The Reason I Moved Away from Hawaii

Why did I leave paradise?

Miles of pristine beaches. Waterfalls cascading down cliffs that rise hundreds of feet above the river below. Foliage so dense that it makes you believe that you may actually be lost in the jungles of Jurassic Park. I was lucky enough to call this home for a solid year of my life. Getting up with the sun to catch the first few waves before riding my scooter to work. It really was paradise.

There are few better ways to spend your first year out of college then to move to one of the most remote island chains in the world. Sunrise surf sessions, weekend hikes through dormant volcanoes, snorkeling with sea turtles before work; who wouldn't want to live in this tropical dream? It was hard to take a bad picture in a place like this. Everywhere you turn there's another gorgeous scene. Picture after picture posted to Instagram leading to comment after comment of jealousy. Friends would send texts telling me to stop showing off the island because it made them discontent with where they were.

Honestly, if you aren't content with where you are, make a change. Pick up a new hobby, quit your job, move to a new place, I don't care; just try something! We aren't on this earth long enough to sit around being disappointed with how our lives turned out. There is one person that can change what your life looks like and that person is you. This, ultimately, was the reason I left the incredible island that I called home.

I wasn't happy. I enjoyed myself, yes, but enjoyment and happiness are different. I loved swimming with wild dolphins. I loved eating fresh fruit off the trees as I sat at the foot of a waterfall. I loved that the weather was always warm and the sun was usually out. All of those things and more contributed to my enjoyment of that life. However, I knew I wanted more from life. There were too many places I hadn't seen, too many people I hadn't met, too many cultures I hadn't learned about. I wasn't ready to settle down. I decided that if I wanted something in my life I needed to get it.

When people talk to me about Hawaii now they mention how much they would love to go, BUT. There is always a reason. More often than not their reason is financial, but sometimes it's not. Whatever the reason is, it's not good enough. If you truly want something in this life, go get it. Never take no for an answer and never use "I can't" as an excuse.

Thank you, Maui, for teaching me to always pursue my passion.

Live the life you love, and love the life you live!

We want to acknowledge and thank the past, present, and future generations of all Native Nations and Indigenous Peoples whose ancestral lands we travel, explore, and play on. Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures and follow local regulations. Please explore responsibly!

James Leithart

Living the life I love, loving the life I live. Inspiring others to pursue their passion.