So, I’ve been back in my most unfavorite place on the planet for a few days now. The jet lag from the trip hit me pretty hard. My sleep patterns are all screwed up. In fact I am writing this post at 2:00am on Sunday morning as I can’t get back to sleep. My digestive system is having a difficult time adjusting to all the rich food after a somewhat spartan diet in Hawaii. But it sure tastes good. And up until late Saturday afternoon, the sun had not shown at all. It was 4 straight days of cloudy, cold, wet, weather. Of course, by Friday I had all the symptoms of a cold coming on but was able to stave it off for now. And to top things off, the day before I left, I lost a filling, so come Monday, it will be back to the dentist.
Overall, a long, tough week but I am readjusting. Life here never changes. People go on with their lives the same as it’s been for decades. Work, eat, sleep, take care of the house, repeat. This place might as well be on a different planet it’s so foreign from life in the islands. But, I knew this coming in so it’s ok. I am seeing all the family again, who are all a year older and in some cases, not doing too well. One year made a lot of difference for them. It’s very depressing especially when one can’t do anything about it.
For now, as I said, I am readjusting. No surprises came up, other than the tooth. My plan to come here was largely financial and the longer I stay, the more money I can sock away. However, the future has become as cloudy as the weather.
Back in January and up until the day I left, I have been trying to pin the landlady down on my coming back to the condo in the fall. But time and again, I was unable to get a direct and firm answer. On Monday, the day before I flew out I approached her to try one more time to get some answers. She then asked me where I wanted my security deposit sent. This surprised me a bit and I said, “Well, I am coming back in Sept.”
“Oh”, she said, with an equally surprised look on her face. “Ok”, she said, not too convincingly.
I pressed her some more, asking if indeed the plan was for me to continue to rent the room once her son returned to college but again, I could not get a definite answer out of her. In hindsight, I probably just should have arranged for said deposit to be sent back and moved on but I left it open, telling her I would contact her later in the summer. We left things as so.
I thought we were getting along ok. We didn’t talk much, occasionally chatting about the island and stuff now and then, but I pretty much stayed out of the way. I kept my room clean, and always cleaned up after myself. Even trimmed her yard grass when needed. I didn’t sense any tension or issues between us, but she sure didn’t seem too keen on my coming back. So, I am unsure if I can, or will return to the condo. If not, it changes my plans considerably.
The one thing I did not like with the condo was it was at the high end of my budget in terms of cost. The rent was fair, but still a bit high for me. The place was very nice, and convenient and at the time, served it’s purpose. I needed to get out to Hawaii last fall and this place worked for my needs quite well. But the high rent coupled with the high food costs left me running at a loss financially every month. I started to keep a budget at the beginning of the year and it was worse than I thought. If I do go back, I need to rethink my food choices with great care. I’ll have sufficient income and savings to get by for another 8 months at the condo, but with little left over to actually do anything other than sit in said condo on the computer, get a bus pass for the month, and eat. Even in Hawaii, it can get boring just sitting at home all day. So whatever I decide to do, it needs to be in such a way where I have a positive income every month, not much mind you, but positive nonetheless, so I can move forward and be able to do stuff.
With the condo issue unsettled, and for the moment I will let things sit until I get some more cash in the bank, I am going to start looking hard at other options. If I go back to Hawaii I’m going to try and find some place more cheaper. Maui is a bit more expensive than the other islands so the Big Island is a possibility. I will also be looking hard at returning to the Keys. This means most likely…a boat. And yes, I have been perusing the ads rather closely lately and even found a couple vessels within budget. If I go back to Florida and not the Keys, it will mean a rv set up of some kind. Minimal, and mobile. And, if the condo is no longer an option, then my time frame changes meaning I can leave a bit sooner, probably as soon as the end of June instead of staying here in the land of fog and damp all summer.
There is one other factor at play here. I am used to living on my own. I prefer no roommates, at least not the human kind, and ever since I sold the boat a couple of years ago, I’ve had to deal with roommates, landlords, and other assorted characters. I miss having my own place and not having to walk around on eggshells for fear I might make too much noise, leave a mess, or otherwise inconvenience somebody. So, in terms of the future, I am going to try and find my own place, be it an apartment, tiny house, sailboat, rv set up, whatever. I can deal with living alone a lot more better than having to put up with other people in the house. The landlady at the condo was nice enough, and as I said, I thought we got along fine. If I don’t go back there I don’t wish her any ill will. But still, it’s not the same as living alone. I have rarely had roommates in the past and when I did, it seldom worked out. So, while having my own place may severely limit my choices for living quarters, it will give me a lot more peace of mind.
Should I not be able to find another place in Hawaii, it’s ok. I’ve lived there, got a good feel for life out there, and I can always go back for shorter stays. The Keys, as I have mentioned in the past, still feel like home and going back would not be a bad thing. The move to Hawaii was the right one. It was a big life goal to get out there and experience the islands. I got to see what it’s like out there, loved it, and despite the costs, would not be mad if I had to stay there longer. Just as long as I can do it with a positive cash flow. I’m not beholding to either island chain so moving back and forth is not a big deal. And who knows what may turn up down the road?
For now, I just need to catch up on my sleep, get used to all the food, and get the tooth fixed. I’ll look at all the options and form my evil, cunning plans for the future. It will all be good.