Living on Big Island, Hawaii is something I have not done. I’ve thought about it, but I have not been able to get a good feel for it. The videos that I’ve seen just don’t give me enough of the big picture about the island to decide if it’s somewhere I would consider along with Maui or Oahu. I’ll probably get a more complete picture over the next couple weeks as my friend who just moved there – sends me photos and tells me about his adventures.
I picture living on Big Island being like living in Lahaina, Maui. It’s a small town, a very small town… it’s cliquish, you see tourists, but not so many that it’s overwhelming. Big Island is so spread out – and has Kailua-Kona and Hilo on opposite coasts, so maybe it’s even more spread out. I think fewer people visit Big Island than Maui. Lahaina is usually a half day or one-day stop for tourists to Maui. You walk, shop, eat, and watch the waves. There are no awesome beaches or waves, and it’s something to see but nobody on vacation is going to spend more than a day or maybe two days max – I don’t think.
I was really glad to find this video…
That video was made by Carl and Becky – a young, married couple. It led me to their old website in which they talk about moving to Hawaii in January of 2011, and then moving back home to Minnesota – in July, 2011. Not a long time to live in the islands at all – more like a long-term vacation. First Carl got a job within 6 days of beginning to look – at Bubba Gump Shrimp. Then Becky got a job as a hostess at, guess where? Bubba Gump Shrimp. The problem with living on Kauai and Big Island, not to even mention Molokai or Lanai – is that if you don’t have enough money to travel a bit, you’ll be bored quick. Island fever comes on much quicker for those that never leave. If you’re visiting other islands at least once a month, it is probably quite bearable to live on Kauai. If not – you’ll tire of the good life.
One thing they mentioned on their blog was that they had met people from the mainland USA that came to live in Hawaii with very little money saved. Some couldn’t afford cars or motorbikes and walked to work. Some hitchhiked around the island.
Carl and Becky, the couple that made the video, don’t seem jaded, but they said they missed their family and friends. I think this is typical for people around 30 years of age or younger and moving to the islands. You think – it’s paradise, this will be the best time of our lives! And, in a way – it is. You don’t have family though. You don’t have your old friends. It’s hard to even coordinate talking on the phone with people sometimes. You don’t have all your favorite places to eat, see movies, drink, etc… and you just start realizing – you’re not ready to move to Hawaii yet – especially to anywhere other than Oahu – which has most of what you’d likely need.
Living in Hawaii is not for everyone… and probably that is especially true for those under 30 years old.
Would YOU Live on Big Island?
Do you think you could make it long-term (5+ years)?
Article originally authored by Vern Lovic and any expressed opinions are his own.
Hawaii, even the big island, sounds more developed than what I’m used to. Never really got along with family, love ’em but living near them isn’t really necessary, I’ll miss friends, sure, but everybody is already 1,300 miles away and I already never see them.
New Mexico has a greater sense of loneliness, just from outside observation, there’s community here but it’s very fragmented and it breaks apart at the slightest stress. A beautiful place, far away from everything. It’s home, but… It’s not a stable place in the end. It’s been at war for hundreds of years, and now the war is just a quiet one. I think the stubbornness of Hawaii is probably a positive trait in that sense. Islands taken over by corporatism still have a good size area devoted to off grid, basic human life and indigenous homesteads? Thanks in no small part to the massive active Volcanoes. I can dig it.
Now will I survive? I don’t know, but hey, it’s worth a shot.
Gotta be the right kind of person.
And maybe willing to let Hawaii change things, go with the flow…
I’ve lived n Hilo, back n the 70s, shortly after statehood was shoved down locales throats.
There are Haoles for Hawaii. Unfortunately, land will be lost and sold. Adapt. Maintain cultural identity, thru music, historical knowledge, language, dance, food, customs and dress.
There is no perfect world. I have lived as a minority all my life. I know in ur face racism at Hilo Union and Hilo Intermediate. Pidgeon is key. U know the local language u can survive.
I say to locals, grow the F up. Ur mixed blood, speak English and enjoy what white man has created. Yet u are critical of outsiders, until u travel to the mainland. Return home n racism. Why aren’t u living on Niihau? We both know the answer. Ur not full blooded Hawaiian n u can’t live without cable.
Please stop the stupidity. I have kicked the shit out of a few locals….it gets us nowhere. Grow up. The whiteman is going nowhere. Adapt, n keep ur identity but don’t knock those who did not land n Kealakekua.