Hawaii Living: Getting Started

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So, you want to live in Hawaii? Is it all rainbows and beaches? Read our guide to learn all about moving to and living in Hawaii.

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• General: DIY / How-To • General: Educational

Matt Anderson's Take
Guide Series: Hawaii Living
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Hawaii Living: Weather
We know how this goes. You're on your Hawaiian vacation and you're looking around and thinking, "I could live here." Another mai-tai later and the wheels in your brain are really turning. Look at that waitress, she looks so happy delivering drinks. Hint, she's not. And, wow, she must make great money in tips because we've already tipped her $30 after just one meal! Or maybe I'll get a job as a lifeguard, or a beach boy, or even valet parking cars at the The Royal Hawaiian, a Luxury Collection Resort. Whatever it takes, I could make this happen!


Am I close? Of course I am, because we all have that same little dream when we come here on vacation. Look around at the beach or bar, everyone you see is having some variation of that dream. They all want to live here.

How do I know? Because I had the same dream. The difference is that I made my dream come true. How did I do it? I'll explain throughout this series. Is Hawaii really as great as it seems to be? Yes, but it has it's also highly flawed. Is it expensive to live her? Yes, expensive is an understatement! Will everyday be like a vacation? Probably not.

Dream Crushing

Hey, what's the deal? This was supposed to be an article on moving to and living in Hawaii and here I am with a negative campaign. I know, I'm already crushing your dreams and harshing your mellow. But it's better this way, like ripping that band-aid off quickly.


Bottom line, the vast majority of you can't live here. It's not just because it's crowded here. Though, it really is. It's not just because it's expensive and jobs are hard to come by. But both are very true. It's not even the isolation of living thousands of miles away from the rest of the world. Though, for many this is an issue. It's a huge combination of these things and many others.

There is a reason most of the world doesn't live here and those are the same reasons you likely can't and won't live here. Now, for every million dreams I crushed I also know that some of you will disagree and stick with your dream. Kudos to you, you're my kind of people. Some of you will move here and make it, others won't.

Reality Check

The simple reality of living in Hawaii is that it's expensive. Really, really expensive. This is the single biggest thing that keeps most people from moving here. It's also the single biggest thing that sends most people back to the place they came from, often in just a year or two. Many people will work two, maybe even three, jobs just to live here. Is that really how you want to live your life?


But I know you, you've gone to the store and done some price research and budgeting and love eating cheap Ramen. You're ahead of the curve, but still clueless. Don't worry, we're all that way. We see what we want to see at this stage.

Maybe you've even looked up apartment prices and found a really cheap place. Or maybe you've found an incredibly cheap condo that you can buy. A studio for $60,000 USD? You can totally afford that and don't need much space because you'll be at the beach when you're not working.

Of course, it won't really be like that. Sure, there are some amazingly cheap housing options but chances are you won't want to live there. Cheap Hawaii housing is cheap for a reason. Maybe it's a bad neighborhood or really run down. Maybe it's super old, has no air conditioning, and has a major roach problem. Regardless, living in 200 square feet of space will get old. Fast.

How To Live In Hawaii

If you still think living in Hawaii is for you then you'll want to read each article in this series. Each one will cover a different topic that ranges from how to move to Hawaii to the everyday life here. Even if you're not moving here there is still plenty to get out of this series.


Hawaii Living: Weather

The weather. It's one of the biggest reasons we all want to live here. Get a feel for the weather patterns in Hawaii by reading this article.

Hawaii Living: The Paradise Tax

The high cost of living in Hawaii is known as the Paradise Tax. It's that added cost that applies to virtually everything in Hawaii.

Hawaii Living: Moving To Hawaii

Learn how to physically pickup and get your stuff moved over here. There's more to it than you'd think but we'll walk you through it.

Hawaii Living: What About My Car?

How does one get a car to travel over thousands of miles of ocean? We cover your options here.

Hawaii Living: What About My Pet?

Got a cat or dog or other animal that needs to travel? We list out the various transportation options and quarantine requirements.

Hawaii Living: Where To Live

Which island is right for you? Where should you live on that island? What's windward and leeward? What about buying versus renting and what the heck is lease hold?

Hawaii Living: Finding Employment

Unless you're loaded you're going to need to work. But what work is available here? Will I be cleaning hotel rooms for a living?

Hawaii Living: Schools

Hawaii schools aren't always like mainland schools. Some of those horror stories you've heard about our schools are true. So where do you start with getting kids into a decent and safe school?

Hawaii Living: Pests & Traffic

Roaches, ants, critters, and Los Angeles levels of traffic. We've got it all. Sure you're up for it?

Hawaii Living: All Alone

Can I move to Hawaii all by myself? Will my spouse and I be okay all alone and away from our friends and family? Why do all of the Hawaii friends we make move away after two years?

Hawaii Living: Island Time

You've probably heard of Hawaii's famed Island Time. But what is it and how does it impact daily life here?

Hawaii Living: Rainbows, Beaches, & Shave Ice

You've made it through all of the rough stuff, now let's get into the fun stuff. After all, there are obvious reasons why you wanted to live in Hawaii!
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Matt Anderson
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Dave
Joined: Apr 2016
Reviews: 186
Likes Received: 32
I have looked into living Hawaii after every trip. I have talked to several people who live here and they have to work 2 - 3 jobs in order to make ends meat. Now, how in the world can you enjoy paradise if you are always working? I also make more money here on the mainland as I would in Kona doing to same thing. On top of having the expense of either a condo or apartment or even buying a house.
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