Most people will fall in love with Hawaii even if they visit for just a few days. It is hard to describe, but I would attribute this to the Aloha spirit that is just in the air, in combination with beautiful beaches, stunning views, a relaxed atmosphere, and colorful fresh fruits and seafood. Who wouldn’t want to go back?
Actually, lots of people will attempt to move to Hawaii, and lots of them will move back to the mainland. Hawaii is very transient. The question that bugged me is: Why are they leaving paradise again?
I talked to a lot of people since I wanted to make sure I know what to expect. Here are some of the biggest reasons:
After all, Hawaii is a collection of 8 small islands (Niihau, Kauai, Oahu, Maui, Molokai, Lanai, Kahoolawe and the Big Island) in the middle of the Pacific Ocean. It is the most isolated population center on the face of the earth! If you live on Oahu you can drive around in about 2 hours. The shortest flight to a mainland is about 6 hours.
Everything is expensive! A place to live on Oahu will take up a big chunk of your monthly expenses. To rent an average Studio/1-bedroom will cost about $1500+, and a 2-bedroom will start at $2500. There are exceptions and the further away you get from the ocean the cheaper the living gets. But then you have to fight traffic to get to the ocean.
Food is another budget buster. Since everything has to be shipped or flown in it will reflect on the prices. Again there are ways to stretch those dollars, with utilizing local markets, changing eating habits, utilizing Costco, and maybe even growing your own foods may help.
Lots of families move here and realize that their extended families and support systems are far away and a quick visit is just not possible.
Everything moves slower here! Permits, licenses, and contractors can take many months to get. While Hawaiian Time has its charm as a tourist, this can be an obstacle when you cant move into your house or you cant work because of the missing license.
End of Deployment
The military is one largest employers on Oahu. There seems to be a constant turnover of families coming and leaving the island.
Even with knowing all of this I have lots of ideas how to make this new life work, so stay tuned for more fun to come. I have already connected with a great church and are excited to deepen friendships that I already made.