We swear… At least a few out of every ten visitors wonder what it’s like living in Hawaii.
If you’re anything like us when you travel to a new place, you immediately start wondering what it would be like to live there. Sure, living in a new place is exciting. But after the initial honeymoon phase wears off and you know where to find the hidden waterfalls and best coffee shops, you’re left with two very important pieces – the culture and the people. We’re here to give you the inside scoop on what it’s actually like living in Hawaii. Here's a hint: It's still pretty amazing.
Here’s the Inside Scoop on What It’s Like Living in Hawaii
There’s enough travel information on Hawaii to fill up the Grand Canyon, not gonna lie. But we’re going to narrow it down to the important stuff. While surfing and learning the art of making the best bonsai bowl are great, we want to search the heart and soul kind of stuff. We're going to tell you a little bit about the lifestyle, culture, pace of life, and just a little bit of everything.
One of our favorite things to do when visiting a new place or diving into a culture is journal. Write down your perception of a place before you get to know it. Take notes while you're there. Scribble down your thoughts and experiences on a napkin in that corner diner. Write about how you feel after you've left – or after you've lived here for one year, five years, ten years. Remind yourself to be present. Embrace the aloha.
1. You’ve Got to Embrace the Aloha Lifestyle
Everyone knows how to do this on vacation. You hop in your little jeep, explore the island, and go off-roading. Much like Costa Rica, living in Hawaii means the pura vida lifestyle flows through. This mellow, happy go lucky lifestyle is what draws so many people to the islands in the first place. But after you’ve been for a while, you’ll need to be able to adjust to a much slower pace of life. If you’re coming from a city like LA, NYC, or Chicago, there’s going to be a huge adjustment period. Aloha means hello, goodbye, and everything in between. This peaceful nature encompasses the entire island.
2. The Island Lifestyle is an Adjustment
You’re on an island. Surrounded by water, there is nothing else in sight. If you’re a newbie, life in Hawaii can be a little isolating at times. When you live here, you don’t road trip, you explore. The culture, lifestyle, and people are different. If you’re not prepared, it can be a little bit shocking.
3. Adjust to a Slower Pace of Life
Welcome to a slower and more deliberate way of life. Everything seems to move at a slower pace in Hawaii. From the post service to even your drive to work, the locals take their time. Again like Costa Rica, they embrace a pura vida lifestyle. Why worry about today when you have tomorrow?
4. Living in Hawaii Is Kind of Like Growing Up in a Small Neighborhood
If you’ve ever lived in a small, suburban neighborhood, you know what we are talking about. While a lot of people can live, work, and play all within a small space, for some, the space becomes too small. As dreamy as it may be living in Hawaii, there’s no doubt it’s easy to get some jungle fever. If you’re used to roaming around, going on road trips, and traveling often, it’s safe to say you could have a difficult transition.
5. Are You Always Hot or Always Cold?
It’s safe to say that Hawaii doesn’t get the four seasons; it’s warm year-round. Some people would go as far as to call Hawaii hot; the humidity sure helps with that. So you should think about your body temperature when you’re considering living in Hawaii. If you’re one of those people that has the natural body temperature of a radiator, this might not be the place for you. You’ll find yourself running the A/C a lot more than you think you would.
6. So What is the Weather Like When You’re Living in Hawaii?
If you love summer and hate winter, Hawaii is a perfect paradise. Here, over 95% of your wardrobe can be t-shirts and shorts. One of the things we love most about living in Hawaii is that you can go to the beach pretty much any time of the year and not be cold. The weather does change a little bit though. From summer to winter, you can expect it to vary by about 10 degrees.
In the summer, the weather is sunny and dry with temperatures hovering in the high 80s. Come fall, it becomes cooler and wetter. Winter brings in temperatures from the mid-70s to low 80s along with rain and winds.
7. Frequent Rain
Carry a poncho and an umbrella with you everywhere. You never know when you might get caught in an unexpected shower. If you didn’t already know, Mount Waialeale in Kauai happens to be one of the wettest places on the entire planet, averaging over 452 inches of rain a year. To put that in perspective, that’s more than one inch per day! When you’re living in Hawaii, it doesn’t matter which island you live on, you’re going to get some scattered showers. One of our favorite things to do is just stand out in the rain – or surf in it. Pina colada not included.
In the morning, mauka showers come in the form of a light mist from the mountains. If you live nearby, you’ll get a little sprinkle and catch a glimpse of a rainbow after first light. What a magical way to start the morning.
