Ever Thought Of Moving To Hawaii?

objects in the mirror are closer than they appear

You hear it all the time. Especially on a plane that’s headed East back to the mainland from Hawaii. “Gosh, I wish we could live there” “What do you think we have to do to move to Hawaii?” “Ahhh, it’s probably just a pipe dream” No, it’s not…if you don’t want it to be.

Almost two years ago we made the move to Hawaii. But it was almost 4 years ago that we said we wanted to do it. Yes, we were on our way home from Kona on The Big Island. Sitting in a plane headed East back to San Diego with our 3 month old on my lap and we were almost in tears, wanting to stay in beautiful Hawaii.

So back to my equation…4 years ago we got bitten by the hawaii bug. 2 years ago we moved in with that bug. Did ya do that math? Yep, it was just about 2 years before we made our dream a reality. But we were working on it all along the way.

So, you wanna move to Hawaii? Many do and many try and many go home before their first year is up (which isn’t a bad thing, they at least tried it out and heck, if they all stayed this place would be way too crowded – or more crowded, depends on where you are from). But if you really want to make the move to Hawaii (or really anywhere), you can. Here are my thoughts on the issue…

First, don’t give up. Plain and simple. Keep that feeling of Aloha alive. Do little things back at home, like check the weather in Hawaii. I made Kona (where we were originally going to move to) one of the cities I followed in my yahoo weather. So every day when I checked my email I could see what it was like in rainbow country. We also made The Honolulu Advertiser newspaper on our menu bar and read it every day.

Reseach research research. I spent a lot of time on Kona Web “Moving To Hawaii” forum. Even if you don’t want to move to Kona you can find fantastic information on there. Things about getting your animals over to Hawaii, getting your car over to Hawaii and recommendations on moving and shipping companies. We could not have made the move without this forum!

Go visit often. If you can. Scope out exactly where you want to live. If you have it narrowed down to an island this helps but you could take puddle jumpers from island to island during one trip out to check them all. But once you do have an idea of the island you want to move to, go look through neighborhoods, check out schools (if you have kids).

Hawaii has a lot to offer to suit everyone. If you want conveniences and a faster, albeit slower than the mainland, life, then Oahu may be your island of choice. Wanting to go more rural, Kula in Maui could be your thing. Check out the islands, then check out all the different parts of that island that you love.

Go beyond being a tourist. And be sure to look beyond the hotels and touristy stuff. Look for dry cleaners, grocery stores. Make sure you actually buy groceries while visiting – go see the prices (yeah they are higher, especially if you are used to Trader Joes like I was). Look for the local Farmers Market. Again, get out of the tourist mentality! Once you live here you are not a tourist – there are no sunset Mai Tai welcomes every night, like many condos or hotels. You aren’t eating out all the time. It’s not all play and no work.

Which brings me to jobs. Get the newspaper and check out what’s going on. Read up on local news to see what new companies there are or how the economy is doing in that area. Check the classifieds. Anything that you could do? Think openly here – Hawaii is a different land – and you may find that the old office job is not something you want to do here so you are willing to take a night job serving drinks instead (like me) if it means you can go to the beach during the day. Think openly and throw all mainland “labels, connotations” out the door.

Side rant…if you are thinking of moving to Hawaii, I suggest you start to think differently. As the bumper stickers say, “Slow down. This ain’t the mainland”. Hawaii, while part of the U.S., is a different culture all together. Don’t fight it, embrace it. Remember that feeling you had when you left on that first visit…that’s why you are here. Not for the conveniences of home, you wanted a new beginning, new adventure so go for it and try new things.

Make it happen. Once you’ve set your sights on where you want to go within Hawaii, MAKE IT HAPPEN. I know, this sounds easier said than done but I believe it to be true. Set a goal, set a date. If you have an animal, note it takes 90 days to get them thru quarantine (which you can now do in your own home) so use that 90 days to set your date of exit from the mainland. Start telling friends, set things in motion and MAKE IT HAPPEN. Look for jobs out here, try and get them either set up (this could mean flying over for interviews like my husband did – he flew over twice in 2 months for three days each for interviews – gotta love miles from the credit card!) or get things set for you to interview right away after you move here – this means come with some cash to get you through interviewing. (note – that could be your goal – save X amount of money, then move) The main thing here – set a goal and make it happen!

My philosophy. I may have taken it from somewhere, if I did I’m not sure where but I live by it and I think it’s what got us here. (and this was before I read The Secret by the way)

Dream it. Believe it. Achieve it.

Seriously – think about it. You need a dream. But then YOU need to believe it will happen – forget nay sayers too – when you tell folks “We’re moving to Hawaii” you WILL get the “oh, yeah, me too, I mean don’t we all wish? hahaha”

Well yeah, but we don’t ALL make it happen and you ARE going to make it happen.



  1. Really brilliant. I’m fed up with people saying ohhh it’s just a pipe dream and not moving towards their goals and dreams!

