Our Unforgettable Journey: From Minnesota to Maui

Our Unforgettable Journey: From Minnesota to Maui

  • Amber Lee
  • 08/3/21

Born and raised in Minnesota, I got my first taste of paradise in 2001 when my husband and I honeymooned on three islands of Hawaii, one being Maui. We were excited to experience the breathtaking views of Kapalua, Haleakala, and Hana. For nearly every year thereafter, we vacationed on Maui and as our family grew and grew, we brought our four sweet children along. For years, my husband felt a calling to move to Maui, but I was content to visit once a year and remain close to family and friends in Minnesota. In 2017, my father suffered a medical crisis and the fragility of life was suddenly thrust upon us.

To Move or Not to Move to Hawaii?

For the next year, I gave my husband’s dream real consideration: Could we really uproot our four school-aged kids and begin a new life on an island? What would school be like for them? What medical resources are available on the island? Would we build close connections within our new community? Where would we live? Would we rent or buy? I sought the counsel of friends, family, and my church before coming to this conclusion:

Sometimes life presents us with an open door — a shiny, eye-catching new door that can’t be ignored — and we have to make the formidable decision to walk through it or close it, knowing that a similar one may never reappear. My father’s health crisis was the bittersweet motivation I needed to see life more clearly and know that we might never get another opportunity to make this Maui dream a reality. I called a realtor to list our home for sale and just like that, the wheels were in motion for the most monumental change any of us had ever experienced in our lives.

beach after moving to hawaii

Taking Chances and Making Changes

Change can be frightening; it certainly was for me. We are often tempted to resist it, but change is necessary as it provides invaluable opportunities to learn, strengthen and grow. Stepping onto a brand new path in life is difficult, but not more difficult than remaining in one that isn’t fulfilling. And that’s exactly what we realized. If you never step out of your little pond, you might miss the vast ocean that awaits you beyond the horizon.

kids ride horses in maui

Adventure, Here We Come!

We left Minnesota in early summer and spent a week driving cross country with our four children and small pup. We took in all of the sights along the way, visiting Mount Rushmore, going horseback riding in the mountains of Wyoming, being awestruck at the beauty of Yellowstone National Park, seeing the Hoover Dam, and exploring the majestic Grand Canyon. We dropped our car off at the shipping dock in California and flew to our new home island of Maui!

kids moving to maui

Savoring the Journey

Within weeks, our kids felt settled, happy, and adjusted to their new island life. We decided that we wanted all four of them on the same campus for their first year and enrolled them at Maui Preparatory Academy, a small independent school in West Maui. They finished two successful years at Maui Prep and are now attending Lahaina public schools. My children are strong, and this move has taught them that change is inevitable and learning how to successfully adapt is key to a healthy life. This move has been transformative for us as a family, bringing us closer than we ever imagined possible. I am privileged to be a realtor with Hawaii Life so I can help families and individuals perhaps seeking a similar story to ours. Your dream is waiting; you just have to have the courage to grab it, and I would be thrilled to help you achieve it.



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