So you want to live in Hawaii now? You probably have many questions like, which island? What about jobs, traffic, housing and schools? What about electricity, internet and phone connections? Can I bring my pets? What about bugs? Is it easy to make friends? Wow, there is a lot to consider before moving to Hawaii! Choosing the right island is important. You have four choices – Oahu, Hawaii (“Big Island”), Maui or Kauai. Oahu is by far the busiest and most like the mainland. The state capital, Honolulu, is there as are the majority of jobs. Traffic can be bad and the island is busy. If you are moving to Hawaii to slow down the pace, Oahu should not be your first choice.
The Big Island is the largest so there is more room to move around. Its two active volcanoes are beautiful but do cause a VOG issue. VOG is a form of air pollution created by erupting volcanoes and it can affect your allergies. Jobs are mostly in tourism and housing can be difficult. Traffic isn’t bad but utilities are iffy. Maui has the reputation for being the fun and exciting island. Many of the world’s most popular beaches are on Maui. Jobs are mainly in tourism, traffic is minimal and housing is nearly impossible to find. Utilities are reliable if you stay in the more populated areas that cater to tourists.
Kauai is the smallest and most lush of the major islands. There is little work available and not a lot to do. You’ll find little traffic, limited housing choices and iffy utilities, but you can’t beat Kauai for its beauty and splendor. If you want to live in Hawaii now, you will have to learn to live with bugs, after all, it is the tropics. Flying cockroaches will land on you and your dinner plate! Centipedes exist and their bites are unpleasant. Geckos are everywhere but you will soon make friends with the cute little guys.
Hawaii is a rabies-free state hence bringing your pets is not easy. It takes months of preparation before you arrive or your pet will be quarantined before they can join the family in paradise. There are some excellent schools in Hawaii, but you have to do your research and even be prepared to pay for private schools. So if you want to live in Hawaii now and you have school-aged children, this will have a huge impact on where you live.
The people in paradise are typically a very friendly bunch. “Haoles”, or non-native Hawaiians, are a minority so adopting the local culture is important. Often people that move to Hawaii end up moving home due to an inability to find jobs or housing. Or they get “island fever” and feel too confined living on a small island in the middle of the Pacific Ocean. Or they just miss their friends and family and decide to leave. This makes lasting friendships a bit difficult to establish.
All that being said, if you want to live in Hawaii now, then make the move! Just be sure to plan ahead, have plenty of money or job skills that fit the island lifestyle and get ready to enjoy paradise!