After 2 months of living out of suitcases in homes of friends, family, strangers, and a hotel, we are finally moving into a place of our own. I can’t say we got tired of living out of suitcases though at times we have missed the things we did not bring on this trip. Certainly we are very grateful to be hosted by so many people from Boston to Kahului.
And now is the time to return the favour.
A new friend in Massachusetts called it “Pay it forward.” You don’t always get to reciprocate the favour but you can pass on the favour to someone else. For example, I don’t always get the opportunity to host those that hosted me in my travels, but I open my home to those who need a home. Of course, it’s not always possible when you’re renovating or trying to raise funding for renovations or a music career.
Where to stay in Maui? The first house we saw had an upright piano. That was the lure. It was fully furnished but without internet or electricity. The one next door was bigger (3 bedrooms) and not as nice. The third house we saw was actually a room in a house, to be shared with the owner who worked two jobs.
It seemed that fully furnished homes were not perfect if 1) we hadn’t explored the rental market long enough to know what we wanted, what was available, and where we wanted to live, and 2) we didn’t know what was involved in getting what’s not included, such as internet, electricity, or furniture.
Did we want to share? If not, did we want a studio or a one bedroom? Did we want a cottage or an apartment? Where did we want to live?
Without a car, we were limited and slow in viewing possibilities. The public buses did not reach everywhere. We walked to nearby rental properties which were all unfurnished. The studio converted from a car garage was too hot. The separate cottage built by an elderly couple was surrounded by a garden that was used as a renovation wasteland. A one bedroom apartment converted from one side of a large house faced a busy street.
When we finally bought a car (which is an interesting story in itself), we visited houses near the beach. One was ideal except for the fleas that bit me. Another was to share with the owner who was still renovating.
In the end, we decided we did not want to share. We did not want to be responsible for other people’s happiness or misery and vice versa. We wanted to be close to wherever we wanted to be, that is, near my mother and sister and where I’ll be spending most of my time. For Robert, he wanted to be near the beach and have a space to practise the guitar without interrupting my sleep of any of the neighbours.
There were other requirements, of course: lots of natural light, quiet surroundings, safe neighbourhood, a parking spot, and a clean place.
We searched the Maui Weekly classifieds and Craigslist advertisements for nearly three weeks.
In the end, we signed a lease for a one-bedroom apartment that fulfilled all of the above, plus more. The video below shows a panoramic view of the Pacific Ocean (so Robert can check for daily surf characteristics), the harbour, the botanical gardens, and the volcano. The apartment has a balcony which we will soon populate with a garden table and chairs. It has high ceilings and floor to ceiling windows that let in plenty of natural light.
Unfortunately, it’s unfurnished. So we’re now contemplating whether we should buy or rent the furniture for 5 months. If we buy, we’ll need to get rid of everything at the end of the period.
As the rent only covers water and trash, we had to register the electricity and internet access. We had to leave a $150 deposit for the electricity (as new account holders). The internet modem will arrive on Thursday, and we’ll have to install it ourselves on Friday. Luckily, the first month is free, and there is no minimum contract.
What about inviting our friends to visit? Sure! That will give me a good reason to sleep at my mother’s.