13 Things No One Tells You About Living in Hawaii

Hawaii… Land of paradise, beautiful weather year-round, the spirit of Aloha, what could possibly go wrong?

But, it may not be for everyone. While it is beautiful and the weather is practically perfect in every way, there are a few downsides and things that are not necessarily a disadvantage, but just stuff you should probably know. We want to be honest with people that are moving to the Hawaiian Islands.

Before moving from the mainland or anywhere else in the world, here are 13 things no one tells you about Hawaii.

13 Things No one tells you about living in Hawaii

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#1. More people move out than move in

Yes, it’s true. Hawaii is among the top states where more people move out rather than actually come in.

Because of the recent pandemic, a lot more people have been moving to the islands than in years past. Those working from home and telecommuters can really find a great spot in which to enjoy year-round vacation-style weather and ambiance all by doing the same job that they were doing perhaps in a big city or in an apartment building.

#2. It’s expensive

Hawaii is one of the highest cost of living states in the United States. Unless you are moving from some place like New York City, Los Angeles, or San Francisco, chances are your cost of living will be higher. Housing and electricity are some of the highest in the country.

However, given just a few weeks, you’ll fit right in and find where you can buy the cheapest gas, the best place to buy your groceries, where to shop, and you’ll probably adapt to the items that you can get on the islands easier rather than spending more for items from the mainland.

RelatedCost Of Living In Hawaii

#3. It’s hot

Now, I’m not talking Death Valley hot or Arizona in August, but it is hot here and it’s pretty much the same temperature year-round. You’ll likely experience temperatures around 80° to 90° during some of the hotter days and as low as 60° on some of the cooler days and evenings. This is the perfect temperature for a lot of folks.

If you’re planning on living at sea level or at least under 2000 feet elevation, you’ll experience warm weather year-round. If you want snow, you can head to the mountains of Mauna Kea, Mauna Loa, or Haleakala on Maui.

13 Things No one tells you about living in Hawaii

#4. You won’t be road tripping very far

If you like getting in the car and heading out on the open road for hours and hours, chances are you’ll be right back where you started within about two or three hours. Depending on which island you choose, you can’t really go very far so if you love long, drawn-out road trips. Try to shift your thinking to more day trips to adventures such as North Shore, museums, or explore a new beach. But, you won’t be crossing any state lines with a Hawaii road trip.

#5. You are a minority… And so is everyone else

Hawaii is truly the ultimate melting pot and there’s no one major ethnicity or race. So basically, the minority is the majority in Hawaii, which is a fabulous realization. Everyone gets along with everyone and respects each other’s culture, diversity, and what they can bring to the table. You’ll experience new tastes, unique traditions, and maybe develop some of your own.

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#6. You must respect the ocean.

You are probably moving to Hawaii because of the tropical weather and of course, the ocean. You can’t live in Hawaii if you hate the ocean because it’s literally all around you.

But, it is extremely dangerous and you must have a healthy level of respect for it. Currents can change in a heartbeat. Rip tides are especially dangerous. There are a lot of injuries that can happen around the ocean and it’s usually tourists that just aren’t aware of the severe power that the ocean emits.

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13 Things No one tells you about living in Hawaii

#7. You’ll have less food variety

Remember what I mentioned about changing what you buy based on price? That will happen a lot, especially with food. Sure, you could probably pick up a Washington State Apple - but it’s going to cost more than that local pineapple, papaya, or bag of Macadamia nuts. Having access to some of the freshest fruit on the planet will definitely up the nutritional value of your diet so enjoy it and try not to get too discouraged if you can’t get this or that.

RelatedCost Of Living In Hawaii

Your diet will probably change dramatically. I don’t know if it’s the weather, the feeling of being healthy, the opportunity to move more, or just the choice of more fresh fruits and vegetables.  Embrace what you can get and make the most of every meal. Remember, we have some of the best seafood on the planet.

