Any person who has seen the pictures of the Hawaii islands or has been to this place is sure to be enamoured with the features that are very much like paradise. The overall life in the island is peaceful as compared to the noisy and congested city. Hawaii is an amazing place for living if you are ready to enjoy different world cultures, ocean activities, warm weather, exploring ecosystems that are unique and lastly love being surrounded by wonderful scenery. Living In Hawaii | Pros and Cons of Hawaii.
Tips to live a smooth life in Hawaii
- You must learn how to pronounce Hawaiian street names.
- Most of the locals speak in a different version of English which is known as Pidgin and it will take you a while to get used to the language.
- The Hawaii Islands do not have Daylight Saving Time.
- The place has a smoking law which was created on November 16th, 2006. The law states that you are not allowed to smoke in places 20 feet from any public doorway, open ventilation of a building, or any partially closed spaces (like overhangs or roofs).
- You can smoke in places less than 20 feet from a doorway if the business of the place is closed.
- If you are addicted to concerts or events of similar types, keep in mind that your favourite events or concerts will be available here very rarely.
- Keeping pets is something that’s difficult and expensive.
- The ocean: The ocean is to be seen everywhere you go. Various ocean activities like scuba, surf, spearfish, snorkel, water ski awaits the people living here. The ocean water is warm (about 75 degrees) all the year round, which make the place full of enjoyment round the calendar. The best beaches are to be found on the north shore at the Sunset beach and Waimea. These beaches have really giant waves during the winter. If you want to go to a beach without giant waves, the Kailua or the Lanikai beach can be the right choice. The white sand of the beaches is wonderful too.
- The mountains are beautiful and best to hike: the Koolau mountain range is truly beautiful. There are some other places where you can hike, amongst them Kailua is the best.
- The Aloha: It is hard to describe the Aloha, but it is actually the lifestyle, kindness as well as the friendliness of the people residing in Hawaii, which is absolutely incredible.
- Comfort: It is the tropical paradise, but it is America too! This simply means that you are able to avail almost all comforts that you may need.
- The food in the Hawaii islands is really good. The availability of fresh fish and other sea food is something that is extremely attractive.
- The absence of insanely cold winters or natural calamities like tornadoes or earthquakes makes the place safe to live.
- The few crimes those are seen to happen here are far less violent than those of the mainland.
- The bus system is excellent in Oahu. If you take the bus to travel to different places it will help you to cut down your costs on gas.
The slow pace of life: Sometimes the pace of life seems to be a little too slow and it becomes a big problem for those who are from the mainland.
The bureaucracy: The government in the Hawaii Island seems to be really slow in its activities.
Oahu is really small: Oahu is a really small place. You will get bored easily if you do not try to actively seek activity.
Higher shipping cost: Oahu is an island and so, shipping things to this place is costlier than the mainland.
The rain: Being a tropical place the amount of rainfall is always high. Sometimes it starts to rain just for few minutes on a very sunny day, while there are sunny breaks between the heavy downpours.
Slow traffic: The traffic is really bad into as well as out of the town especially at the beginning and the ending of the workday.
Distance from the mainland: The place being too far from the mainland needs long plane ride to get to the mainland.
Limited freshwater: Being an island, the availability of freshwater is limited. You cannot afford to waste it.
Limited jobs: The place is not the ideal place with matters related to jobs. Job opportunities are not very good as a small island do not get the chance to develop much business other than tourism.
Limited housing market: More people desire to live in Hawaii which in turn pushes the prices high up. If you have a budget that is limited it is surely going to be hard for you to find a home that will fit in everything that you want.
High cost of living: The cost of living in the Hawaii islands is really very expensive as compared to the other 49 states of the USA. It can be compared to that of the costs in cities like San Francisco or New York City San Francisco.
Consumer items cost more: As almost all consumer items are shipped from the mainland, it adds to the cost of those items. Milk costs about $6 per gallon and gas costs $4.24 per gallon.
Limited scope for live entertainment: If you live in Hawaii, it is going to take long time before a band of your choice come to the place for their shows. There is no good news for sports fans.
The insects: The warm tropical climate is paradise for insects. Termites and cockroaches are the major problems, leaving all the other insects that thrive here.
Other hazards that accompany the tropical climate: The wind which always blow in the salty sea air results in having rust, mould, mildew, dry rot and oxidation problems.
