Situation: I want to be in two places at once.
I recently watched the movie Sweet Home Alabama and could relate to Melanie when her dad said, “You can’t ride two horses with one ass, sugarbean.” While I’m not involved in a love triangle, I’m very indecisive about choosing a place to live. I want to have the tropical destination but with cheap prices and free rent. I want my friends and family in one place. I just want to have my cake and eat it too! After being at home for a while it was time to move on. I have a road trip planned in July so essentially needed plans for the next six months. I weighed several options seriously. For a short time, I really thought I was moving to Portland. But in the end it came down to two places: Columbia, SC (where I was living before my RTW trip) and Hawaii. I made plans for Hawaii actually- found a ridiculous deal on a flight that would allow me to stop in San Francisco for a few days to see friends, set up a living arrangement, and even told my parents. It sounded too good to be true. And then I found out that I had a free living situation in Columbia and a house-sitting gig for part of the time if I wanted it. I didn’t really want to go back in Columbia at this point in my life but free rent is such a tough thing to turn down. I ached over this decision for days but here’s what it came down to.
More Fun or More Money
While Hawaii is expensive, really it’s food and rent I have to worry about. All of the outdoor activities I want to participate in are completely free. My entertainment budget could be kept at a minimum. I love the hiking and running trails there, not to mention swimming and snorkeling! Hawaii wins the Fun vote, hands down.
If I go to Hawaii, I really won’t save much at all. That’s not a bad exchange for five months in an amazing locale but it will have longer term effects. After my cross-country road trip this summer, I would definitely have to stay put for a while. If I go to South Carolina, I should be able to sock away funds, which means that after my cross-country road trip I should have a little extra left over. And this little extra could then put me on a plane towards the end of the year to Kenya.
After grappling for days and seeking advice from several people, I canceled my living arrangements in Hawaii. Free rent trumps fun for now. Hawaii may make a reappearance in 2012. I know my way around and can always go back. The idea of feeling trapped and broke at the end of this year just didn’t sound quite as appealing once I mulled it over.
Did I make the right choice? Only time will tell.