Many people dream of one day moving to Hawaii. Why not? It is paradise after all. But there are a lot of differences from life here on the mainland.
Well, I would like to share my thoughts on the idea since I have personally done it. Upon graduating college in 2007, I decided to load up a few suitcases and venture off to Honolulu, Hawaii with no plans what so ever. I booked a hotel room for 3 nights prior to flying out so I would have a place to stay.
Getting to Hawaii was easy, but once I landed there I had a lot of things to take care of. I had to find an apartment, land a job, buy tons of stuff you never think you need (basic necessities, groceries, etc.).
However, I was able to find an apartment within the 3 days I was there and signed up for a 6 month lease in Waikiki. The rent was $1200 a month and the place was around 600 square feet so the housing cost much more in Hawaii than a lot of other places.
Getting a job was also not that difficult. I was able to get an IT job in a matter of a couple weeks and start working as soon as I could. There are also tons of tourist jobs that would hire you ASAP on case you want some income to start out until you find a better position.
Transportation was something I did not worry about either, since I could literally ride my bicycle to work everyday. This made it much easier for me to save money since I did not have a car payment, car insurance, or any gas to pay for. I would highly suggest this based on where you live. There are also lots of city busses you can ride for a reasonable price.
Hawaii’s culture is different than it is here on the mainland so this is one thing you must consider. There are lots of different types of foods, especially Japanese, and Chinese. I had to learn how to use chopsticks while I was there because I had never used them until I went to Hawaii. I also had to get used to seeing menus in both English and Japanese and a lot of restaurants.
The one main factor that eventually made me decide to leave Hawaii after 6 months was the cost of living. Rent is extremely high, especially if you live in Honolulu. Groceries are also very high. Here are some prices of common things I bought:
Gallon of Milk – $8.00
Box of Cereal – $6.00
Wheat Bread – $5.00
As you can see, these cost much more in Hawaii than they do most places on the mainland.
On a positive side, Hawaii offers tons of things to do that you cannot get anywhere else. Surfing, snorkeling, boating, boogie boarding, hiking, biking, and tons more. The weather is unbeatable and is always in the 70-80’s range almost every day of the year. It is also one of the most beautiful places to see.
So you must ask yourself, am I willing to pay the price to live in Paradise? If anything, give it a shot. You can always return to the mainland like I did. I still had a great experience while I was there and am glad I gave it a try.