Goodbye marketing career, I’m going to Hawaii: a true story

Giampaolo Cammarota, from Napoli (IT), successful engineer working in the Hi-Tech industry, quit everything and moved to Maui to follow his dream.

Overwhelmed by a stressful job and by hours spent every morning stuck in the traffic,  does that ring a bell for you? Raise your hand if you have thought at least once in your life : ”I want to live on a tropical island, warm and sunny, lying on a hammock under a coconut palm and holding a pinacolada”.

Ok, wake up now, it’s time to go to work! But, believe it or not, there is someone who did not wake up – but instead transformed this dream into a reality

And I am not talking about the author, myself, who is currently living in Maui (Hawaii) but on a limited time. I am talking about a fellow Italian, Giampaolo Cammarota, born and raised in Naples, who has settled in Maui since 2001. He wasn’t kidding. He was tremendously serious when he decided to quit everything,  pack his stuff and move to the most remote archipelago on the planet to follow his dream: waves and wind.

Let’s know more about his incredible story directly from him.

Q: Giampaolo, tell us something about yourself

Well, I was born in Naples, Italy. I graduated,  I worked 11 years in Italy as an engineer and then I quit everything and moved to Maui to pursue my dream: windsurfing. And I am still here.

Q: It seems easy, but it isn’t. Tell us more about your choice, inspire us!

I was working for a multinational company in the hi-tech industry and I was in charge of selling computer software.  But I also used to come to Maui on windsurf vacations as I really loved the place.  But I wanted to stay on Maui longer and so I planned to take 1 year off and to spend it on the island, as I had enough savings to afford it. After 2 weeks on the island I already knew nothing would bring me back to the previous life!

Q: Changing life is an hard choice: what helped you to make this decision and what concerns did you have


It was not easy at all. The fact that I was single helped a lot. Also it was a prosperous moment for the Hi-Tech industry, which made me confident that I would easily get back to my job on the chance I would return. It was definitely a risk and it took courage. I also got inspired by little things, like reading inspirational books: I want to mention ”The Dolphin”, written by Sergio Bambaren, which reminds you to always live the life you dream.

Q: What have you found here and what did you leave in Italy?

I gave up my ”social standing”. I quit a brilliant career: I was making good money, I could purchase a nice car… but I don’t miss it at all! While here in Maui I am living a life which is more true to me. Every day I do what I want, I get in the water, I surf, windsurf and paddle. I don’t care about being successful according to Western society standards and I live in a more spiritual way. Actually the only things I miss are my parents and good wine!

Q: You did something which is clearly ”unconventional” according to the society standard rules. Do you realize that?

It is all relative. I can definitely claim to be unconventional by not following the standard Western society rules: I was sitting in business class while now I work in the rental department of a surf shop (and I am way happier!). But I am not unconventional at all if compared to the other Maui immigrants. There are many people here who have decided to live according to the ”beach culture”: live simply, enjoy life, never wear a tie!

Q: Today being unconventional is key to perform successful communication strategies. It seems like you found your personal success by being unconventional too. What parallelism between marketing and life?

I would start giving my definition of success, which is live the life you want and so be happy. Then I agree that marketing could be considered reflection of the society. Let’s think about that. I do have a blog and because of my unconventional choice  my followers get inspired and would like to do what I did. People are attracted from what is ”different”: if your advertising is unconventional it is definitely more appealing to your customers.

 Q: Describe us your typical day on Maui

Sure. I am going to describe my working days, as the days off are just a better version of those! I wake up early, which is possible because I go to sleep early. First thing, I check the waves and wind forecast, and I go for an early surfing session. Then I go to work at 9am until 1pm or 2pm, depending on my schedule. Afterwards, if it is windy I go windsurfing, if it is not windy I go surfing again. Then dinner and sleep! Quite simple, and that is what I like.

Q: Will you move back one day?

In all honesty, I don’t think I will. I can’t picture myself living in Italy again. I would consider to move to some other place if for any reason I should be over Maui. I don’t think that place would be Italy, but everything is possible.

Good luck Giampaolo!

Giampaolo updates on a regular basis a popular blog about surfing and windsurfing, which may be found by following the link

Pictures courtesy of Jimmie Hepp.