Island Fever - page 3

by Lisa From Maui

10,880 Views | 58 Comments

Anyone else wanna comment on island fever? Wanna share your thoughts, perspective, etc? - Lisa ;-) For those of you on the mainland, who are thinking about moving here, here's a post for you! We live on the island... Read More


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    Quote from elppaym
    Aloha All!

    I would have to say I'm blessed to have been able to experience both worlds, Living in Hawaii and Vacationing in Hawaii!

    I'm Native Hawaiian and have a huge Ohana (family) in Hawaii. Kama'aina for those of you that have lived there or have friends there, are rates that our different than that tourists pay...it can be from local stores to hotel chains to tickets for events. So that's a plus...Kinda like being in Chicago and showing your I.D. to get discount rate into the Shed or Museum of Art, etc.

    For me and my family, my wife and I are both RN's, moving back to Hawaii would be something we talk about quite often in the past. The reality is we have a better quality of living staying here on the mainland than moving to Hawaii...It would be better for us to buy a condo in Honolulu and vacation than move...but that is our opinion, our situation.

    I have family that work in a variety of fields in Hawaii, it's just plain expensive...but that can be held true of anywhere...depending on the job market.

    I will say this...there is definitely a difference from living in Hawaii and Vacationing in Hawaii...

    for further research look at this link and talk to some locals, http://www.city-data.com/forum/hawaii/

    As for traffic, like any other city, its a mad house during rush hour...period!

    As for me, I've been back there 3 times to live, and every time I moved back to the mainland...maybe when we're older and the kids are grown up, but till then just to many opportunities on the mainland to compare...

    Elppaym....

    Thank you so much for your post. The link you gave is the best resource I have seen despite my hundreds of googling attempts to find something like that. After reading some posts over there for the past hour, I can tell that Aloha is alive and well.

    Again, thanks for sharing the info....it will come in handy during the planning and decision making stages.
  2. 0
    Dear Dreamon:
    I'm glad you're listening. Glad one person is.

    Please, come to Hawai'i. Vacation here. Have the time of your life. You will love it! Stay living on the mainland, get a good paying job, manage your money right, and you'll have money left over. Come back to Hawai'i every year to vacation. That's smart, realistic, and do-able.


    We live in a 900 sq ft condo. Put another way, imagine a box that's 30 feet x 30 feet. That's 900 sq ft. Our condo has 2 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, a kitchen, dining area, living room. Can you visualize how small that is? We are on the 2nd floor. Rent is $1300 per month. I don't know about you, but to me, that's an outrageous amount of money to pay for rent for such a small place. And I'm thrilled that we are living here; we lucked out when we found a landlord that will take my dog.

    Many people could write that there are many places to live on Maui for far less money. And that's true. I know a lady who lives in a studio apartment, for only $600 a month. She has no air conditioning. When it's 81-85 degrees, with 50-75% humidity, 6 months out of the year, she has no A/C. Plus, her neighbors are LOUD! But it's not so bad. She works two jobs, 60 hours a week, and she's only home to shower between jobs & to sleep at night.

    Windward writes that it's a trade off. I agree with her, 100%. Sure, we could find a lower priced place to live, for less money, but would I want to? Heavens, no! So, we spend an outrageous amount of money to get a place that I like.

    Wages here are so low... and everything costs so much! After you pay for your car, insurance, gas ($3.65/gallon last time I checked), maintenance, repairs, rent, electric, food, clothes, anything health-related, K-mart / Wal-mart, etc. You have very little money left. After you pay your BASIC BILLS, there's very little money left to do anything fun.

    When you're here on vacation, you know you're gonna spend lots of money to go out and have fun. It's paradise! You can afford it because it's only for 1-2 weeks. Living here is a different story. Someone tell me... when you are just scraping by, just able to pay your basic bills, how is that fun? How is that paradise?

