Moving to paradise...
Updated: Dec 20, 2020
How? Why? It's so far away. We will never see you. So many questions and thoughts from friends and family about our move to Hawaii. My husband, Jeff and I have done this before. We moved to Hawaii in 2015 and moved back to Minnesota in 2016. During those 15 months of living in Hawaii we fell in love with the island lifestyle. Sun, sand, water, beach, shorts and tank tops 365 days/year. We moved home always wanting to move back at some point.
Fast forward a few years....February 2020 a position within my company opened up based in Oahu. I applied, interviewed and accepted by end of March....Jeff applied for a job, interviewed and accepted by end of April......during a pandemic we both accepted positions in Hawaii with intentions of moving to paradise after summer....we wanted one last summer in MN with our friends and family enjoying our favorite season in MN...the relocation company packed up all of our belongings in June, minus a couple of suitcases of clothes to hold us over for a few months and.....PAUSE...we couldn't get to Hawaii to house hunt without a 14 day quarantine.....so we held out ALL SUMMER not knowing when we were going to make it to Hawaii to find a place to live. Insert stress....end of summer is here, fall begins and the weather changes; shit, we have no winter clothes.....so we buy a few things to get us by....mid-October Hawaii lifts their quarantine restrictions with a negative COVID test in hand upon arrival. OK! We can do this. We decide to let the state work out the kinks of the new program for a few weeks before we arrive. It worked! We hit the sweet spot (in our opinion) of arriving on-island, negative COVID tests in hand ready to find our island (rental) home.
Let's back up to the testing. Requirements to arrive in Hawaii without a mandatory 14-day quarantine. 1) Schedule COVID test at a trusted partner outlined by the State of Hawaii 2) Test must be within 72 hours of flying 3) Upload test results to Travel Hawaii website 4) land and go on your merry way! Seems easy, right?
COVID test - living in MN our options for a trusted partner were limited. CVS, Walgreens and QUEST Diagnostics. We could only book the test 2 days out from when we wanted it and we had to stay within our 72 hour window before flying. I could not find any appointments around us and had to expand our search. We ended up having to drive 1.5 hours each way to Mankato, MN to get our test done at CVS. We did the drive thru, self-swab testing. It was our first COVID test and it wasn't bad; felt like a tickle, really. Step 1 = DONE! STEP 2 = DONE!
After our test was complete we were told results would be provided via MyChart within 72 hours......so the day we are flying out we still didn't have our results. Insert STRESS! We board our first flight from MN to LA and I immediately sign up for onboard wifi! I refresh and refresh MyChart until halfway to LA my results pop in....then Jeff's arrive. NEGATIVE!!! Now I had to figure out how to export our results from MyChart and then upload to the State of Hawaii website to finalize all the paperwork to arrive in Hawaii. Whew! Got that done before we landed in LA. Step 3 = DONE!
Overall the entire airport/flight experience was pleasant. It was our first time flying since January 2020.....Delta did an amazing job with blocking the middle seats, handing out hand sanitizer and pre-packaging all our snacks in ziplock baggies and boarding the plane from the back to the front. Honestly, all of this makes sense in a post-pandemic world....hopefully Delta will keep some of these practices in place.
Landing in Honolulu was easy peasy. The airport seemed to have the process dialed in. We deplaned, were shuffled to a row of tables with agents ready to scan our QR codes received when we created our State of Hawaii travel accounts. QR scanned, no concerns and we were left to roam Oahu without any quarantining for the next week.....
One of our favorite hikes on-island is the paved Makapu'u Point Lighthouse trail. This trail is on the eastern most point of Oahu overlooking the Windward Coast. Kids and adults both enjoy this 2 mile round trip scenic hike.
What hikes have you conquered in Hawaii? We'd love to hear your faves!