Hawaii is an amazing place to live if you enjoy experiencing different world cultures, exploring unique ecosystems, enjoying ocean activities, warm weather year round, and being surrounded by beautiful scenery. Although it does cost more than most other places to live in Hawaii, for us the quality of life we are able to enjoy is worth it. There is no other place in the world like the Hawaiian Islands!
Living in Hawaii can be paradise everyday but there are many things to consider before packing your bags and buying a one way plane ticket. Although it is hard to imagine anyone not wanting to live in Hawaii there are some who move to the islands without visiting first or have no choice in the move (like military) and find that Hawaii is not for them. The hardest part of moving to Hawaii is being so far from friends and family. Homesickness can become unbearable when you are 2,000+ miles from your loved ones! Another major consideration is that the cost of living in Hawaii is very expensive. We have been told it compares with other major cities like San Francisco and New York City. The island of Oahu is the most populated and is more expensive to rent or buy a house/apartment than the other islands. Outer-island housing is less expensive but there are fewer job opportunities. Almost all consumer items are shipped into the islands which adds to the cost because everything is shipped into Honolulu Harbor then on to other islands.
Some of the things we had to adjust to when moving to Hawaii:
*Figuring out how to pronounce Hawaiian street names.
*The cockroaches in our house no matter how clean it is.
*Cockroaches outside that are larger than a half-dollar and fly!
*You can legally drive your car and enter stores/public buildings while barefoot and Men can go shirtless.
*Many locals speak a version of English called Pidgin which is takes a while to get used to and understand.
*National sporting events are usually on in the morning due to the time delay and are then also rebroadcast in the afternoon.
*Being Caucasian and being a minority.
*Learning Hawaiian history to understand what has happened to Hawaiian people and what makes Hawaii so special.
Some of the things that make Hawaii exceptional to live in:
*The Aloha Spirit expressed by many island residents.
*The exposure to interesting people and cultures from around the world.
*Hawaiian traditions like leis and aloha wear incorporated into everyday life.
*Hearing many languages spoken intertwined with English during everyday conversation.
*Low violent crime.
*Lots of options on how to enjoy “free time”.
*Rare plants and animals found only in Hawaii’s unique ecosystems.
*Waterfalls and rainbows.
*Beautiful beaches just a short drive from anywhere on the islands!
*Beautiful scenery just about everywhere you look.
*Each island offers a different experience so you don’t have to travel far to go on vacation.
Once you decide to make the move to Hawaii you then will need to decide what to take with you and what to sell or give away. If you have items of value that you intend to keep for several years like reliable car, entertainment system, computer, furniture, bikes and other recreation equipment it will probably cost less to ship them then replace them and would be worth hiring a moving company to relocate those items. Shipping a car or household items generally takes three to four weeks. Cars are shipped in individual containers, but many shipping services will allow partial containers of household goods. A three-bedroom home will typically fill a 24-foot container. Some shipping services will deliver the container to your house for packing then retrieve it for delivery to the docks while others require you to bring your items to their shipping facility. If you do not plan to move with much we recommend arranging for a mail box service in the area of Hawaii you plan to move to and ship whatever you won’t be taking on the plane with you to the mail box in Hawaii. This will also allow you to establish a forwarding address. The USPS and Mailboxes Etc are just a two of the national mail box services available across Hawaii.
The easiest way to move to Hawaii is to plan the move far in advance. Then prior to moving find a job, find living accommodations , and when you are ready ship your belongings to right to your new island home. The reality is most people are not able to make the move this way. Some people may find a job prior to moving to the islands but it is a little more challenging to find living accommodations remotely. What we did to prepare for our move to Hawaii was save enough money to cover 2 months living expenses including first months and last months rent. Then we purchased an airfare, hotel, and car rental package deal when we made our move. We used the week at the hotel and the rental car to check out the island and find an apartment to move into. You may not find exactly what you are looking for but just get yourself into something clean and affordable with a short lease. Then once you are settled in after a few months you can find something that better meets your needs. This same theory applies to finding a job. You may not be able to find a job prior to arriving or your dream job when you first arrive but there are plenty of jobs available that will help you pay your bills while you continue your search for your ideal job and make contacts. Keep in mind you will be starting a whole new life in Hawaii and your life will not be the same as it was but if you are willing to do what it takes and have a bit of faith in yourself you can make your dream of moving to Hawaii a reality. We found all the sacrifices we made and the temporary set back in the standard of living we endured was well worth it. We have seen and experience so many amazing life changing things while living in the Hawaiian Islands and do not ever plan on living anywhere else but these beautiful islands.