Here is another email I received lately, and I thought I’d share. I changed the sender’s name. If you want to write in and tell about your situation and ask about things related to moving to or living in Hawaii – feel free. I don’t mind answering this way at all.


Aloha Peter,

My name is Mick. I have been reading through the information you have to offer here on your site. I wanted to let you know that I find the materials informative, insightful and very well construed. I have been considering relocating to Oahu for several years now.

I recently returned to the mainland from Puerto Rico, where I lived for a year. While overall I am glad that I had the opportunity to experience the beauty that Puerto Rico had to offer. There were pros and cons, like living anyplace. When the cons began to out way the pros; I knew it was time to re-evaluate my situation and return to the mainland. I am glad that I have found your site and want you to know I appreciate your advice and insight.

I am a health care professional meaning a Certified Nursing Assistant and a Psychiatric Health Technician in addition to having experience in sales, security and construction. After browsing Craigslist and Your site I feel confident that I would be able to make my dreams a reality. While I don’t have a lot of finances or saving to fall back on, I am an ambitious and motivated individual. My dreams and expectations are in my opinion realistic and down to earth.

I have been toying with the idea of starting a small business focused on the tourist industry, but as this is still a good ways off into my future, if at all. My question for you would be from your past experience, where in Oahu would you begin to carve out a new beginning?

I will not have a car and would need to rely on public transportation and or a moped, walking or cycling. There is a distinct possibility that my girlfriend will be coming with me with her 15 year old son. She has lots of experience in customer service as a waitress and in sales.

We are not concerned with nightlife and would be quite content spending our free time curled up watching a good movie or enjoying nature and the beach. Best regards to you and your family.


Mick R.


Thanks for your letter, it does sound like you are not going to have much trouble moving, but one thing concerns me about your move to Hawaii…

Cash on hand.

It’s good to be optimistic – and I am, about your situation… and you obviously are too. If I was 20 years younger I’d just go for it – as you probably will. Now that i’m in my mid-forties, I notice that risk isn’t something that feels very comfortable any more!

You really should save some cash before you go. If it’s just you – try for $3,000 saved. If it’s you and your girlfriend, try for $5,000 minimum. As I’ve said maybe a couple dozen times before in these nearly 500 pages of content on the site – cash is king in Hawaii, and Hawaii is a very difficult, and unforgiving place if you don’t have it.

It’s easy to get stuck in a bind where you just cannot come up with any cash to get you through. Landlords are not lenient – they can’t be. People are not that friendly to loan you money – they’ve seen people come to the islands before and not be able to pull it off – and attempt to borrow from anyone that will listen.

Anyway, that said… Your skills will likely pull you through. Your idea about a moped – is a good one, and it’s strange to me, being in a country of probably 40 million motorbike riders – why more people don’t just get mopeds in Hawaii to get around. Many tourists get them because it’s cheap and fun. Why residents don’t use them much – is beyond me. For cruising around Waikiki and to get where you need to be – I think it’s a great idea. Especially with gas being near $5 per gallon.

I think your idea of a small business focused on the tourist industry is a good one. There are many people with the same aspiration. If you offer something different or something better – you can pull it off. Otherwise, you’re competing with a lot of people – some of which have money to burn through on advertising and hiring people to hand out flyers on the streets of Waikiki.

Your girlfriend’s experience in customer service will help too – she should be able to land a job within days (or hours) of landing. Literally – there are a lot of customer service jobs in the islands. One thing you’ll both run up against is whether employers want to take a chance on you because you’ve just arrived.

Anyone arriving in Hawaii needs to establish some things first…

1. A place to live – a permanent address that is not a hotel.
2. A local phone to call (mobile ok, of course).
3. Change your license over to Hawaii.

Employers are cautious about hiring people just off the boat. Meaning, you just arrived in Hawaii and you might not stay for more than 1-2 months, 6 months, before you leave for the mainland.

It sounds in general like you have the right attitude to make it work with limited finances. Do be careful about it – and try hard to save cash before you go. It also sounds like you haven’t visited Hawaii before. The value of a visit to see if it’s someplace you really can make it work – is essential in my book… but still, some make it without having visited first. Up to you I guess.

I wonder how Puerto Rico and Hawaii are similar in terms of life experience. I really would have no idea… I do hope you write back here and let me know how your move went… and how it compares to living in Puerto Rico!

Best of luck to you and your girlfriend on your move to Hawaii!


Peter Kay