Today I’m brining you a guest post from the one and only Trev Sullivan, master of adventure. He’s been busier than me since we arrived, so he wanted to take this chance to tell his side of the story. Enjoy!
I thought for my first blog entry I would focus on the past. My exciting food adventures will come, fear not. To give you a little hint, dust off your Sombrero, for we are heading southwest for that story. But for now the past.
Obviously, I was born and raised in the suburbs of Boston. I didn’t travel much till my mid 20s. Growing up we had a place down at the Cape and that was always our vacation. I started to see more of ‘Merica and appreciate the land we call home. I went to Chicago and instantly fell in love. A city I could navigate better in two days than a lifetime of going into Boston. It was the only city I thought I could actually live in. However, there was no ocean. It does have a giant lake, but it’s not the same and the winters there are just bad, if not worse.
I visited Texas to see the world my brother now calls home. Yeehaw, I sure like the food down there. People are friendly and they have more burger joints than churches, I think. Everything is new and the roads make sense and they have enough lanes to fit more than one and a half cars. I don’t know that I could live there, though. If I ever did it would be to be closer to my siblings and niece and nephew. And of course Tex, the rootening tootenist dog in the south.
I visited Charleston, SC and loved the charm and character of old style city. I thought it could be an endgame location to live someday. It had the ocean and delicious ice cream shoppes, horses walking the street, and it wasn’t terribly far from everything and everyone I knew. Why did I feel this desire to live everywhere I went when I left Massachusetts? Which brings us to Hawaii.
When Michelle and I got married in Maui, we spent 16 glorious days exploring and falling in love with the Hawaiian Islands, when a terrifying thought occurred to me. I cannot go back to my life and live like I lived before. Not now that I know there is a place like Hawaii where people are free to live. A place where you can go to the beach at anytime of the day, week, month, year. A place where people are so friendly and welcoming. People greet you here and engage in conversation, the views in every direction are breathtaking, the culture and history are fascinating. It is even a place where, prepare yourselves, someone will voluntarily allow you to merge into traffic or exit a side street. Things as little as that made me wonder, why doesn’t anyone ever let anyone else go on the road in Massachusetts? Is it as simple as everyone in Hawaii is just happier and friendlier? Are the states populations just a metaphor for their climates? Hawaii has traffic just like Boston, in fact it’s rated much worse. I don’t feel the need to slam down the gas the second the light turns green here because someone will lay on their horn if I am not doing my best Fast and Furious impression. Fast & Furious 27: Green Light Drift! I haven’t been beeped at once in our month here. And I haven’t felt the need to beep at anyone, either. I know this isn’t a reason to support living one place or another but I do believe it is part of something larger.
When Michelle and I first started to openly discuss our plans with family and friends to relocate we were met with typical responses of, “Wow! That’s awesome. You guys are so brave!” and “Wow! You guys are so insane!” We didn’t need anyone else’s approval for what we felt was right for us. People will always have an opinion, but if you want something for yourself you have to take it for yourself. We spent three long years planning and saving and having mental breakdowns and going from thinking it was the best idea ever to the worst idea ever. But that voice in me never quieted. “I cannot go back to my life and live like I lived before.” It was true, I couldn’t. Something changed in me when we left Hawaii. I still remember when the plane took off at the end of our trip in 2012 and I looked down on Oahu and saw Waikiki and Diamond Head and I thought, “When will I see this place again? Will I ever even come back here?” I had never felt so strongly about a place and all the things about that place. I knew in my heart it was something I needed to do and luckily Michelle felt the same way. We would rather take the chance and fail than never have tried at all.
So when it became official and we announced the plans to family and friends we were mainly greeted with, “Wait, you are seriously doing it?” Yeah, we seriously did it. And it has been exciting, terrifying, inspirational, frustrating, life changing, fulfilling, and overall insane. Now that I have left Massachusetts I can’t ever imagine living there again (sorry, Mom). We can’t help where we were born and raised and I am so thankful to come from where I am from. Without it, I wouldn’t be here now, I wouldn’t know you, I wouldn’t be who I am today. They say growing up in New England makes you tough because of all the things we have to experience on a daily basis. Weather it’s the weather, the crowded everything, the astronomical prices for everything, the Mass Pike (god, the Mass Pike!!!!!!), the heart-stopping winters of doom, the tease of a summer that lasts as long as a melting ice cream cone on a hot August afternoon, the leaves covering everything to the snow again covering everything in a blanket of white. It’s not an easy place to live. It’s an even harder place to leave.
Now that I have left, I appreciate it even more. I also appreciate what I’ve learned by leaving. Most of us get used to our lives. We get jobs, fall in love, have friends and family. We may not like everything about where we are but it’s our life. It’s not easy to leave all that behind. But if you feel that desire to be somewhere else and you go for it, it can be the most exhilarating decision you ever make. It will affect you in ways you never knew. See the world, see everything you can. We are all alive now and have this life to live. Don’t waste it being idle. Find an adventure. Dare I say, chase your dreams.
I just turned 30 years old and I couldn’t celebrate with my family and friends. But for the first time in those 30 years I really feel alive, as cheesy as it sounds. I finally feel like I’m giving this life what it deserves.