    I hope someone else is listening.
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    One bit of advice here. For all those thinking about moving to Hawaii I suggest you spring for a subscription to a local newspaper. The Sunday edition is enough. It will be delivered by mail to your mainland home complete with advertisements and you can read all about what is actually going on in the Islands. I had a subsciption to the Sunday editiion of the Honolulu Advertiser for a year before I moved here. The good and the bad, the classifieds, the letters to the editor.

    http://www.honoluluadvertiser.com/

    Message boards are not the best source of basic information anyway. The posts are invariably colored by the posters' personal experiences and opinions and, IME, most people coming here can find basic info (price of gas/milk/housing/etc) somewhere else on the internet and they just want reassurance that they're going to be just fine if they come here. Sure, they ask about "good neighborhoods" and that's okay but then...they go on to dispute what residents say, citing something they read somewhere.
    Maybe they'll be fine, maybe they'll crash and burn. The people who bomb out here and have less-than-wonderful experiences generally don't post on message boards and if they do they're roundly accused of "lacking aloha" by people who come to Hawaii on vacation and who are, with few exceptions and with all due respect, majorly clueless about life here, especially if they have even the slightest propensity for magical thinking or self-delusion. Yes, no matter how many times they've come here.
    And if I hear one more mainlander admonishing others for "lack of aloha" I think I'll just bury my head in a bowl of haupia and scream. Haupia is a wonderful scream muffler. Just remember to lift your head when taking a breath between screams.
    Would you like a list of links to sites with information about living in Hawaii, uncolored by message board angst?

    Here ya go:

    http://www.queensmedicalcenter.net/i...=66&Itemid=141
    Last edit by WindwardOahuRN on Nov 10, '09
    Lisa From Maui likes this.
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    Another resource site---a few years old so the info might be a bit dated:

    http://ssl.honoluluadvertiser.com/li...paradise/2007/
    OkieICU_RN and Lisa From Maui like this.
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    dh = dear husband pto = paid time off fob = fresh off the boat
    heco = hawai'i electric company, your electric bill hvcb = ??? military pcs = ???


    okie wrote: "after reading some posts over there (at other websites) for the past hour, i can tell that aloha is alive and well."

    okie, you and i have very different outlooks. i've lived here for 11 months. for me, allnurses.com (an) posts have been filled with aloha! they tell it like it is. i've sent private messages to some an posters, and i've talked on the phone to some an posters. they help me to realize that i'm not a failure. hawai'i is in the absolute toughest economy it's had in 20 years. they help me to realize that it's not about me being screwed up, it's not about what i'm doing wrong. hard times, closed doors, rejection... it's happening everywhere, to everyone.


    koi wrote: "those who do survive here posses the following characteristics... tremendous motivation to make a life here--as if the captain burned the ships after making landfall."

    okie, there is a big difference between moving... mainland to mainland vs mainland to islands. my husband and i spent years furnishing our house. if we moved to another mainland state, we could have loaded up a huge uhaul van & driven it across the country. my husband is used to driving huge tractor-trailers, so he would have been comfortable driving it.

    moving to hawai'i is different. we looked at shipping prices, and realized it would have cost us just as much $$ to ship furniture as it would cost to buy new stuff here. when we moved here, he gave a closet full of important stuff to a friend of his, for storage. we loaded up one pallet of stuff, 4 ft x 4 ft x 6 ft tall, and shipped it to maui, for about $1100. we brought four suitcases of stuff. we had a 4 bedroom house, and we sold everything else we had. everything we had built up for five years was torn apart in three months. that was really really hard.

    six months after we got here, we were walking through a furniture store. i walked up to one particular table, i kept quiet, but tears started streaming down my face. my husband asked me what was wrong. i whispered to him, "we had that table back home." i thought of all the conversations i had with my girlfriends, sitting at that table. and then i thought of all the other things in our house, and all the memories those things were connected to. the tears wouldn't stop.

    as women, we get emotionally attached to our homes, much the same way men get emotionally attached to the classic car or watch or tool set their dad gave them. it's not just about the financial cost of things. it's about the psychological/ emotional cost as well. i do think it would be easier if we had our old furniture here. our condo would have felt less foreign, would have felt more like home.

