My wife and I relocated to Honolulu, HI in 2016. We made the decision to move two years earlier, after having visited Oahu to reconnect with old friends and get away from the harsh east coast winters in Philadelphia. Why Hawaii? Why not? We based our research on one simple question:
“What qualities do we look for in the place we want to make our new home?”
We both love the outdoors but don’t do well in the cold. I am originally from Austria, and you might think I’m an avid skier and love the cold powder. NOPE! My wife is Filipina-American and craves the warmth of the equator. This one was easy: Hawaii is usually between 72 and 85F all year around. You can’t beat that.
We looked for a place that is culturally diverse. Unlike in most states, no racial or ethnic group constitutes a majority in the Aloha State. The top two languages spoken other than English are Tagalog and Ilocano, followed by Japanese, Spanish, and Hawaiian.
City & Nature
We both consider ourselves “townies,” love the amenities of the city life, while at the same time long for nature and ample time outdoors. We also considered San Diego as an alternative but the city seemed too big and overwhelming for our simplistic needs. Honolulu feels just right for us — we are lucky and don’t even need to get in the car but can walk to the beach.
Hawaii changes you. We have friends who moved here 30 years ago. One was an aspiring lawyer, then decided to become a nurse. Another one went to medical school and ended up as a member of the Honolulu Police Department. My wife was lucky to find a wonderful job in the legal profession where she is part of a great team and I’ve worked as a music instructor until recently. However, after almost 20 years as a professional musician, I decided it was time for a change. [More on that soon.]
Granted, there are many downsides to living in Hawaii. It’s one of the most expensive places in the US and there are lots of other challenges that one might not think of.
Check out these blog posts:
5 Uncomfortable Truths About Living In Hawaii
Dear Travelers to Hawaii: Please Don’t Come Until You’ve Understood These 6 Things
I am fortunate to call this place my home, but I still consider myself a visitor, albeit a permanent one. I am not from Hawaii, I choose to live here. As the blog post I linked to states perfectly:
Hawaii is known around the world for its aloha spirit and hospitality, but arriving here doesn’t entitle you to it. The most gracious aloha is given when it’s received in turn. Ever hear that phrase, “Treat others how you want to be treated”?
To get respect, one must give it.