to take an adventure.  I just don’t want to set myself back so far in a financial hole I can’t recover from it.  I’ve had my fill of tough financial situations over the past few years and it would be double plus good to have some cash in the bank.

I’ve been doing some research on the island out there and finding many interesting things.  First and foremost, once I do get there and get a place to stay and all, it’s not going to be a whole lot different than Key West, at least financially.  Rents look to be about the same, or in fact, somewhat better in Maui given it’s a bigger island with more choices.  Food will be a little more expensive but there is local stuff grown out there and if you know where to look, bargains can be had.  I could use a change in diet anyways.

Most people say get a vehicle but there is a good bus system which covers the island.  I would know better once I was there.  Maui is a more bigger island than Key West so I don’t know how feasible hoofing it will be.

Taxes are a bit higher if I stay for a long time but not a big deal.  Shortages of goods are common since everything is shipped in.  There are less choices for things but seeing as how I don’t buy much, it shouldn’t be a big deal.

And deciding where to live on the island may be important too.  There is one large city with all the shopping about the size of Key West.  It would probably be the most convenient and cheapest place to stay.   One area is where all the surfers and hippies hang out, another is where most of the native Hawaiians live, on the west side are the beaches and tourist areas, or you can live up in the hills on the side of the volcano where it gets cold.  I prefer to stay warm.

Ideally, it would be nice to go there and try each spot to see which I would like best, but again, it takes money.  Once I get there, the budget should not be a whole lot different from Key West.  I like what I’ve been reading so far and don’t see any real downsides to living there once I do get a toehold.  It’s the getting there and getting set up which will be the hard part.

Some other factors have arisen which may keep me here in Key West.  I’m already getting pressured to fly back up to Pa. over the holidays.  If I do, it’s going to be more easier to do so from here than half way across the world.  I haven’t really discussed Maui with family yet but I am sure they will not be too happy if I go.  Again, their health is a concern for me right now and if something happened and I had to go up to take care of things, it would be important to be able to do so and quickly.

I have some very minor logistical issues to take care of before I go anywhere.  Very minor but they must be taken care of before I do anything like travel.  As for the captain license renewal, well, it’s looking more and more unlikely.  I really don’t see a need to keep it active.  I have no plans to do any more charter work with it so why bother.  I still may yet change my mind, but it’s pretty unlikely.

I haven’t forgotten my original cunning plan to spend part of the year in Maui, part in Key West, and maybe travel elsewhere, or at least leave time for Pa. trips as needed.  Airfares aside, Key West is becoming harder and harder to find affordable places to live.  I’m surprised I found the place I currently live in when I did.  I check the ads on CL, and Facebook and it’s not too promising.  Timing is important too.  I considered heading to Maui this summer, stay until December, fly to Pa., then come to Key West at the end of the year.  Problem is, winter especially in January here is prime snow bird season.  Housing that is affordable, just doesn’t exist.  These are issues I need to sort out before giving up an affordable place.  The room I rent now is nothing special, but it is cheap, and has all I need.  There is no lease, very important, and I can pretty much leave when I want.  But once I do, I will most likely not be able to get it back.  So I need to plan accordingly.

On the other hand, I am getting a sneaking suspicion that when I do make it to Maui, I’m going to be inclined to stay.  It just looks like the right place to be.  I may well change my mind when I get there, but I have a good feeling about it.  Much like I felt about Key West before I came here.

As for the other aspects I talked about the other day, the boat deal my friend was trying to talk me into is gone.  That ship has sailed, literally.  It wasn’t going to happen anyways.  I am simply not ready to go back on a boat.  It’s not a good idea for now.  If for some reason Maui did not work out, or I do split time between there and here, perhaps another boat will solve the housing issues.  Leave it in dry dock when I’m gone, splash and sail when I’m here.  Just a consideration.