    going back to the idea of aloha... when i read, "the captain burned the ships," i felt aloha. koi may not have been trying to give me empathy, but he (she?) did. koi knows where i am coming from. the ship had burned. i had never put it into those words, but koi hit the nail on the head. i have no other choice. i have to make it here. reading about resilience, independence, cultural tolerance, emotional and cognitive flexibility helps to remind me that moving here brings with it a huge learning curve. it takes it's toll on a person. in the last 11 months, i've heard many locals talk about the "first year initiation." it's kind of like what winward wrote. it's about paying your dues. like what koi wrote. it's about survival.


    okie, it may not seem like aloha to you. it's definitely aloha to me.

    all in all, the 20-30 other island nurses who post here have helped me realize that it may be year 2015 before the economy turns around and i can get a job as a new grad. they have been very clear with that. i took all that information and made a decision. i have no idea why my husband was given his job here. i don't know why the universe (spirit, higher power, alpha-omega, creator, the source) dropped a job in his lap, and moved us here. but, while i'm here, i'm going to make the best of it, and get my bachelor's if science in nursing (bsn) done. if the economy still hasn't turned around by then, i'll go for my masters.

    the people here have given me information, given me clarity, given me real answers, honest answers.
    in my opinion, from my perspective, that's not just kokua. that's aloha.
    mcubed45 and WindwardOahuRN like this.
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    WindwardOahuRN: That was great advice about getting a subscription to the Honolulu newspaper. I had previously read the links from the Queen's website, and I do think it is a great resource for people to be aware of.

    I do, sort of, understand what you are saying about the message boards. I really do like the message board (Citydata) for breaking down the communities and a top 10 tips list for moving to Hawaii. There are many posts about the downside of moving to and/or living in Hawaii on the message boards too, some of which I didn't know I needed to consider. To me, it's real experiences of people who have been able to be successful in their moves to Hawaii and others who weren't as successful and gave insight into why they weren't.

    In reality, you, more than anyone else, who has been as active on the boards, are a success story (I am NOT slamming anyone else by saying this!). That was as good a reason as any for me to try and glean insight from you into how someone else might be successful in moving too. I wanted to learn from you.

    All I was trying to say about the "aloha" is that I specifically sought information here, on allnurses, because I thought some level of rapport was already there with us all being nurses. My perceptions of the word "aloha" are simply: being helpful to one's fellow human (or nurse for the purposes of this board) and sharing of information bad AND good. It just felt, to me, like information was mostly bad and rarely good. The past few posts have provided valuable resources and information and I really am truly grateful for the information.

    Lisa: I am glad to have seen your candor about the trials and tribulations in moving to Hawaii . It was a very moving story about you seeing YOUR furniture in the store and realizing those memories that were attached to your belongings. That is something I could have never envisioned or considered without you telling that story. It was meaningful.

    Best of luck to you in pursuing your BSN and I hope that the upswing in the economy will happen sooner, rather than later. I wish you the greatest success in finding a nursing position and continuing with your educational goals.

    I apologize if I have offended anyone here, it truly was not my intention.
    Lisa From Maui likes this.
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    1 bedroom, 1 bath apartment in Makiki (Honolulu), 639sqft. Sell price: $260K. Gotta love it.
    Lisa From Maui likes this.
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    koi, thank you for the post!
    for those of you not good at math... 640 sq feet... put another way... that's 20 feet x 32 feet.
    depending on your credit and down payment, if you bought it for $ 260,000 your mortgage payment could be $1500 to $2200 per month. i'm guessing it's a condo. let's not forget an association fee. that could be $200 - $500 per month, on top of your mortgage.


    dear mainlanders,
    if you have the money to vacation here once a year, and to see hawai'i as paradise, relaxing, calm, soothing...
    if hawai'i could be an escape for you... why on earth would you want to live here?


    by the way, as people are reading these posts, if you like what someone wrote (me or anyone else), please click kudos and thank that person. mahalo!
    koi310 likes this.
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    Aloha all!

    Love the examples about the cost of dwellings!
    Remember it's an Island and space is limited. Something you'll soon realize after being there for a while and having drove around the entire Island in less than a day.

    Shipping things to the Island...If you've ever ordered something online or from a catalog, you'll notice the shipping exceptions: they usually don't include Hawaii, and if they do it's at an increased cost.

