Here is the first of a new batch of living in Hawaii emails I got over the past half month or so. Again, I prefer to respond to emails by posting at the site here because:

I just wouldn’t have time to give everyone a personal email back that writes to ask about the viability of living in Hawaii. It does make sense if I can do it publicly because hundreds or thousands of people will learn from my response – not just one person or the couple writing.

This email comes to me from Pennsylvania… believe it or not, I grew up in Pennsylvania for the first 18 years of my life. I knew when I graduated high school that I would move close to a beach… and well, Hawaii is where I was living within months after graduation. Given a choice – Hawaii or PA., and you can guess which most will choose.

Her email to me…

My husband and I are planning over the next seven years to save up and move to Hawaii. So we have started researching and trying to find all there is to know about moving there and life there. And I stumbled across your page, it has a lot of useful information. And I watched the videos you posted, and will probably get the book too! But I notice that you were raised in Pittsburgh, that’s where we are from as well. Well about 45-60 minutes North of the ‘burgh. We love the ocean and want to live in warmer climate, you know what Pittsburgh weather is like! Aside from those things there are MANY things that attract us to wanting to move to Hawaii. So I have started to look at each island and the different areas to live in. The Big Island seems to be the most affordable to live/buy a home. I was wondering what kind of information you could give me about living on the Big Island??? The weather, the culture, the beaches near there, etc. Anything you know would be helpful!

My response…

Thanks for writing, it’s great that you are considering moving out of Pennsylvania for Hawaii and I cannot blame you one bit. Actually, moving anywhere in the world to Hawaii makes sense in my book.

You’ve seen some of my articles here at the site, but I’d encourage you to hit that link at the top that says, “All Hawaii Articles” because there are dozens of articles – long and short – covering a wide range of topics concerning moving to and living in the Hawaiian Islands.

The moving to Hawaii videos at Youtube are pretty good – and are a basic overview of the, “Moving to Hawaii” book that is offered here at this site, at Amazon, at the iTunes store at Apple, Barnes & Noble, and elsewhere. The videos are not a substitute for the book, and you’ll find a lot more information for just $4.99 in the book.

The Big Island is a vast place. It’s big, spread out. It seems that way – even to those used to driving across the country, because there is not much to see at the lava fields that stretch for scores of miles. It is hot on much of the big island, and yet there are also a lot of trees and green on the windward side. Most people are retired on Big Island or working to supplement a pension. Most people are into a very easy way of life… little stress or drama, and just enjoying the good things the islands have to offer. Places are more affordable on Big Island, but recently the prices are rising. There’s no telling what the island will look like in 7 years when you’re ready to move, but it likely will not have changed all that much – as it hasn’t changed that must in the past 7 years or 7 years before that.

One of the best things you could do to get a feel for Big Island is to get on Google Earth and check out various spots online. Another thing you might try is to join forums focused on the Big Island, there are a couple – and ask questions there of people residing there. I picture Big Island living as a spread out Maui. Take the island of Maui and stretch it out to the size of Big Isle and you’ll have a good picture of it – if you know Maui, anyway!

Big Island is a rather local place… meaning, those that live there know each other, and tend to hang out with the same people. It isn’t hard to make friends if you’re of the same ilk and people are friendly if they know you’re staying long-term.

There is no substitute for going and SEEING the Hawaiian island(s) you are considering on moving to. I say this with nearly every email response to people considering the move… go have a look and see if island life is for you. Pennsylvania is a far cry from Hawaii, as is every other place I’ve been in the mainland USA. Nothing compares. It cannot. You’ll need to visit Big Island and see if it’s ideal for living. It might be, it definitely might not be. Another island might be more suited.

One way you can travel to Big Island cheaply is to setup a volunteer work for a place to stay deal with someone on the island. There are a number of locations that do this – especially in Kona for coffee picking and other gardening, yard work, or helping to do maintenance on homes or other structures. My friend Christian has just such a place in Kona. If you want the URL – just let me know.