Yup, It's an Island, Good and Bad... - 11/7/2012
I was born and raised in HI, spent 30 years there, and am part-Native Hawaiian. Ha, yes - island living is not for everyone. The good side: the weather is fantastic pretty much all the time, although warmer and more humid than CA (where I lived another 10 years). (Someone else on here complained about the lack of A/C - you're just too used to it. I didn't have A/C until I moved to the mainland. Open your windows, take advantage of those great tradewinds.) The people are nice and normal, it's pretty safe overall, and the food options are great (especially if you like asian cuisines - HI has the real deal). The beaches are beautiful, and there is greenery and birds around you everywhere. The people are tech-savvy and "wired". The majority are asian or part-asian - it's a pretty diverse and cosmopolitan place, but somewhat slanted towards asians.
That said, there is a bad side: it *is* an island. It's crowded, there are cars and people everywhere. It's expensive - you're pretty much held hostage when it comes to housing, gas is expensive, and most goods must be shipped in from the mainland, making them pricier. Good housing and good jobs are coveted and limited, and jobs do not pay as well as they might on the mainland. Your paycheck will not go as far as you're probably used to. The public schools probably are bad (I wouldn't know, I went to a private school). Distance-wise, nothing is that far, but the traffic can be pretty bad, depending on your route. There is the potential for hurricanes and tsunamis, but anything really bad is pretty rare - last bad hurricane was 20 years ago, and it only hit some areas bad. Last bad tsunami was 60+ years ago, and it was before the creation of the tsunami warning system in the Pacific. Heavy rains do happen.
Many who are born in HI end up attending college elsewhere, and then staying, since the COLA is much, much lower elsewhere. Those who stay or return often do so because of family. It's a place people stay in or move to out of love for the place and the people. It is not a place to go to if you want to have lots of money and want to be able to afford lots of creature comforts, without having to work much or possibly get two jobs. Jobs and housing will be limited and not fantastic, but the weather, people, culture, and scenery might be enough for you.[read more...]