  2. I'm just the MOM says:

    I miss Hawaii! The hubs and I have talked about moving back home. we’ll see though. The killer part is obviously the cost of living. If only someone in my family would give us their house and buy themselves a new house (we don’t need a NEW house)

  3. I'm just the MOM says:

    I miss Hawaii! The hubs and I have talked about moving back home. we’ll see though. The killer part is obviously the cost of living. If only someone in my family would give us their house and buy themselves a new house (we don’t need a NEW house)

  4. I'm just the MOM says:

    I miss Hawaii! The hubs and I have talked about moving back home. we’ll see though. The killer part is obviously the cost of living. If only someone in my family would give us their house and buy themselves a new house (we don’t need a NEW house)

  5. I'm just the MOM says:

    I miss Hawaii! The hubs and I have talked about moving back home. we’ll see though. The killer part is obviously the cost of living. If only someone in my family would give us their house and buy themselves a new house (we don’t need a NEW house)

  6. I would love to visit Hawaii first….what an amazing place to actually live.

  7. Angry Julie Monday says:

    Great post!!!

    I would love to live in Hawaii, but I think I would get island fever.

    I’m all about all things hawaiian though, as you can tell by my blog.

  8. Its funny. I use to live on Oahu for 4 years. I was so tried of it! I don’t know what happen but I just wanted to get off and go back to the mainland. I love visiting but I’m not sure I would want to live there again. Sometimes pradise isn’t pardise.

  9. Miss Blondie says:

    I’ve never been to Hawaii. But i’d love to go and visit!!

    BTW, theres an award for you on my blog!!

  10. What a great blog today!……so thoughtful, and insightful. We had thought of moving to Italy a couple of years ago, it is sooo beautiful there ( not unlike Hawaii)…… and it is too true, you have to shrug off the ” mainstream” conventions and become open to a different way of looking at life…… my girlfriend married an Italian man, and moved from Australia where she was a lawyer, to work in the tourism industry to be with him in Positano…, many thought she was NUTS. However she’s happy, it’s an amazing town where she lives, the people are lovely… and she is more fulfilled being a wife and soon to be mother there, than telling people she’s a lawyer back home…… So you’re totally right….. Dream it …..Live it!, just do it, you only have one shot here….

  11. To believe is to achieve!

    You just scored an award from me!

    You can collect it here!


  12. A Maui Blog says:

    Good points Ohana Mama.

  13. i did the opposite of you, I moved from Hawaii to Wa state. We had our reasons, sold our home and off we went on an adventure. We miss “home” and now that we are more financially “fit” we are able to visit once or twice a year sometimes.
    I like what you say about embracing where you move to, especially Hawaii, it’s different. I have met lots of people in the military, that have had tours there. They either Love Hawaii, OR Hate Hawaii. There is no inbetween. The people that don’t / didn’t love it are the ones that held on to their Mainland ways. :)
    When I moved here to WA. I brought my island ways here, but I also adapted and embraced the things here and that has made all the difference in living and making a home here.
    Wow I went on and on. You gave good advice is what I really wanted to say.

  14. Cat@3KidsandUs says:

    I think it’s great you were able to follow your dream. This post is a great reminder for achieving dreams in all aspects of your life.

    As for me, I’m a midwest girl through and through. I couldn’t live without my 4 seasons.

  15. Ohana Mama says:

    Aloha Kathryn, that’s not negative, that’s being a realist :) You need a job to survive in Hawaii – sometimes TWO jobs. Many do that.

    BUT, it really depends on what you do for a living. For instance, when we moved here my husband was (still is) in construction. Construction at that time was BOOMING! So you made more here than on the mainland. Many came just for a few months and made a years worth of salary.

    Right this very second, times are tough no matter where you live – Hawaii included. People aren’t traveling and tourism is our number one source of income for the state.

    Some things to consider about cost of living… our taxes are lower (at least lower than CA). We own and we live in our house so we get a tax credit for this, since so many people only have vacation homes in HI.

    You drive less=less money spent on gas. The beach is your play ground and it’s free – many of the things to do are free in Hawaii – that saves money.

    We don’t have a Target so I spend less right there, lol ;)

    If you work part time your employer MUST give you medical insurance. And this means EVERYONE. They also have a good state program for medical – they really want everyone covered, that is awesome!

    Telecommuting can work. You get up early for East Coasters but are done early. So a job where you could do that would be great – you get the salary of the mainland but get to live in paradise.

    Again, many work two jobs…but many think it’s worth it.

  16. Kristen Andrews says:

    hubby and I went to Maui for our honeymoon and loved it! Love the last picture.

  17. After our last vacation I really wanted to move to Hawaii too. I just can’t figure out how we’d make enough money. My in-laws moved to Hawaii with a higher ranking job than he had in AK and makes $30,000 less. (He survives on retirement and because he got Hawaiian Homes.) I have found that cost of living is comparabale if not cheaper in Hawaii except for the extremely low pay. How do you deal with that? I don’t want to come off so negative but that was our biggest issue – making up for the pay difference.

  18. Sheila from GoVisitHawaii says:

    As much as I love Hawaii, I also love my home in North Carolina which has its own beauty. Maybe I’ll change my mind someday, though I wouldn’t mind an extended stay sometime – say 3 months. :)

  19. I’ve been twice, and we have the ‘wouldn’t it be nice’ talk ALL the time. And we always end it saying ‘when we win the lotto!!!’… it’s just so much more than we’re used to, here in low-cost-of-living North Texas. I love what you wrote though, I am emailing the link to my hubby ASAP.

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