    Economy is bad on the mainland, and it's bad on the Island. Google "Tent City Hawaii" and you'll see what I'm talking about. The ones that live in the Tent cities say that they are "house-less not homeless, because Hawaii is there home" with that being said...living in Hawaii is a way of life. Yes it's part of the United States...but it has it's own culture. If you are going it would be in your best interest to try to understand the lingo...Yes English is spoken, but "pigdin" is a mix of English, Hawiian and Slang that the Locals and residents use on a day-to-day basis. It's like another language.

    I moved back multiple times, doing work from construction to tour guide driver. It's doable but like anything there will be change. You'll give up some things to acquire different things: such as beach, water, and sun!

    I look at it this way, it's a paradise and lots of people want to live in paradise. Meaning that for every job there is a lot of applicants and competition...and that is for every job there. Not unlike the situation over here on the mainland due to the economy.

    But, if it's your dream, you can make it your vision and make it reality. Not gonna be easy, but then the best things in life are never easy!

    Maika'I pomaika'i (good luck)
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    >>Shipping things to the Island...If you've ever ordered something online or from a catalog, you'll notice the shipping exceptions: they usually don't include Hawaii, and if they do it's at an increased cost.<<

    Over the years I've made it a practice not to buy from businesses that impose a surcharge on shipping to Hawaii unless it's something I desperately want or need and have no hope of ever finding here.
    A lot of catalogue places just charge a standard charge for shipping anywhere in the US. Amazon.com is my absolute favorite. Their prices on so many different items are fantastic. Not only books and media items but small appliances, clothing. Most things sold directly through Amazon.com qualify for free shipping if the order is more than $25 and that includes shipping to Hawaii.
    I like Macys.com and Target.com too. Many times you can take advantage of their special free shipping offers. The advantage to shopping at catalogue stores that have local outlets is that you can return unwanted items to the local store. Sears no longer has a catalogue but Land's End is owned by Sears so you can return their catalogue items to any Sears store. JC Penney has no stores on the island any more (I miss them...) but they do have one or two cataloque return desks somewhere. When they first closed down their department stores here they had lots of catalogue desks in the corners of local stores but no more. It's too much of a hassle to return stuff to their catalogue places now so I just don't bother ordering from them anymore.
    Zappos.com is another one. I order my work sneakers from there because I simply cannot find them here. I get exactly the color and style I want, free shipping (and free return shipping too).
    I do admit that you have to be a little more resourceful to get bargains here but it can be done.
    The "traditiion of rip-off" is alive and well here. You'll often hear "well, we have to charge so much because of shipping." BS, bigtime.
    Example: We're re-doing our bathroom. Gutted the place and in the process of tiling, etc. Fun.
    We went to several local suppliers looking for a pre-made shower niche. This is a relatively small (about 12"x18"X4" deep) box made out of structural foam that you inset into a wall. You tile over it and use it for shampoo bottles, soap, etc. Not a big deal.
    After researching it online we found that the usual price was about $60-$75, retail. Price at local Hawaii retailers? About $130. "Well, it has to be shipped from the mainland." LOL---the thing weighs about two pounds and is well within the shipping size restrictions of the USPS. No way does it cost up to $70 to ship that thing here.
    We contacted the manufacturer, located in Michigan, and had it sent to us directly from them. It arrived here in five days. Total cost, including shipping? $76.
    Beware the "Tradition of Rip-off." Sometimes you can't get around it but sometimes, with a bit of determination and research (YAY for the internet), you can.
    Things DO cost more here, in general (especially large appliances) and some of that can truly be justified by shipping costs but some of it is just greedy BS on the part of merchants.
    Here is a very old series that was in the Honolulu Star-Bulletin that, in many ways, still applies today. It's what we walked into when we moved here:

    http://archives.starbulletin.com/spe...ice/index.html

    And as much as the Big Box stores were maligned when they first came here, IMO they've made a huge difference in the comfort and affordability of daily life in Hawaii. Not only by providing availability of a wide range of goods but also by providing competition to those merchants who used the "Tradition of Rip-off" mentality to their advantage for so long.
    Last edit by WindwardOahuRN on Nov 12, '09


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