Moving is a big decision. Moving across an entire ocean is an even bigger decision. Whether for work, retirement, or just because you fell in love while on vacation and needed a change of scenery, here are five reasons moving to the Aloha State might be a great decision and what you can look forward to if you take the plunge.
1: Playing Tourist and Having Adventures
Yes, living in Hawaii is different from vacationing. There's work to be done and bills to be paid and many other reasons you might put off kicking back and relaxing, but one of the most advantageous things about living in Hawaii is that you can just pop on down to the beach any time you want.
Feeling adventurous? Suring, windsurfing, hiking and more are all at your doorstep and the weather is beautiful year round. No need to pack a wetsuit or dress in layers. With average temperatures between 78 and 85 degrees, Hawaii's balmy and predictable climate makes last minute trips easy to plan and even easier to make happen.
Burnt out? Head on down to one of the beachside hotels in Waikiki and pretend you're on vacation for the night. Sip a maitai, order some great food, and watch the sunset with people only dreaming of living the Hawaii lifestyle.
If you're feeling even more adventurous, island hop! From volcanoes on the Big Island, to sunrise above the clouds atop Haleakala on Maui, and Hawaii's very own Grand Canyon (Waimea Canyon) on Kauai, each island has its own flavor and new things to see and do, all of them just a short and affordable flight away.
2: Island Time
While not for everyone, there's a certain vibe that just can't be replicated on the mainland. From slower freeway speeds to the multitude of farmer's markets and boutiques making big box stores a luxury rather than a convenience, and with a timezone that makes "breaking news" hours old by the time we've woken up, locals find it hard to get too worked up about things out of our control. Everything just happens at a more laid back pace.
It might be frustrating as you adjust, but soon you will learn to go with the flow and appreciate the distinct lack of stress that comes from an entire population understanding island time and letting the small stuff go.
3: The Food
You might think that being thousands of miles out in the Pacific Ocean and isolated would make for a rather bland diet. You'd be wrong. Hawaii is a true melting pot and has the largest share of multi-ethnic Americans in the country and as such the food choices are wide and varied in the islands. From local favorites such as plate lunches featuring lomi lomi salmon and kalua pork to fine dining, national chains, and everything in between. You'll never be in short supply of something good to eat. Portuguese, Japanese, Chinese, Thai. Pick a cuisine and there's probably a restaurant catering to your cravings.
4: A Rich Culture and Long History
The Hawaiian islands were first settled sometime around 400 CE by Polynesians from the Marquesas Islands, 2000 miles away and travelling by canoe. It wasn't until 1898 that possession was taken by the United States and the 1950s until statehood happened. So while there is a distinct American flair to the island life and culture, there's is also a deep history behind it and reminders all around.
Visit Iolani Palace, the residence of Hawaii last monarch, or enjoy the celebration at the Aloha Festivals, a weeklong celebration of all things Hawaii, featuring floral parades, dancing, food and fun.
5: Aloha Spirit
Deeper than a welcome lei at the airport and more than just the laid back lifestyle, there's something special in the air of Hawaii and you can feel it the minute you settle in. Easy smiles and a helping hand, or kokua. More than just "hello" and "goodbye", Aloha holds such a special meaning in Hawaii that it's even written into state law:
“The Aloha Spirit is the coordination of mind and heart within each person. It brings each person to the Self. Each person must think and emote good feelings to others. In the contemplation and presence of the life force, Aloha, the following unuhi laulâ loa (free translation) may be used.”
Akahai, meaning kindness to be expressed with tenderness;
Lôkahi, meaning unity, to be expressed with harmony;
Olu`olu, meaning agreeable, to be expressed with pleasantness;
Ha`aha`a, meaning humility, to be expressed with modesty;
Ahonui, meaning patience, to be expressed with perseverance. (HI Rev Stat § 5-7.5, 2013)
While symbolic, the law is taken seriously, and though you might not be asked to leave if you don't follow the Aloha Spirit, you will almost certainly be frowned upon by the close knit community.
Are you ready to pack your bags yet? All this and more await you in Hawaii and are just some of the many reasons we are so very #LuckyWeLiveHI.