Happily Ever After in Hawaii

It’s been two years and two months since I moved to the Rainbow State. Overall, it has been the greatest experience of my life and the best decision I’ve ever made. I have had amazing adventures enjoying all Hawaii has to offer, including beaches, hikes, island hopping, watersports, even swimming with sharks. I met my soul mate, who I am marrying in a few weeks, and I made some amazing friends who have become family. I got to learn about Hawaiian history and be immersed in Polynesian culture, which has been so eye opening and profound for me. I attended countless cultural festivals here to live like a real local. I even got to take advantage of the location by traveling throughout Asia several times.

But more importantly, moving to Hawaii has taught me so much about myself and who I am. Spreading my wings and being brave enough to leave home for an unfamiliar place so far away where I knew no one, and yet creating such a fulfilling and fabulous life from scratch has been a journey of self-discovery like no other. I’ve gotten to explore and study my spirituality on a deeper level. I connected with nature like never before. I uncovered my true purpose in life. Best of all, I truly fell in love with myself in the process and could not be more proud of the well-rounded woman I have become as I approach my 30th birthday this year.

So now, as I face the possibility of moving away soon to wherever my fiancé’s next duty station will be, I become a bit emotional at the thought of leaving a place I have grown so fond of. Hawaii will always be the most special and magical place in the world to me. I came here in search of something and I wasn’t even sure what, and along the way I found my soul AND my soul mate. So yes, you could say Hawaii has been VERY good to me. If it weren’t for the high cost of living and extreme over crowdedness, it would be the most perfect place on earth to live. And if it weren’t for me marrying someone in the military, I would probably stay here for a very long time. However, there’s a big chance that it’s time to spread my wings yet again.

It may not make sense to some that a free-spirited, tree-hugging, war-hating, peace-and-love-spewing hippie would end up with a United States Marine of all people. They are widely known as the most elite service in our mighty military, basically highly trained killers who are the first sent out into combat. So our match is a bit ironic and contradictory in some ways, but it’s a perfect paradox. Somehow, something always told me my soul mate was a fierce warrior. It is exactly why I have been obsessed with military history and war movies my entire life, and part of why I decided to pursue a career actually working alongside service members as a Department of Defense civilian supporting military missions. I may not agree with or support war, but I understand it. Because of what I do for a living, I’m familiar with things most civilians will never be exposed to and therefore, I have a great appreciation for those who defend and protect us. So I could not be more proud of and honored that my fiancé is a Marine. That is his job and a big part of who he is, but it does not completely define him. Underneath it, he’s the most compassionate, patient, and loving man I’ve ever met who is passionate about serving his country and making the military his long-term career. So of course I support him. He has to go away a lot, which I hate, but when we are together, he truly sets my soul on fire with happiness and joy. It’s very much worth it. I simply cannot imagine my life without him.

So yes, there will be many sacrifices and hardships ahead for me as a Marine wife. This is a life I certainly never predicted for myself. But when it’s the one, you’ll do whatever it takes at any cost. Even leaving a place you love and the fabulous life that you’ve built there.

But it’s not as bad as some people make it out to be. As a natural optimist, I see the bright side of everything. I honestly can’t think of anyone better suited for military spouse life than myself. I am used to moving around a lot and being away from family, I am established enough in my career that I should have no problem finding employment wherever we go, and most of all, I love travel and adventure.

And that’s exactly how I am looking at this next chapter of my life as a military wife, a true adventure. I have no idea where the Marine Corps will send us over the next 16+ years of my husband’s career and it’s certain that there will be many challenges I’ll face along the way, but I am down for whatever as long as we’re together. Living in Hawaii has taught me that I can adapt and find happiness anywhere I go. I can’t, however, always find my soul mate and a husband that’s as perfect for me as Judah is.

So as crazy as some people think I am for giving up my amazing life and job here in Hawaii, to me it is a no-brainer. I have already accomplished and obtained everything I ever set out to. During my 20’s, I’ve literally scratched off every goal I made for myself one by one. The only thing missing was love, which is by far the hardest thing to find and at many times, seemed hopeless. So now that I have it, I appreciate it so much more. I will not let naysayers and their negativity take away from this. Ultimately, it’s my life and I can only live it for me, not to please others and make sense to them. Sometimes you just have to go for it and follow your heart. Otherwise, you’d live to regret it.

Now as I plan our wedding and savor this exciting time with my fiancé, I am experiencing a different kind of happiness and completeness that I never knew was possible. I couldn’t be more certain that this is my destiny. I am over the moon excited for what’s ahead and above all else, totally elated that I get to marry my best friend and travel the world by his side. Turns out, it’s the perfect happy ending for this bohemian soul.


  1. I wish you and your hubby all the best!
    Life, health, happiness and prosperity!
    Your mom can’t say enough good about you,

  2. Baby sister I’m escastic that you found your true love. You deserve only the best! Let love lead the way 💫 Love you 😘

  3. Amanda, you’ve always been true to yourself and have never allowed anyone or anything to stand between you and what you’ve set your mind on doing. That’s why you’ve been so incredibly successful. All of your life choices have been good ones and only you can make this huge decision for yourself. After all you’ve sacrificed to put yourself through college, get a dream job with the government,move to Paradise on the other side of the globe, etc I can’t imagine that you would risk all of that if you weren’t 100% sure about spending the rest of your life with Judah. Trust yourself and continue to live your life on your own terms. I’m sure that those who are questioning your choices are just concerned because they care so much about you. I wish you and Judah all the happiness this world has to offer and I look forward to meeting this amazing man when you come home to visit. You have my love and support and I couldn’t possibly be any more excited for you.

  4. Amanda, I am so happy for you! It is so nice to see that the sweet young young girl I met back in the 90’s has grown into the very beautiful and intelligent woman you are today. I wish you and your soon to be husband all the happiness this world can bring. Congratulations to both of you.

  5. Honey it’s not a happy ending! It’s your beginning!!! I love you with all my heart and soul and “I AM” elated that you are so happy;) I have worried about you each waking day and night for the past 29 years! I feel now that I don’t have to worry so much as I believe you are in good hands.
    A new journey begins when you move and there is a lot for you to do. But I know YOU and you will do just fine – in fact you will do exceptionally well!! New places to explore, people to meet, things you’ll learn… You are, and will forever be “MY STAR”!! Love you to the MOON and back, Mom

  6. So happy that you found “him;” well, that you two found each other! I wish you many more blessings of joy, love and great adventures together.

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