The poisonous toads: The Hawaii Island is the place where a poisonous toad called Bufo lives. This toad is extremely poisonous and is a real threat for dogs. Yearly, up to 50 dogs die because of these toads.
These are few of the important pros and cons, obviously depending upon your lifestyle some other things might become a disadvantage and/or advantage for you – but that’s for you to find out. Let’s have a look at some other important aspects of life in Hawaii.
Different studies show that the population of Hawaii has seen a huge increase in its population. But it has been steady from 2000 – 2010 and according to US Census Bureau the population increase was at 12.3%. The increase in population is mostly attributed to the migration of different people towards the islands. The Bureau also disclosed the figures of year 2013 standing at 1,374,810 making it the 40th largest population of the country. The projections show that the population will increase to 1.42 million by 2015 and by 2020 to reach 1.48 million people. This would be an increase of 7.2% from the current population of the island.
Ethnicity of people is spread over people coming from different places and belonging to different races of the world. According to the figures of 2010 among the people living in Hawaii consisted Whites (24.7%), Asians (36.8%), Blacks (1.6%), Native Hawaiians and other islanders (10.0%), Other races (1.2%) and 23.6% Multiracial. Among all the ethnicities, Asians are the fastest growing population of the islands.
Crime Rate in Hawaii
The index crime rate of Hawaii hit the record low figures in the year 2011. In total 47,340 Index Crimes were reported in the state of Hawaii which translates into the rate of 3,443 crimes per 100,000 resident population. The violent index crime rate was at 3.8% making it one of the quite safe states in the US whereas the only major crime in Hawaii has always been related to Property making it one of the five states with most property related crimes.
Mortgage Rates and Rents in Hawaii
The mortgage rate differs from lender to lender. For 30 year FRM it is 4.53% (National: 4.51%), 15 year FRM it is 3.54% (National: 3.5%), 5/1 year ARM it is 3.29% (National: 3.15%). Obviously, these figures keep fluctuating every now and then but they are good enough to give a decent picture of the mortgage rates.
Moving on to rents, you might have heard that living in Hawaii is not really cheap and it is indeed true nowadays. Rents are normally quite high in the islands but they still differ from one place to another but Honolulu seems to take the lead. If you’re considering to living in Hawaii you should have at-least $1500-$2500 in mind for rent. You may find an apartment in Oahu for $1000-$1200 so it depends upon the place and the locality itself. Whatever you choose rents take a bigger part of your salary check than other items in Hawaii. On average, 3-bedroom apartment could cost you around $4000 in rent. Therefore, it’s an important factor that should be kept in mind before moving to Hawaii.
Fresh Vegetables and Fruits
Hawaii is home to many fresh grown vegetables and fruits which are obviously great for your health. Obviously some of them are seasonal while others are available year-round. Cabbage, Cucumbers, Eggplant, Ginger, Green beans, Scallions/Green onions, Lettuce, Herbs, Limes, Luau (Taro Leaf), Mushrooms, Bananas, Ohi’a’ai (mountain apples), Mangoes, Melons, Lychees, Hearts of palm, Corn, Celery, Carrots , Avocados, Tomatoes, Taro, Oranges, Radishes, Onions, Papayas, Pineapples, Rambutans, Starfruit, Squash, Tangerines, Sweet peppers, Sweet potatoes, Zucchini Blossoms and Zucchini are produced in Hawaii. Now that’s quite a lot of vegetables and fruits even used for daily purposes that is available in its pure form to enjoy.
Hawaiian Cuisine is quite diverse and a combination of different foods brought by different cultures coming from various backgrounds particularly of American, Japanese, Filipinos, Chinese, Polynesian, Koreans and Portuguese regions. Some popular Hawaiian dishes include Lomi Salmon, Poi, Tuna Poke, Kimchi, Oven Kalua Pork, Chicken Char Siu, Chicken and Port Adobo, Hawaiian Bread.
Obviously, the islands is also to some really delicious drinks. Here are some of them; Mai Tai, Pina Colada, Blue Hawaii, Lava Flow, Lava Pit, Lava, Hawaiian Margarita, Haupia, Kona Coffee-Tini, Clipper-Tini, Chi and Mac Nut Martini.
Hawaii is not that calm when it comes to different events and is home to some of the prominent and popular events of the world. Let’s have a look at them:
- Hyundai Tournament of Champions – The event occurs in early January almost every year in Kapalua, Maui. It’s a great event for golf lovers. This prestigious event is held among the previous champions. Now that would be certainly interesting to watch.