And as for the job at the motorcycle shop in Maui, yeah, um….no.  It didn’t take long for me to remember why I left the industry in the first place.  I am not going to an island paradise and have it ruined by corporate bullshit or retail customers again.  Not happening.  In fact, I have been in one of my, ‘I hate people’ moods lately.  I want to build an income with as little direct contact with other humans as possible.  I’ve had my fill of whiny ass customers.  In fact I turned down some web work last week.  The customer was one I had worked with before.  I built him a website and an app, and all he did was bitch, moan, whine, and snivel, and he never paid me.  He had a lot of nerve to call me again.  So, I will continue to try and generate my own income in my own happy way, and we’ll just have to see where it leads.

So there it is.  Unless something really remarkable happens, I will stay put in Key West for the moment.  Do what I can to build up some cash reserves, and see what the rest of the year brings.  Airfares seem to be stable at the moment and I will always be looking for just the right deal.  Even if it meant a quick month or two out there just to see the place and return to Key West, that would be fine with me.  As long as I can swing the travel costs, I’m up for the journey.

And besides, it may not matter anyways.  The doomsday preppers are at it again.  This time we are suppose to get hit by a comet or a meteor, and Darwin is to rise from the grave and smite us all verily, on Sept. 24th.  Hopefully after lunch.  Hate for the world to end on an empty stomach.  Lessee, would it be better to be in Key West or Maui when the world ends.  Decisions, decisions.

Capt. Fritter

Ya know, if anyone would have told me that at age 60 the biggest problem I would be having is trying to decide to whether to live in Maui or Key West, I would have told them they were nuts.  #Digitalnomadproblems

  6 Responses to “Staying Put, For Now…”

  1. um… i’m thinking this post is about wisdom.
    however… you’re still going to have to let the room go to stay on her boat?
    then will it be there when you’re back after two weeks? or will you be a wise homeless person?
    not being nosy or snippy… just sayin’

    • The boat is at the marina where I just left, about a mile away. I don’t have to actually stay on the boat all day and night. Go there during the day, come back to the room at night.
      C. F.

  2. I was on vacation in Maui back in October, so I can give some semi recent info if you’d like.

    The surfer / hippie town is Paia. It’s artsy-fartsy and very expensive. Island time has been elevated to an art form there.
    Kahului is the ‘big town’ on the island and where the main airport and cruise ship port is located.
    Lahaina is on the west coast and is the beginning of the touristy areas. Lots of houses and schools in this area. Plenty of shopping and good beaches here as well as a public marina.
    Kaanapali (just north of Lahaina) through Kapalua (northwest corner) are the resort areas, though plenty of people live in that area as well. Grocery stores and the like are dotted throughout.
    I never made it to Hana. It’s way out in the middle of nowhere on the east side of the island.

    January is prime snowbird season in Hawaii as well. Just from the west coast instead of the east.

    Except for the tourist and shopping areas, sidewalks and streetlights are nearly nonexistent. Most of the islands are surprisingly rural even in town. Not to be a downer, but getting hit by a car at night is a very real possibility while walking. Invest in a reflective belt. While I rented a car, the buses seemed to go most places on the island and according to the website, a senior (55+) monthly bus pass runs $25.

    If you’re not opposed to becoming an ‘urban outdoorsman’ as you’ve previously put it, you can always set yourself up with a blanket and sleep on the beach. Access to the ocean is a right in Hawaii and there is no such thing as a private beach on the islands. The resorts must put in at least a small amount of public parking and a pathway to the beach. They don’t have to make it convenient but they do have to do it. Just a thought.

    If you decide that you don’t like Maui (can’t think of a reason), see if another island suits you better. Inter-island flights on Hawaiian Airlines are around $99.

    As a quick point [not that you’d necessarily do this but plenty do]: When referring to a city or state in the continental US either say the name of the place, “back east”, or “the mainland”. Lots of tourists love to say “back in the states” as if Hawaii isn’t part of the United States; it’s a quick way to sour a conversation. Plenty of native Hawaiians wish they were still a sovereign country (with good reason), but since they’re not they like to at least be acknowledged as being Americans. If you’re from Las Vegas, you get to say you’re from the ninth island (we have a very large Hawaiian community here).

    And if you do decide to renew your captain’s license, there’s plenty of Coast Guard stuff (and charter gigs) on the islands so it shouldn’t be any more difficult than in Key West.

    • Great info! This is the kind of stuff people miss when moving someplace new. Appreciate it.
      C. F.