Answering the question, “Why Orcas Island?” isn’t as easy as it sounds. Within that question are bigger questions like, “Why move?” and “Why move to an island?” along with smaller ones like, “Why Orcas, specifically?”
We’ll start with the former.
I think a lot about where our happiness originates and what we can do to keep it flowing. Over our many years together, Sachi and I have become accustomed to changing our lives (and our business) to support what matters to us and what we believe will make us happy. At heart, our move to Orcas Island is a change that we hope sets the stage for future happiness.
While acquiring property
and eventually moving to Orcas
seemed to happen quickly, it felt like it was a long time coming. As we both approached our forties, our perception of city living started to change in ways large and small.
Access to nature and the great outdoors is one of the reasons people move to Seattle and it was something we valued. We love being able to drive a short distance and find ourselves floating in the ocean or a lake, climbing a mountain peak or stepping deep into the forest.
In recent years, we’d spend a few days without leaving our home office and say, “Let’s go for a hike!”, which seemed simple enough. But then, we’d think about rush hour traffic leaving town and how to avoid it. We’d choose times and locations to avoid crowds.
And it wasn’t just the outdoors. An evening out might include more traffic, finding (and paying for) parking, shuffling through elevators and escalators, crowded trains, standing in lines, etc. These things aren’t new, or unique to Seattle, but our perception of them was changing. We found ourselves choosing to tune out and stay in
more and more.
As much as we love the city, we longed for something different. We imagined living in a smaller place, with fewer people, that still offered access to the outdoors, good food and some of the amenities we enjoy. We imagined being more self-sufficient and finding happiness in simpler pleasures on a day-to-day basis.
Further, aside from connections to our friends and neighbors, we had no formal ties to Seattle, like corporate jobs or kids in school. We started to ask: what’s next?
Looking back, there was never a time when one of us said, “We should move to an island!” but I now believe it was inevitable. Sachi, having grown up in Hawaii, has island living in her DNA and has always imagined a return to that life.
In fact, on our first weekend trip away together, we went to Orcas Island. There, by a beachside fire pit, she told me that she would someday live on Orcas. At the time, I’m sure I just smiled. Sure you will. That was nearly twenty years ago.
Below is what Sachi posted to Instagram the day we officially moved to the island.