is Hawaiian life different

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Here is a note from a woman that will be deciding with her husband about moving to Hawaii soon, I’ll call her “Sharon”. Sharon has a couple of concerns, that I think I can address. If you as a reader have anything to add – feel free. I know a lot of you must have something to say – for advice on some of these notes, but I don’t often get any comments about that. Feel free to say it from your perspective, it might help a great deal for people considering moving to the Hawaiian Islands. I know I have a rather jaded – anyone can do it if they WANT it bad enough – outlook. There are many people that have tried to move to Hawaii, failed, and are now jaded the other way. Let us know of your experiences too so this blog doesn’t become too one-sided.

I’ll respond within the body of her note to me…

Sharon: Hi, or should I say aloha? I saw your videos about your book. A couple things concern me like the crime and prejudice (if we move, we have to bring our kids).

However, my question is more about health services. I have cancer, stage four, I’ve done all the chemo that’s available and radiation where I live, and I wanted to know if there are any cancer centers on Oahu. Where I live, the only place you can legally smoke is in your home, car, or outdoors. Being a cancer victim, I need to know if places I’ll be frequenting (e.g. restaurants, social events, etc.) will have people exhaling toxins in my air.

Peter: Good question Sharon – and yes, it is smoke free. From the site – with the complete article here.

The Hawaii State Legislature recently passed a comprehensive Smoke-Free Law that will affect employers statewide.  Smoking will be prohibited in all “enclosed and partially enclosed” businesses, state and county facilities, or places open to the public.  The law takes effect on November 16, 2006.

About cancer treatment centers on Oahu – I am pretty clueless, having not needed anything in that direction. Here is a Google query on the subject… I found the first 5 links look very relevant: “Where is best cancer center on Oahu?

Sharon: I also want to know about the lifestyle in general. I visited Oahu decades ago for a few days during my honeymoon but I’m worried that didn’t give me an accurate view of true island life, especially now that two decades have passed. Years later when traveling, I chose to visit areas locals frequented rather than the tourist spots so I could get a true representation of local life (e.g. Morocco). I didn’t get to do that in Oahu.

Peter: I would say that anyone visiting Oahu, or any of the islands is not getting an accurate picture of what it would be like to live there. Not at all, and probably especially not on your honeymoon. Living in Hawaii and visiting Hawaii are vastly different experiences. Please read my book, “Moving to Hawaii 2012”, you can find it at,, and here on the right side column. The price is just under $5 and you’ll have a better idea what life in the islands might be like for you after reading it. You can also click here to see most of the articles I’ve written about Hawaii on the site here, most of them leaning toward the focus – living in Hawaii and moving to Hawaii.

Sharon: Can you tell me if things have changed since the early 90s or is Hawaii a place that’s slow to change?

I know it changed drastically from the 60s (when my grandparents went) to the 90s (when I went). If so, what’s changed other than the increase in restaurants and such? I don’t expect you to tell me everything that’s changed, only the ones I might have concerns about when moving there with my family.

Peter: You know, I don’t think things have changed much from the 90’s. That’s my perception of it anyway, some may disagree. Sure things change, but, there isn’t any more land to build upon on Oahu – things cannot change that much. There isn’t room for more people to live comfortably, and the growth rate of residents in Hawaii hasn’t been that phenomenal that the population doubled in the couple decades. It’s actually quite a bit the same each time I go back.

Sharon: Three of my four kids are graduated, the fourth is still in high school. My oldest and third daughters are outgoing (social butterflies) yet in many ways shy like my second, my second is very sensitive, my third is a special needs child (she has Selective Mutism so she has speech issues and, therefore, social anxieties like fear of peer acceptance and prejudice against her). She is 15 so she still has a couple years of high school left.

Peter: Are you saying you are going to bring your child with special needs to a completely different environment, and change everything she knows? I think that’s probably not a good idea. Maybe wait until she graduates school where you are presently, and move later. Hawaii, if anything, is a social place. It’s packed with people and the people are from all walks of life, and many different countries and ethnic backgrounds.

Sharon: For the most part, I’m like a single mom ’cause my husband works out of state five days a week or more. Right now his contract is in Kansas, shortly he may be in another state, never know which. No matter how close to home he may travel, it’s rough, away from home is still away from home.

Peter: You didn’t mention anything about finances, so I guess you’re set. That’s good! At least you’ll be able to find the best help for your daughter as she attempts to adjust to the profound change that awaits her if you do decide to move before she graduates.

Sharon: Mahalo and hope to hear from you soon.

Peter: No problem, I hope I helped a bit. You’ve seen the videos already…your best bet is to read all the articles written here (over 200) and read the book about moving to Hawaii. Please strongly consider holding off on your move until your daughter graduates high school…

Best of life to you and your family!