Si Yu’us Ma’ase’, Guam

“The only way I’ll leave Guam is if you make me, but I’ll be kicking and screaming the whole way!”

Well, it happened. As you read this, I am somewhere in the Midwest starting a new life with Peter. It may come as a shock to you, it was surely a big shock to me too. The day we left for our South Korean vacation, Peter received a job offer that would mean we’d have to leave Guam. During our trip, we got a taste for what the weather would be like for us in the future. I hated it.

“Umm I don’t think I want to move anymore.” Peter replied, “I thought you wanted to be closer to your family. If we don’t like it, we can always come back to Guam.”

Since our last (and only) trip home, we’d been thinking about moving closer to our family. Throughout the last two years I’d gone from being extremely homesick and ready for something more, to feeling like I could just give up my old life and stay in Guam forever. This truly is a bitter sweet moment for me, as I am incredibly sad to be leaving Guam, I am excited about Peter’s new job opportunity and what is to come for us in our new home. I’m not sure if I will return to Guam, but I hope I do.

I am terrified. I don’t think I am the same person I was before my big move to Guam. I wonder if I still have anything in common with the friends I left behind and if people will accept me as they have in Guam. I don’t know if I’ll be able to assimilate back into life as a Statesider and I don’t know if I want to. I love who I’ve become, an island girl.

The past month has gone by in a flash and upon my return from South Korea, I had just a couple of weeks to pack three years of my life into a few boxes. It’s not so easy for me to throw things away. I have a memory attached to almost everything, and I like that. I’m starting a completely new life in a place I’ve never been and so, I’ve had to make some hard decisions about what deserves to be in that life.

I have felt so many emotions including something that feels like heartbreak. I’m not sure when it happened, it kind of just snuck up on me, but I fell in love with Guam. It is so unique and has been full of lovely surprises, so it breaks my heart to say goodbye. I will miss the sun, beaches, flowers and my laid back lifestyle. But most of all, the warmth from the people. I don’t think there is any other place in the U.S. where the quality of life is so good, where so many different people can come together and live harmoniously, as I’ve seen while living in Guam. The island spirit is something that I just can’t describe, especially in Guam, you have to live it to really understand it.

I’ve been blessed to live this life and, thankfully, I’ve documented it over the last three years on this blog. So whenever I’m really cold, homesick for Guam, or need a reminder of the good things in life, I can come back here to read my posts and all the positive comments from my readers.

Thank you Guam for giving me this experience. Thank you to everyone who has supported my blog and to all the people I’ve met because of it. I love you!

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23 comments

  1. I’m so saddened to hear that you have had to leave the island. Your blog was one of the first things I found before moving here and has honestly helped the me with the move, as well as helped me develop the love that is blossoming for this island. So I would first like to personally thank you for sharing your experiences. Also, I admire your bravery for taking on new adventures, even if they are in the terrible cold! Best of luck for your new adventure, I hope you fall in love with your new home and all of its amazing and unique new qualities as you did Guam.
    Safe Travels,
    Ashleigh | http://www.mermaidonthemove.com

    1. I met my Chamorro grilfriend in Texas and now she wants to move back to Guam. I know that the Chamorro people are warm and friendly people. But I have mixed emotions about moving to Guam but this info helps me a bit. Thanks
      Mikw

  2. your stories about guam and life has inspired me to move from sacramento ca.
    I have no friends or family here and looking for a new start!! I was thinking about guam or puerto rico, fiji?

  3. Antonia, you came to Guam a Statesider and left an Island Girl! Enjoy your new adventure and thank you for sharing your Guam experience! The beaches and hiking trails will forever miss you & Peter. 🙂

  4. Well, congratulations on the job and move, but I’m sad! I just moved to Guam and have been reading your blog to get a feel for the island. I will just have to live it now for you and Peter too!

  5. I started reading your blog a few months ago, shortly before I moved to Guam myself. You had so many good tips to offer, and I could see how much the Guamanian sunshine seeped into your soul. Take that “hafa adai” spirit with you wherever you go, and you’ll continue to expand your heart & mind throughout all your journeys. I suspect you may live stateside but will remain an international citizen with a taste for travel and adventure from here on out. Best of luck!

  6. Hi Antonia! Last year in August I moved to Guam for three months to live with my boyfriend (I’m from New Zealand). I read your blog a lot before I moved there and it really helped! I am back in New Zealand now and my boyfriend is preparing to move here to live with me permanently. Even though I was only on Guam for three months last year, I still find at times that I really do miss it, it was such an amazing experience. Anyway thanks for your advice on here and good luck with your future!