- Sony Open in Hawaii – Organized in early to mid-January at Waialae Country Club – Honolulu, Oahu this event attracts around 144 of the greatest world champions. Since 1999, the event has raised as much as $8 million for different non-profit organizations and is regarded one of the biggest charity event.
- Waimea Cherry Blossom Heritage Festival – Organized at Waimea – The Big Island in early February is quite a popular event for over 18 year olds that celebrates the blooming of the area’s historic cherry trees with a “hanami” or “cherry blossom” event.
- Honolulu Festival – Occurs every year in early March in Honolulu, Oahu and promotes the blend of different cultures that include Pacific, Asian and Hawaiian cultures of the islands.
- Hawaiian International Billfish Tournament – A very popular event happening for more than 50 years that is organized at Kona Coast, the Big Island in mid-August every year. The tournament is also known as the “Grandfather of All Big Game Fishing Tournaments” and attracts some of the best anglers in the world.
- Ironman World Championship – Organized at Kailua-Kona, the Big Island in the month of October every year it is one of the most popular event in the world and Hawaii for triathlete enthusiasts. The event is really exciting with around 1,800 triathletes coming to compete from different parts of the world. The part where an average Joe gets to compete with the best ones is what makes this event quite unique and attractive.
These are some of the top events that occur on the islands every year but that’s not it. Some other well-known events that are organized throughout the year include:
- Kauai Orchid & Art Festival (in end March at Hanapepe, Kauai)
- Celebration of the Arts (in early April at Kapalua, Maui)
- Merrie Monarch Festival (in early April at the Big Island)
- East Maui Taro Festival (in late April at Hana, Maui)
- King Kamehameha Celebration Floral Parade (in early June at Honolulu, Oahu)
- King Kamehameha Day Celebration (in early June at North Kohala, the Big Island)
- Makawao Parade & Rodeo (in early July at Makawao, Maui)
- Bayfest (in mid-July at Oahu)
- Heiva I Kauai Iaorana Tahiti (in early August at Kapaa, Kauai)
- Queen Lili’uokalani Outrigger Canoe Race (in early September at Kailua-Kona, the Big Island)
- Okinawan Festival (in early September at Kapiolani Park, Waikiki – Oahu)
- Aloha Festivals Floral Parade (in late September at Honolulu, Oahu)
- Maui Marathon (in late September at Kahului to Ka‘anapali, Maui)
- Maui Fair (in early October at Maui)
- Molokai Hoe Canoe Race (in mid-October at Molokai/Waikiki, Oahu)
- Moku O Keawe International Hula Festival (in early November at Waikoloa Beach Resort, the Big Island)
- Vans Triple Crown of Surfing (in mid-November to mid-December at North Shore, Oahu)
- Honolulu Marathon (on 2nd Sunday in December at Honolulu, Oahu)
- ASP World Tour – Pipeline Masters (in early December at North Shore, Oahu)
- Quiksilver Eddie Aikau Memorial (beginning December to end February at Waimea Bay, North Shore, Oahu)
- New Year’s Eve Fireworks Celebration (New Year’s Eve at Honolulu, Oahu)
Education in Hawaii
Hawaii some pretty good private as well as public schools in different areas. The four largest private schools include Punahou School, ʻIolani School, Mid-Pacific Institute and Kamehameha Schools. United States’ second and Hawaii’s first Buddhist school was opened back in 2003, Pacific Buddhist Academy whereas the Kanu O Ka Aina New Century Charter School is the first native controlled public charter school.
For tertiary education many students enrol into University of Hawaii which is the largest university of the state. Some private universities are also found which include Hawaii Pacific University, Brigham Young University–Hawaii, Wayland Baptist University and Chaminade University of Honolulu. A large number of students also move to other states for tertiary education or even to different countries.
All in all, like every other thing in the world Hawaii is no different and obviously while it has some of the greatest things to enjoy from cuisines to events to drinks and the fresh fruits and vegetable – it also has some downsides. Therefore, depending upon how you want to spend your life and your lifestyle for some people it can be a great destination for vacations while for others it might even become their new home. It takes time to adapt to Hawaii and its culture but many people who do so don’t like the idea of leaving the island to move to any other state or country.