Lately I have been asked why we have decided to not live with other guys on the crew. It’s a great way to save money and get more house for your buck, I agree; however, it is something that we, as a couple have decided not to do. Because we have such a wonderful following of other linemen and wives, I thought I would briefly touch on this subject.
Hawaii is with out a doubt an expensive place to live. The price for housing is affected directly by supply and demand, especially on the island of Oahu. Many of the guys on J.O.s crew do in fact live together in various homes. One house is right on the ocean, the other is fully furnished, with a huge yard and over looks the ocean. They are able to ride share to work, go in on food together and keep each other company. Besides all that they all are able to not spend as much on housing and be in locations that they want to be in. Even when J.O and I are in our 5th wheel, there are many linemen that will double up in hotels and even in campers. With all this said, I’m sure that many of you may ask why we don’t take on a roommate or why we didn’t opt of the group housing option.
Easiest answer, we need our down time: our alone time. And no, I’m not just talking about bedroom time. The main reason I started to travel with J.O full time was so that we could not only spend more time together, but feel like we were living somewhat of a “normal” married life. Living with other people always sets a different mood to the house and personally, gives me a feeling like we constantly would have company. Even when we camp, we try to stay at a different camp ground from the rest of the crew. Having a separation from work and home gives our lives a better balance. Work stays at work and home life is simply that: life at home. There is more time for relaxation and time together. J.O even agrees that his sense of camaraderie at work with the guys is stronger because of it. We are able to keep our traditional routines where ever we travel to, thus creating a sense of stability, security and always being “home”.
I completely understand those that don’t travel with their families wanting to go in on housing with others. It can give them a sense of a traveling family and routine, not to mention the savings.
If you’re looking at traveling to a job either with your lineman or away away from your family and you’re thinking about your housing situation, think about what’s important to you. The pluses and minuses of each option. Do you live well with others? Have you ever had a roommate before? Are the people you’re looking to live with on your crew and if so, will you be able to live and work with them and keep good spirits? How much alone time do you like outside of work? Is this a good decision for your relationship? Everyone and every situation is different and you might be surprised by what works out best for YOU!