Why Natalie Uehara left Hawaii

“I originally came to Hawaii from Florida as a dancer on the Norwegian Cruise Line America fleet in 2006. Through that job, I met my future husband, and we got married at Kualoa Ranch in 2008.

“We were supposed to leave after six months of being married because my contract with NCLA was up, but I was offered a teaching position at Castle High School, so we decided to stay. I absolutely loved my job as the dance director and choreographer for the Castle Performing Arts Center.

“My husband and I had two beautiful children and loved our life, but the financial stress of a teacher’s low salary and the realization that we would probably never be able to afford a home of our own eventually got the best of us.

“We left for Austin, Texas, in 2016 and have since been able to purchase a home here. I have been lucky to go back to Oahu each summer to continue directing a summer theatre camp at Diamond Head Theater. Leaving Hawaii was one of the most difficult decisions I’ve ever had to make, and we miss it everyday.”

Natalie Uehara
Austin, Texas
Former Honolulu resident

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