How We Moved to Oahu

This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my affiliate disclosure for more information.

Aloha! We are Tina & Connie and we are a couple that relocated from San Diego, CA to Oahu, Hawaii! In this post, we will go over the logistics of our move versus the events that led us to decide to move here.

If you would like to learn more about those events, click over to our about page. As you can imagine, moving to Oahu is quite different than moving to another state on the mainland.

Some of the places we considered moving to before moving here included Nevada and Texas. However, both of those options were brief thoughts as we both prefer living near the ocean.

Living on Oahu together has been a goal of ours for many years. I’ll cover how we prepared for the move to include:

  • Packing up our belongings
  • Getting rid of stuff we no longer needed
  • Finding a place to live on Oahu
  • Preparing our cat for the move (paperwork)
  • Getting rid of our RV (long story, haha)
  • Shipping our car

Also, check out our YouTube channel below. You can watch our very first video:

Be sure to subscribe to our YouTube channel here!

Preparing for Our Move to Oahu

When we moved out of our apartment in San Diego, we had not yet planned on moving to Oahu. In fact, it wasn’t a thought at all. We were moving out of our apartment into an RV that we had bought.

Our plan was to live the RV life for awhile and to save up some money to eventually buy a home. However, that didn’t work at as planned. Connie enjoyed living in the RV and I was miserable.

We began throwing away a ton of stuff in our apartment. There was no way we could keep most of it and honestly, we didn’t need the items. I couldn’t tell you what we threw away. That is how insignificant those things were.

I think we simply accumulated items over the years. After throwing out so much stuff, we vowed to live a simpler life and not to buy things just because.

It is very freeing to not be bogged down by material things. The things we did keep ended up going into a storage facility. When we made the decision to move to Oahu, all of the stuff in storage was donated, given away, or tossed.

Making the Decision to Move to Oahu

Living in the RV was no fun for me. Connie didn’t mind it at all. I disliked everything about it. I didn’t like the tiny bathroom. We had to go dump the grey and black water tanks weekly as well as fill the water tank with potable water.

Since we didn’t have any water hookups (we were parked in my parent’s driveway), we had to limit our water usage. Showering meant turning the water on to soap up, turning it back off, and then turning it on to rinse.

That part I didn’t mind, but I knew every time we used the water, the level in the tank was going down and meant we’d have to go fill it up again sooner than later.

Cooking was also challenging. Our diet went from cooking healthy meals to eating take out more often than not.

Then came the heat. San Diego has great weather but when the days are hot, it often feels like an oven. Now imagine being in an RV on a hot day.

That was it for me. It was a struggle to keep cool on days like that and I was more concerned about keeping our cat cool.

Running the AC was possible but it ran up my parent’s electric bill and it didn’t keep the RV cool enough until the sun went down.

The RV life took a toll on our relationship. I was miserable and it led to us arguing quite often. Then one evening we were sitting at the dining table in the RV while the show Doogie Kamealoha, M.D. streamed on Disney+ in the background.

If you’re not familiar with the show, it is based in Oahu. I said to Connie, “If I could snap my fingers and move us anywhere, that would be it.”

At that, Connie stood up, grabbed a piece of paper and a pen. She began writing down the steps we’d have to take to make it happen.

Up until that point, I was feeling hopeless. As we went over the steps, my hope began to rise. The first step was employment on Oahu.

As we began taking action on these steps, things began to fall into place, and fast! Connie received a job offer within a week of making the list!

Finding a Place to Live On Oahu

Apartment hunting was stressful and difficult. Being on the mainland made it a challenge to find places to live. Many apartment complexes were like San Diego in that you have to make 2 to 3 times the yearly rent to qualify.

We also found it difficult to find places to rent that allowed pets. It limited our options even more. The only upside to finding a place to live on Oahu is that you can find places being rented by the owners versus apartment complexes.

When you find a place that is privately owned, you have more room to negotiate. It was a stressful process because we had to find a place in a short timeframe.

We utilized the following for apartment hunting:

  • Craigslist
  • Zillow
  • Redfin
  • Facebook

As the time grew closer, we were finally able to narrow it down to some possible options. It required speaking with the landlords by phone and sometimes Facetime.

Some were gracious enough to do virtual walkthroughs. Others were not willing to rent to us sight unseen. While others didn’t reply at all.

In the end, we ended up with our first choice thanks to Connie’s persistance with speaking with the owner of the apartment.

We love our new place! It has its pros and cons. The main con being the street noise. However, it is in a great location and better than we could imagine since a lot of places we found were studio apartments. It also has an awesome cross breeze!

Preparing Our Cat for the Move to Oahu


We knew that Hawaii is a rabies-free state and that there would be some steps involved to prepare our cat for the move. Little did we know how long the process would be.

Connie had to start her job within a few weeks. We thought getting our cat’s paperwork in order would be simple.

However, when I took Talula (our cat) to the vet, I found out that she needed to receive a new set of rabies shots that were 30-days apart.

That threw a money wrench in our plans for us all to leave at the same time. Talula and I stayed behind for what we thought would only be a month. Due to delays with testing, we ended up being apart from each other for almost 3 months.

Getting Rid of Our RV

Sigh. The RV. We put it up for sale but we had very little interest. We didn’t want to store it as it would be expensive and we’d have to ask someone to go start it up once in awhile.

Thankfully, we discovered a company that rented out RVs and split the profit with the owners. It is like AirBnb for RVs. Yay for passive income!

We cleaned up the RV, did the paperwork, and drove it to the rental place. That was done and it was a relief.

Shipping Our Car to Hawaii

Believe it or not, shipping our car was the easiest process of everything else that we had to do. We shipped our car with Matson. The process was simple.

We cleaned our car inside and out (it’s required.) Made sure we had about a quarter of a tank of gas when we turned it in (also a requirement.)

You can set everything up on the Matson website. You schedule the date and pay the fee. The closest drop off location to us was Long Beach.

When we got there, we signed more paperwork and someone inspected our vehicle. Once it was inspected, we drove it to place it in line with other vehicles that were also being shipped.

In the end, it took 10 days to ship our car to Oahu which was faster than they estimated. We picked it up here at the Matson location.

Closing Thoughts

Moving to Oahu takes a lot of planning and preparation, especially if you are moving with your pet. I will write a separate blog post about preparing to move your animal.

Living on Oahu is very different than living in San Diego. Connie has live on Oahu in the past, so she has familiarity with it. For me, it is all new and is taking some adjustment.

However, the beauty of the island and the culture is wonderful. There is so much to explore and the food here is awesome.

We will be sharing so much more of our journey on our YouTube channel and on this website so follow us for more. 🙂

About the Author

Hi! I'm Tina, the other half of Overjoyed On Oahu. I do most of the blogging on this website. Thanks for stopping by the blog! Be sure to follow us here and on our YouTube channel.