The real change in my personal perspective came when Sachi shared a spreadsheet that calculated the cost of our life in Seattle compared to the island. It was breathtaking. Until that moment, I was only thinking about the additional cost of island life, where things like groceries and gas are more expensive. These numbers told a different story by comparing two different lifestyles: city life vs. island life.
Aside from the obvious and significant cost of having two houses, it was clear that simply living in the city came with expenses that weren’t obvious when it was our only home. For example, we constantly spent money on transportation and parking in the city. A night out
in Seattle could pay for a week or more of entertainment on Orcas. And the relative bounty of the city inevitably led to more purchases.
The message was clear. We could save thousands of dollars a month if we sold our house and moved to the island. It would be like having another income source in the form of reduced expenses. We both started to see that moving made financial sense.
For the first time, we got serious about changing our lives in fundamental ways and to be honest, the scale of the change made me nervous. Were we really going to sell our house and leave the city we’ve known for over 20 years? It just seemed so…big.
In these situations, Sachi and I have different perspectives. She is incredibly pragmatic and rational. In the context of big decisions, she sees emotion as a liability and a recipe for unintended consequences. I suppose it is her rationality that allows her to be free from worry or fear of the unknown when it comes to the future. Once she rationalizes an idea, she dives in head first and never looks back. Case in point: her belief that we could find a way to pay for the Hunter House renovation
despite evidence to the contrary. Her always-forward perspective is a superpower and we’re both better off for it.
Oddly, there was never a specific moment when we said, “Let’s sell our house and move to Orcas!” and high-fived. It happened much more slowly and lived in the world of “probably” for months as I waded into the idea. It was in this phase that Sachi started packing in earnest. Every trip from Seattle to Orcas moved a bit more of our lives to the island. A box of dishes from the kitchen, a few tools, and a living room chair. Before I knew it, the assumption that we’d probably move had done much of the heavy lifting, both physically and for me, emotionally. My default setting is overly optimistic, but I needed the help for this load.