Live in Hawaii?

Mar 16th, 2004, 01:55 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 154
Kakalena, I'm really sorry to hear that you're having such a rough time of it here. However, it is to be expected because it's completely unchartered territory for you and you've only been here a few months. You didn't say which neighbor island you were on or what your profession is, so it's hard to give you advice on that. But I would like to comment on some statements you made. Please remember, I'm on Maui, so it may be a little different in your case.

Getting a job out here can be all about 'who ya know'. Unfortunately, this is the way (not always, but a lot of times!) many things are done here. But don't despair. If you're here for any length of time and and have an open and respectful attitude towards things and cultures you may not'll make friends. A few of those friends are bound to be able to hook you up with some kind of employment. That's not to say give up interviewing or applying for jobs, just the opposite. Go for it. The person who interviews you tomorrow may end up to be a wealth of info and a very good friend down the road.

You say you find the local people "maddeningly neutral". I think you need to remember that (and this goes back to being open and accepting of people and cultures you don't understand.....yet!) locals see sooooo many people move here from the mainland. We form bonds with these newcomers, offer (and even give)them jobs, friendships, our hospitality....only to be told within 3 years or less that the newcomers are leaving and going back mainland! It's not so much that we are's more like we just kind of check you out for a period of time and see what you're really made of and see how low long you last. Once thhe locals see you're here for the long haul and that you're willing to give back to the community, you will form form friendship the likes you've never imagined. Deep, to the bone, through the fire, lasting a lifetime friendships!

Your comment "The major news is traffic and potholes (headlines on TV and newspapers). Boring!" made me laugh. For the most part, that's true. But it sure as hell beats reading a headline about your best friends 3 year old child being snatched from her front yard. Crime here is not what it is on the mainland in some big cities.....thank God! And you're complaining?????

If you think Hawaii is NOT culturally diversified, I suggest you get out of the house more often. There are people here from almost every different ethnic background you can imagine. Most enjoy and celebrate their differences.

As far as having tons and tons of guests and playing chauffuer and tourguide to them, 3 little words.....just say no! When they call to tell you they're coming out, tell them "Great! Let me know what hotel you'll be staying at and hopefully I can arrange to meet you for lunch one day or maybe do a beach day together." You and you alone put yourself in the position of being a doormat.

Yes, the weather in the winter is rainy and windy at times. Hello.....this is a tropical island. Your comment about locals not even swimming in the ocean in the winter goes to show that you haven't been here long indeed and don't get out much. Locals and tourists swim in these waters 365 days a year! A large portion of the locals LIVE for the winter waves that can get to be 25 - 30 footers.

I don't know what the housing market is like where you came from but on Maui a simple, nothing fancy, 3B 2BA, 1200 square foot home on a average 5,000 square foot lot in a middle income area of central Maui start in the HIGH $400,000's. The price of homes has skyrocketed out here. And when new developments are announced, there are hundreds of people literally lining up in front of the construction office just to put their name on the list and plunk down $5,000 to reserve a home SIGHT UNSEEN!

And yes, gas is more expensive here ($2.39/gallon). But you believe that you don't do as much driving here because there's "nowhere to go", so that counters the high price of fuel. I have plenty places to go, all over the island....upcountry, Haleakala, Lahaina side, Hana, Makena I think this depends on your lifestyle and how much you get out.

"Seashells R Us is the main franchise"????? WHAT THE HELL ISLAND ARE YOU ON? You're right, we do have only a handful of the national major chain stores....KMart, Walmart, Kay Bee's, Macy's, Gap, Sears etc. "and none top of the line". Probably not to what you're accustomed to. Although if you live on Maui, try going to the Shops at Wailea. It's not Rodeo Drive but it's the closest thing we have.

Is it possible that you feel too far removed from your friends and family back East? That is a very real and common reason for people's unhappiness out here. For most people it's too much to give up. It's the number one reason why mainland people move back so quickly.

In closing, I want to tell you that I do feel for you. I sympathize with you but I honestly think you need to give it some time but also to really adjust your attitude. Life is WAY more simple out here. Get out more. Explore more of the island, even if it eats up the gas! Keep interviewing for those jobs, maybe join the local YMCA or church group. But whatever you do....keep an open mind and don't be quick to judge something, someone, or some place you don't understand just yet. All of this only applies if you really want to make it work out here. If not.......there's a plane leaving for the mainland almost every hour. question though. Are you on Moloka'i? Aloha & malama pono.
kolohegirl is offline  
Mar 16th, 2004, 11:16 AM
Join Date: Mar 2004
Posts: 386
Hi Kolohegirl,

It was so kind of you to write back. You really understand where I'm coming from. I'm on the North shore of Kauai. It does seem from what I've read that Maui may be a more energetic island.

I understand what you say about meeting people and networking for employment. My average time to secure a new position in the States is less than a month. If I contact 10 places, I'll have a job. Here I am going on 5 months in a search and have contacted over 100. That's just for comparison, to tell you how different it is. Not being critical of the place. : )

I understand too what you mean about the local people being cautious with newcomers. We were told that right out by our own neighbors. People didn't want to welcome us at first because they thought we were short-timers. Took several weeks for them to warm up. Some still haven't. Again not being critical, just saying how it is.

