Before you move here consider this:
I have lived here, on and off, since 2008. Here are the pros and cons as I see them.
Pros: Mostly very good weather, sunny all the time. Friendly laid back atmosphere. Easy to get around the city without a car. Safe, very little violent crime.
Very high cost of living. People routinely have friends or relatives on the mainland ship them basics, like soap or clothing rather than be overcharged here. High rents plus low salaries, you can do the math.
Traffic, terrible. The people here are very anti-mass transit and have done everything they could to stop the much needed rail project. All they succeeded in doing was making it much more expensive.
Jobs, awful. If you are non-Asian think twice before relocating here. You will find it very hard to even get interviewed unless you know someone or have an Asian surname. The attitude is to hire a local first, even if they are unqualified, which mostly they are. Don't even think about moving here without a job. I've met so many people who work 2 or 3 jobs just to pay rent.
Homelessness, the worst in the country. Governor just declared a state of emergency about the situation. You will get very used to seeing them everywhere, and I do mean everywhere.
Food. The restaurants here mostly are terrible. Want good Italian? Forget it, it does not exist here. I'm not kidding. Okay how about Mexican? No way Jose. The locals think Taco Bell is eating Mexican. Asian food? Yeah, that we got. Although it will be priced for the tourists. The local cuisine will take some getting used to as well. They will eat rice AND macaroni salad with everything. Typically spam or some fried meat. Just awful.
Customer service. Does not exist here. Go into to any business and tell them you've had a problem with what you purchased and they will go slack jaw and look like they can't understand your words. Local Radio Shack sold me a head set for my phone that did not have a mic. When I took it back with the receipt, they refused the return because I didn't have the packaging. Luckily it was still in their trash right there in the store. So they refunded my money. but only after I flashed a HI driver's license so they'd know I was local. This is typical.
The people. Most places have some smart people, a lot of average people and some dumb people. In Honolulu you will meet very few smart people unless you have the right kind of job. You will meet a ton of dumb folks, and if you are white they will resent you. Outside of the South this one of the most backwards states, which is a shame. You will find it difficult to make friends outside of work.
Police. I know the cops are bad many places, but police corruption here is epidemic. HI is one of the very few places WITHOUT a civilian review board. Result is a very bad sight to behold.
So there you have it. A few undeniable advantages, but a ton of unavoidable disadvantages. Living here is not like being on vacation. You will not be spending days at the beach, as you will be working or stuck in traffic. If you can transfer with a $100k+ job, then take a shot, it might be for you. Everyone else, come for vacation but forget about moving here. There is a reason so many people who were born here, along with long time transplants, are leaving.
Tanned Tom | San Francisco, CA