#8. You may lose touch with mainland friends

Some may hate you for having the courage and guts to actually move to Hawaii - but others may just forget about you.

Good friends will still come to visit, maybe knocking on your door within a year - but you might be surprised at how many people slowly drift away from your general sphere of influence. Even with social media these days, those on the mainland tend to forget that you live in paradise now. You may be left with only those mainland friends that love Hawaii as well.

#9. Little seasonal weather

If you love snow for Christmas, you may not love Hawaii in December. Hawaii doesn’t have any distinctive seasons. The weather from December to July only varies by about 10 to 15°. It’s pretty much the same temperature year-round.

If you love to garden year-round, Hawaii is where it’s at but, you will need to shift the type of gardening that you might be used to. No more cold weather spinach and peas but if you want to grow guava, basil, peppers, cantaloupes, and watermelon, Hawaii is the place to do it.

#10. Locals are wary of newcomers

Many mainlanders that move here end up leaving within a year. When you prove that you're here to stay, locals might start warming up to you. But you will always be an outsider. Even folks that have lived here for 20 years tend to face this.

There’s a little bit of a stigma surrounding mainlanders that move here, so it is something you just have to get over. Don’t stress out about it too much - try to be friendly and remember that everyone has a spirit of Aloha somewhere deep down inside.

13 Things No one tells you about living in Hawaii

#11. It might not be the best place to start a business

Construction and remodeling might be some of the better business opportunities on the Hawaii and islands but taxes, the housing market, and all the fees that go along with starting and owning a business can be rough. This is probably why big-time executives and corporate moguls move here and start a food truck.

#12. Hawaiian wildlife is mild - but wild

There are no venomous snakes in the Hawaiian Islands - but, you might have to deal with the centipede from time to time.

There are a lot of wild chickens on the Hawaiian Islands and they typically take care of a lot of pests. The Scolopendromorpha centipede can be a little tricky if it gets underneath the sheets, but the little geckos and lizards help keep them in check. They won’t bother you even if you see one crawling up the wall.

Like a lot of places in the world, we always have ants, beetles, mice, flying cockroachers, and spiders. The black widow is just about the deadliest species we have.

#13. You won’t want to leave

Regardless of the bad, the good, the ugly, and the squeamish, you probably won’t want to leave the Hawaiian islands once you are here. It’s simply the ultimate paradise. I know a lot of folks that decided to leave everything on the mainland and move to Hawaii and they have never regretted it.

Recent friends of ours lived in Washington state for years but with frequent trips back and forth to Maui and Oahu, their love for the islands grew stronger. Each trip solidified the need to be a more peaceful, warm environment. And why not!? Don't we all want to be? Well, there is a special reason for it. You see, my friend has Lupus and with dangerous blood clots, he may not have long to live. He's only in his late 40s but with the knowledge that 10-30% of patients die in the first year of being diagnosed with the complication DVT, he said that waiting was not in his mindset. Why wait?

Why wait to live the life you want to live? What are we waiting for? A death sentence before we really start doing what we want to do in this life?

That's why he moved to Hawaii. After his last trip with his beloved girlfriend, he said that's it, next time, it's a one-way ticket. And that's just what he did. Threw caution to the wind and moved.

How do you do it?

You simply minimize. Yes, it can be spending moving here if you want to bring everything but this is the freedom we have; sell what doesn't matter; donate it, heck, give it away and then only take the necessities. In my friend's case, this was his Harley. Was it a hard decision for him? Nope. Because he had nothing to regret, nothing to leave behind, and everything to live for by doing his dream. He is settling in quite nicely in paradise.

RelatedMoving To Hawaii - Make The Dream Come True

Ever thought you couldn't move here because of this or that? Yeah, so do a lot of people. Will you be the one that drops everything and moves because you've always wanted to and why wait? When you're ready, and maybe even before you're a little ready, we will be there to help you find the right little piece of paradise for you. Come on... Hawaii is calling. Meet the Team and Start Today!

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