Live Aloha

So what does the tropical paradise that is Hawaii have to do with moving from one cold place to another, slightly colder, place?
Not a lot really, if we’re talking about what Hawaii means to most people.

As I said in my previous post, things felt good in Calgary. There were lots of things to do, and we did them all.
There was swimming lessons, and soccer, and dance class. Art camp, and ballet, and play dates. All the things that we, as parents, were “supposed” to get our kids to do. We focused on keeping them busy.

And shortly after getting to Hawaii for our first trip together as a family, we quickly realized how little all of that mattered.

Know what the kids really like? Playing on the beach until they pass out.
Best swim lessons ever? Swimming for 4 hours in the pool.


Seeing how happy the kids were with nothing but each other to play with gave Kelsey and I pause. Perhaps we didn’t need so much stuff at home. We’re very fortunate to have very loving families that LOVE to spoil these kids. We still have things from Mackenzies last birthday that she hasn’t opened.
And we realized that for all the things we have, perhaps all we really needed was a chance to hang out with each other more.

The pace of Hawaii certainly helped with that aspect. “Island time” as it’s known is something that should be adopted everywhere.


Here, thinking about that idea, that maybe we all just need to slow down a little, is foreign.

Seeing that idea in motion is beautiful.

Driving down the highway, doing 10mph UNDER the speed limit to look at baby whales breeching and realizing that no one cared how fast you were going is amazing.

Kelsey and I vowed when we left that first time to “Live Aloha”.
But getting back to Calgary, that beautiful idea was short lived.
Doing the speed limit here, never mind below it, is enough to incite road rage in the majority of Calgary.
Again, we fell back in to our old routines, and found ourselves with so much to do, it felt like we didn’t have time for each other.

Yet, each time we stopped those crazy schedules and took off somewhere, whether it was the cabin (Hi Erin!) or sylvan lake, we found ourselves completely overcome with the happiness that slowing down brought us.
And each time we vowed again to bring that back to Calgary with us.
And each time it failed.

But we knew that was what we wanted, and we knew that somehow, someway and some day we would have it.
We would HAVE to have it.
And it became clear to us that likely, we would have to leave to get it.
It became the inside joke of the family. “Where do the Clarkes want to move now?”

The list of places we thought about is quite varied. I was more serious than Kelsey, and would’ve gone in a second had she said yes once. It’s probably for the best she didn’t, school in Costa Rica is quite expensive for foreigners…
B&B in Costa Rica
or PEI
or Newfoundland
Computer repair in Hawaii
or Kamloops (Hi Erin again!)
or Salmon Arm
Keep my current job but move to Sylvan Lake
or Newfoundland
or Grande Prairie
Among these (semi)reasonable ideas was my grandest of all. Sell the whole shebang and buy an RV. Home school the kids and travel the continent for a couple years before settling somewhere.
I’m still not sure that the last one won’t happen if Crossfield doesn’t pan out.

And the more we talked, the more we were able to gain insight in to why we wanted to move. We realized that what we really wanted was to spend more quality time together, instead of focusing so much on trying to keep up with every one else.
The biggest things, I think, that kept us here are a good job that I enjoy doing, and our families. Both of those are hard to leave, so we knew we had to try to bring more aloha into our lives here, and gave ourselves some permanent reminders to help:

Derek - tat Kels- Tat

It’s been tough, but we’ve managed to do it a little. We spend more time focused on doing things together, and making that time quality. But “living aloha” in a city the size of Calgary is tough, when no one else wants to play along. And so, our search for a place to move continued…

Until, out of no where, came Crossfield. A place that was small and laid back. A place where the kids could walk to the park without us worrying (too much at least). A place where maybe, just maybe, we could finally live aloha without having to give up everything to get it.

As I said before, Hawaii changed our lives and made us think “There’s more to it than this?”

So what does the tropical paradise that is Hawaii have to do with moving from one cold place to another, slightly colder, place?
Everything, once you realize what’s important…