I know what you are saying about the news too. It's good not to have a lot of the bad stuff here. But it's almost as if the rest of the country is making the news and we just wake up to it. Nothing we can do about it so we just go about our business. Again just my feeling and I realize I have to look at the good side of that. : )

About diversity, on the East Coast of the States we have huge populations of Asians, Latinos, Blacks, Europeans, Arabs and everyone in between. Yes there is some diversity here but I have to say not to the same degree. You'll have to give me that one. ; )

I'll have to give you that I'm a doormat when it comes to family and friends and being able to tell them to get a hotel. ; )

About swimming in the ocean on the North Shore. It has been very rough since we've been here. (10-20 foot seas not uncommon and high winds). We live very close to a beach and although surfers do go out, we haven't seen our neighbors in the water since November. They call it the winter and wear sweatshirts, walk on the beach but very little swimming. We have gone south to some of the more touristy areas where it has been calmer to swim on the weekends. In our area it really hasn't been what most people from the Caribbean or Florida would consider swimmer friendly. We have been told that in April things should turn around.

I did come from an expensive real estate market out East, so we didn't get sticker shock. Your experience may vary.

The population of Kauai(a whole county) is the same as my old neighborhood. I used to drive from neighborhood to neighborhood for entertainment, shopping etc. Yes you can drive around the island here but you can't drive to Maui, Oahu or Hawaii. So I don't drive nearly as many miles as I used to. Probably about 1/3 -1/2 in comparison. Actual mileage.

I'm not a big shopper, so it's not a major item but yes we have the same stores you listed on Kauai (except Gap and Kaybee's). We just got a Starbucks! Five minutes from my old house we had Nieman Marcus, Nordstrom, Bloomingdales, Saks and Lord and Taylor and every national franchise under the sun. I include this comparison for anyone else who might be reading and thinking about moving here. There is no shopping as you know it if you are coming from a metropolitain area.

I've been keeping in contact with friends and family (remember? they're here all the time? LOL!) so I don't think that's it. I just haven't felt engaged by the place. I agree that only time will tell.

I'm with you completely on the plane every hour thing and know I have that option.

Thanks for you excellent response. Very interesting to get another perspective.

Tansy, Miracle of miracles, we don't have cockroaches. Our house is raised off the ground and we are told that helps! I'm glad you've made your peace with the islands.

Gyppielu, You are very kind too. Thanks for the vote of confidence. Sorry about the snow.

Here2daygone2Maui, I agree this is surfer heaven. Have met people still surfing in their 70s and I'm sure there are older, who wouldn't consider leaving for a nanosecond. ; ) Enjoy!

Great hearing from all of you!


kakalena is offline  
Mar 16th, 2004, 11:33 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 5,158
Kolohegirl, thanks for the positive response. I don't know that I could have pulled it off myself! Kakalena, maybe you should visit Oahu sometime. We consider Kauai "rural" (as does the USDA rural development program), which in any part of the country means a slower, more laid back lifestyle with fewer national chains available.

Also, wait till summer before you go swimming on the North Shore. Winter tends to kick up the big waves.

OK I think I've said enuf!
MelissaHI is offline  
Mar 16th, 2004, 03:34 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 154
Aloha, Kakalena. I DO feel you. I am from the San Francisco Bay Area! But I've been here for a long time.

Maui or Oahu probably would've been better suited for you. But north Shore Kauai is beautiful.....Hanalei, Haena, Anahola, though I doubt you live in Anahola since it's mostly Hawaiian Homestead Land. Hang in there, hon. Moving to a new state with a whole new culture is VERY stressful!

Yeah, I would think that the job market is tougher on Kauai than Maui. But keep your head up. Something will turn up!

I know exactly what you mean when you say the rest of the US makes the news and we just wake up to it. Sometimes it doesn't even feel as though Hawaii is a part of the US, does it? My cousins and I jokingly refer to the mainland as "America"! As in......"Oh, I'll be spending 2 weeks in America next month." LOL

Yeah, you probably come from an area with a larger population of culturally diverse groups. And Kaua'i IS a small island!

LOL It's 68 degrees and overcast here in Maui today. I'm bundled up in a sweater and sweat pants. But as soon as the sky looks half way decent me and my kids are in the ocean, winter or not!

As for real estate.....I'm from the SF Bay Area.....need I say more? It's just that the cost of housing here on Maui has tripled in the last 4 years.

But for real, Kakalena, hang in there. give it some time and if after a year...18 months, you still feel out of place consider going home. Hawaii isn't for everybody. If you want to email and just talk story or whatever you can email me at [email protected] com Aloha & malama pono!

kolohegirl is offline  
Mar 16th, 2004, 04:46 PM
Join Date: Nov 2003
Posts: 1,803
Ah, Kolohegirl, you must live in on the other side! It's nice here in Kihei today! Yesterday I had to go to Wailuku and called DH to tell him it was raining buckets. He was getting ready to go spear fishing with his buddy and the sun was shining at home! Like he always tells me, if you don't like the weather here, go to the other side!
here_today_gone2Maui is offline  
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