  7. Hi Antonia! I spent the last day or two pouring over your blog! I lived on Guam for three years and returned back to the states three years ago. It sounds like we completely missed each other! I have been dreaming of moving back lately and starting my own business but am pretty terrified of what that might entail. When I lived on island before, I had the cushion of living with a military family and having a lot provided for me. I have some very dear friends who are local on island, but I would love to chat with you about some of the big issues of moving from the states (insurance, moving furniture- although I will probably sell everything, etc.). Would it be possible to email sometime?

    I ended up back in the Midwest too after Guam. Parts of the transition were really difficult and parts were easier. I hope your transition has gone smoothly!

    Thanks again for your amazing blog!

    Michelle

    1. Yup born there, lived in SF for 10 then moved home in 2007(for a job, too) for three years until i found a husband. Now back in the bay since 2010 and it is ALWAYS calling me back yet I can barely get myself to do it again 🙂
      it is what i call “off-island-state-of mind”.

  8. I just started reading your blog a few months ago and now I’m so sad to know that you are no longer here. good luck in your future endeavors and i hope you find your way back here someday 🙂

  9. My wife and I moved to Guam a few months ago and used your blog as a resource – it definitely was towards the top in the google ranking! Have a good rest of your life journey and thank you for helping us in our move.

  10. Thanks for the great blog. Looking for a US territory to retire to and Guam is on the short list. I hope you find your new life in the Midwest just as fulfilling. I want to get back to an island atmosphere myself as I’m watching the snow fly as I type this.

  11. Hafa Adai Antonia,

    I’m a local Chamorro from Guam, lived here most of my life. I stumbled upon your blog randomly today after searching up directions for a hike I wanted to do and I’ve been stuck on it for the better half of today. I didn’t think I would be as absorbed as I just was, having just finished reading practically everything here within the past 5 hours or so (with breaks of course). I just can’t get over how refreshing it is to hear an outside perspective of how great Guam truly is and how blessed anyone who calls Guam home is. Living here day to day for years does get monotonous as a local and I too forget about most of the amazing things you’ve documented on this blog, (you’ve actually done more than I have and seen more of Guam in your three years versus my 19 years of life haha). Growing up in Talofofo, immersed in Chamorro culture since birth, I take so many things for granted based off of your experiences. So going through your posts have truly been a renewal of gratitude I’m sure every Guamanian will always have, whether on or off island. Based on your last post, I think it’ll be almost a year since you’ve moved from Guam and in that year alone, there’s been so many improvements towards a few of the problems you’ve noted – correct pothole fixing, better tourist services, park improvements, etc. A new grand museum is also almost finished being built directly across the Plaza de Espana in Agana. I hope wherever you’ve moved to is just as wonderful, but I also certainly do hope you find your way back to Guam, even if just for a visit. Thanks for the enlightenment!

  12. Home is where you lay your head and warm your heart. I too, stumbled upon your blog and I must say it reads as you’ve made the best of your time here. Many opinions get thrown around about Guam, from both ends of the spectrum, and they are all correct in a unique way. I appreciated your open-minded take and keen observations of island life. Mostly, I appreciate how your writing showcases the kind of islander pride that only comes from one whom calls their island home.

  13. Hello, and I’m in the process of moving to Guam and I was wondering if you need a passport to enter Guam? I know Guam is a U. S. Territory and with talking to a few people some say you do need a passport and others say you don’t. Also, I’ve read that as long as your flight make connections within the United States one doesn’t need a passport it is only when the plane has a layover outside of America, like Japan or Tokyo. Thanks for any help and I love your blog and all the information to help make my move to Guam less complicated. Hafa Adai….

  14. You had to leave Guam to move back to the states with your husband? Bummer. I know this post is almost two years old. But, are you two considering going back if things don’t work out with your husband’s job in the Midwest? You’re right about the weather being crappy here in the US. I live in the Mid-Atlantic and I hate how temperatures change from hot to cold, hot to cold, hot to cold, and it lasts until May!! But this year, we had off and on cool spells until it was nearly June. It’s a shame how a job can dictate where you live. I hear that in Europe, they create jobs where they live. Over here, we go to big cities for work and often hate our lives as a result.

    Anyway, I hope you two can go back to Guam someday. I’m counting down the days when I can leave Baltimore and this whole continental US for good in exchange for warm, stable weather.

    1. Definitely hoping to move back someday, but for now we are enjoying living stateside. Island life is very limiting. We weren’t ready to settle down in Guam when there’s still so much we haven’t seen 🙂

  15. I live in nyc, i would love to marry a nice asian woman and move to guam, i lived in puerto rico for 4 years and its beautiful, theres nothing like the islands.

  16. Dear Antonia.. I did a search for Guam during the present North Korean crisis. I found your blog and started reading it and continued for 3 hours! (Not realizing you had already moved to the Midwest) I became so immersed in it that I felt as if I were living there myself and your blog was so good I could actually feel the community and atmosphere of the island. I was sad when I found you had left, but wish you good fortune going forward. Thank you for allowing us to follow you in Guam.

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