8. You Can Enjoy the Mountains and the Ocean in a Matter of Hours
Where else can you swim in the warm ocean waters and hike around a 13,000-foot mountain in one day? It gets even better. Mauna Kea is located on the Big Island of Hawaii, reaching upwards of 13,500 feet into the clouds along with the jaw-dropping Volcanoes National Park.
9. Great Outdoor Recreation
If you’re an outdoor enthusiast and adventure junkie, Hawaii is the place to be. There’s no doubt about it. Each of the islands offers unique opportunities to take part in a myriad of water and land-based sports. Choose from swimming, snorkeling, sailing, scuba diving, kayaking, canoeing, hiking, climbing, camping, biking, and more. Buy every piece of recreational equipment you could dream of and use it on the daily.
10. There are Features Unique to Hawaii Alone
When you think about the Royals, Kate Middleton and Prince Harry probably come to mind. But believe it or not, there is royalty within the United States too. Oahu is home to the only royal palace in the country. Iolani Palace was once home to King Kalakaua, Queen Lili’uokalani, and the rest of the family. Used as a platform to rule the islands, the palace holds both a great cultural significance in Hawaiian history.
But the culture isn’t the only thing unique about living in Hawaii. Just take a look at the dramatic coastal landscapes surrounding you. Active volcanoes peek out from dense rain forests. Coastal cliffs frame secret coves housing diverse wildlife and marine life you won’t find anywhere else on the earth. Breathtaking sunrises, sunsets, and palm tree silhouettes make for a picture perfect setting.
11. The Beaches are Fantastic
Living in Hawaii is synonymous with being a beach bum. Soft white sands and crystal clear water make these beaches unlike any others. Spectacular sunsets and sunsets are a draw for travelers around the world seeking fun in the sun, adventure, and some R&R. And did we mention Hawaii is also home to some of the world’s best surf? When you’re living in Hawaii, you can go enjoy this magic on the daily.
12. Hula Dancing
You won’t find tradition like this anywhere else in the world. Hula dancing is one of the many highlights of living in Hawaii. And it’s definitely one worth mentioning. Drum music and tiki torches add a lively flair to a vibrant cultural dance that exudes the island’s spirit. While this activity is fun to watch, it’s even more fun to take part in.
13. You’ll Have Better Access (and Cheaper Airfare) to Australia and Asia
If you’ve spent any amount of your life living in the continental U.S., you know that flights are expensive. After all, if you live in Hawaii, you only have to cross part of the ocean and pay a fraction of the airfare cost. So, if you have ever wanted to visit the Australian and Asian continents, living in Hawaii makes it that much easier.
14. You Will Be Able to Enjoy More Privacy
These islands allow you to have more privacy and a relaxed lifestyle. If you’d like, you can get a home on the outskirts. But if you want to socialize more, there are plenty of community events where you can go and meet people. We don’t just mean going to a luau. One of our favorite things about living in Hawaii is you get to experience an incredible cultural diversity. Meeting people from other cultures and partaking in their lifestyle is a great way to dive into all that is Hawaii.
Get Ready for the Next Big Step: Living in Hawaii
We hope you enjoyed reading our article on living in Hawaii. Visiting as a tourist is one thing. Immersing yourself in the island lifestyle and culture is another entirely. And since Hawaii is a cultural melting pot, there are so many different experiences to be had. Sure, the beginning period could be an adjustment for city dwellers but overall, who doesn't appreciate the pura vida and aloha lifestyle? We all could use some time to kick back and remember to rest every now and then.
And when you're ready to go on some adventures, there is certainly no shortage of places to be explored. While you certainly have your touristy spots throughout the island, there are also some remote jungles, hidden waterfalls, and vast ecosystems that seem virtually untouched. A land of passion, magic, and mystery, there is something to be said for living in Hawaii. If you were going to move to this state, which island would you choose? Let us know in the comment section below.
Are you interested in getting some more information on Hawaii? For hot spots, hidden treasures, and tricks of the trade, check out these articles below:
- Essential Hawaiian Words and Phrases You Should Know Before You Go
- The 10 Best Hawaii Resorts: Find Your Inner Peace
- Top 10 Things to Do in Molokai, Hawaii
- Top 12 Things to Do in Kauai, Hawaii for the Best Adventure
Questions and Comments
Do you have any questions or comments for us? If so, feel free to leave us a message below. We will be sure to get back with you soon.
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