I finally got some clarity going forward on how long I can stay at the condo here in Kihei and can now make some sort of evil plans for the summer. The upside is I will most likely be staying here through the month of May which is fine by me. The more longer, the more better. The landlady will be taking a trip to the mainland over Memorial Day so I can stay and keep an eye on the place and keep the cat fed and spoiled. Come the first of June though it will be time to do something. The other upside is I will be able to return here around Labor Day in Sept., leaving me 3 months to find someplace to stay, or do something else.
What I am hoping for, and have already started running an ad or two, and looking for, is a place to stay out here for the summer within my budget. Occasionally, places pop up for shorter term rents but the trick will be finding said place cheap enough to afford. I would much prefer to stay out here, obviously, but it’s not going to be easy. One issue affecting rentals out here is AirBnB. Homeowners and landlords are finding more better profits renting their places to vacationers for much higher rents than the locals will pay. It makes finding affordable places much more difficult, especially on my limited budget. I’m keeping all options open including going to one of the other islands if the right place pops up. It’s only three months and it would be nice to see some of the other islands if possible, even Oahu and the big city.
Failing to find a place for the summer out here, my next, and probably most likely, and least favored option will be to fly back to Pa. and spend some time with the family, like I did last year. It will be depressing, boring as hell, and I’ll put on weight again from too much eating and not moving around enough. The upside is it will be extremely advantageous economically, allowing me to sock some money away for the fall and winter when I come back out here. And with the bad health of all my relatives up there, it wouldn’t hurt to be with them. The most difficult thing will be adjusting back to eastern time. As I said, it’s only 3 months and flights are not too expensive for now.
It’s pretty unlikely I will go to Florida for any reason. I’ve pretty much cut all my ties there but should things really fall apart, say the landlady changes her mind about me returning, or I can’t find another place to rent, or the Trumpenführer decides to exchange nuclear weapons with the Pillsbury Dough Boy over in N. Korea, then Florida may be back on the option list.
One advantage I do have should any of said things fall apart, is the wherewithal to obtain another sailboat, on the low end of the budget, set it up for cruising, sail down to the Keys, and hit the mooring field in Key West or Marathon. It’s not my first choice, but I will admit to missing the boating life somewhat and if I were to go back to it, as long as I stayed out of the expensive marinas, living on a sailboat in the Keys would be a lot more easier financially. But, it’s just a fallback should everything else fail. I would much prefer to stay out here.
I’m also looking at making some other trips around the country should I wind up back in Pa. and get sufficiently bored. Maybe a run out to Colorado to visit other family. Maybe something else. I’m not sure yet, but at least I have some options.
With the first quarter of the year in I now have a decent sampling of what it costs to live out here in the middle of the Pacific. I’ve been tracking every penny of expenses vs income and so far it’s been about where I thought it would be.
The food budget remains, and most likely will always be a problem. I set a certain amount each month and still manage to exceed it. Some of the basics get pretty expensive. Dairy is almost prohibitive. Fresh produce, locally grown is great, but very pricey. I can get decent prices on cuts of meats and seafood, but it’s all the supporting stuff which adds up. I rarely eat out because even a simple fish sandwich will wipe out a $20 bill.
Everything else is not too bad, no worse than living in the Keys. The bus at $25 a month is a bargain. Rent is what it is. Some minor expenses for hosting the Fritter and other sites is no big deal. And most of my usual springtime bills are taken care of. Looking forward, whether I stay in Maui, go back to Pa., or wound up back on a boat, my income is sufficient to cover each option as long as no disasters befall me. I still have free insurance, despite the best efforts of the government to take it away. The bank situation is almost settled. The rest of the year is actually looking rather promising. Something I have not been able to say in a long time, and still do with some trepidation. But for now, it looks good.
So, even if I may end up spending the summer in Pa., or not, it’s all good. When I return in the fall, with all the initial bullshit out of the way, I can start really enjoying the island and exploring it in more detail. Healthwise I am feeling much more better although still vastly overweight but still, more better than last year when I was suffering the effects of the flu, bedbug attacks, and drunken landlords. With so much bad stuff happening over the previous 2 years prior to coming to Hawaii, it’s been difficult to get into a mindset where one realizes all the bullshit is past and things are looking up for a change. I’m getting there though.
As always, when I get some decisions made on the summer, I will let you all know.