Island Fever Island Fever | allnurses

Island Fever

  1. 1 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 of Maui. My husband is working on the island of Kauai this week. He told me that's where Jurassic Park was filmed; the island is tropical, green, gorgeous! I'm thinking about joining him for the week-end. Back home, if we wanted to take a week-end vacation, we would
    $ 30 fill up my gas tank, drive 200-300 miles to another city or small town,
    $ 200 hotel room for 2 nights
    $ 30 fill up my gas tank, drive back home (my car was smaller, got better mileage)
    That's $ 260 total + meals.

    Here, in Hawai'i, it's another story. I just checked prices:

    $ 260 airfare Maui to Oahu to Kauai for 2 people
    $ 100 rental car for 2 days
    $ 200 hotel room for 2 nights
    $ 200 airfare Kauai to Oahu to Maui for 2 people
    That's $ 760 total + meals

    My husband is on Kauai for business already, and his company will pay for his plane ticket back home, so that will save us some money. Minus the cost of his plane ticket, it will cost $ 530 for me to join him, and us to make it a week-end vacation. Why do I write this... to let you nurses on the mainland know that Hawai'i is an expensive place to live... in more ways than you think. -- Lisa ;-)
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  2. 58 Comments

  3. Visit  Slobgob profile page
    #1 2
    Cost for a Minnesota resident to relax on a beach in Maui: A few grand.
    Cost for Lisa from Maui to relax on a beach in Maui: Free.

    Does that make you feel better? =P~
  4. Visit  dreamon profile page
    #2 0
    Great topic Lisa!

    I've been alive almost 3 decades and I haven't been to Hawaii yet. Everytime I look at airfare prices to just go for a week my dreams are shot down for the time being.

    I think I would love to live out there, but hearing about the COL always makes me pause. Is it just rent and airfare that is so costly? Is the gas and groceries very high also? Is a car an absolute must?
  5. Visit  Lisa From Maui profile page
    #3 0
    Slobgob:
    *smile* In this allnurses hawaii forum, there are many nurses from the mainland with many questions. They want to know what it's like to live here. My intention, when writing the original post, is to give them an idea, a REALISTIC idea, of what it's like to live here.

    *smile* As for me relaxing on a beach... Hmmmmm... I've never enjoyed just sitting on a beach. If I'm at the beach, I would prefer to do something active. *still smiling* For us, 2009 is the year of the snorkel. I'm hoping 2010 will be the year of the paddleboard.

    Lisa ;-)

    P.S. Slobgob... I've been reading your posts for a few months now... and I say this with curiosity AND respect... are you Kane or Wahine?
  6. Visit  Lisa From Maui profile page
    #4 0
    Dear Dream On:
    Vacationing here and living here are two completely different experiences.

    If you've got the money to vacation here, I say, GO FOR IT! I would HIGHLY recommend Maui! Much less crowded than Oahu, and lots and lots of things to do. It's a fantastic place to go on vacation!

    If you vacation here, I would say yes, definitely, get a rental car. You'll have more options for places to go.
    Keep in mind... if the hotel you stay at does not have a fridge and small kitchen, then you'll spend lots of $$ on eating out.

    My closest female friend is getting married next February, & coming here for their honeymoon. I'm helping her plan the honeymoon, and I'm having a blast! Can't wait to show her around the island. She's gonna love it!

    Lisa ;-)
  7. Visit  thekid profile page
    #5 0
    I lived on the big island for a year and felt trapped because we could barely afford to visit Oahu. I missed Oahu and the city pulse so badly that we went back. I'd rather pay 1500 for a one bedroom crammed in waikiki than 1000 for a three bedroom in the jungle. call me weird

    yes vacationing is expensive. luckily we live two streets from waikiki beaches and we enjoy being out at the beach daily..and we are very active (I can't lay in the sand and bake either). Dinner and drinks kill the budget so we don't do that much. We are content being outside.

    But to go to Vegas or Arizona (home) yes the cost of airfare is crazy..i have family in the desert so we don't pay hotel costs. I'm in Arizona at the moment to do a clinical rotation at Mayo (so I can get licensed in state of Arizona too and travel back and forth). I am REALLY loving the mainland at the moment..love long open freeways and the variety of shopping. Cheap food too..my grocery bill has been cut in half. I don't miss the water since we were just in Sedona. Come summer time i hope to have something more full time in Hawaii but we'll see.

    Vacations are hard to come by due to the cost but living in Hawaii is sort of like a vacation at least every other day
  8. Visit  Slobgob profile page
    #6 0
    A few years ago I accidentally went into the Wahine bathroom...

    ... and got major stink-eye. =)
  9. Visit  Lisa From Maui profile page
    #7 0
    Dear Mr. Stinkeye: I laughed out loud when I read your response. Thank you for the humor. -- Lisa ;-)
  10. Visit  OkieICU_RN profile page
    #8 1
    Lisa,

    Gosh girl, you need to research cheap ways to vacation. I can see the airfare is about $400 for 2. But the place to stay and car rental are WAY more than I would ever pay.

    I'm here on Oahu again for the 5th time in 3 years. I paid $130 give or take a few cents for a full size car for a week. Would have found an economy or compact car for cheaper if I didn't need the size this time. Also am in a place in Waikiki, less than 2 blocks to the beach for $600 for the week....included is a full kitchen, free parking, tax, etc. Rate is all inclusive.

    I went to Wal-Mart to buy groceries and thought I would try and really pay attention this time to prices. Milk wasn't $8/gal like I frequently hear, but $3.97 which is what I pay back home in Oklahoma. Bought some specialty bread for $2.97 a loaf, chips for $2.99 which is what I pay at home when they're on sale. Forgot my shampoo at home so decided to buy a full bottle and paid $4.97 which is about $0.50 more than I pay at home for the kind I buy. Gas is $3.13 at many locations, at home I filled up a couple of days before leaving and paid $2.39 (Oklahoma has one of the cheapest gas prices in the nation).

    Yes, I'm always looking to move here everytime I come. This is my 10th visit to Oahu and I have wated to move here since the first time. The move will be costly, deciding what to bring, what to mail, ship, pack on the plane, etc. Also, knowing I will have lots of start up costs like deposits, rent, new furniture (if I get something unfurnished) and household equipement and dry goods, etc. The pet situation is a pain in the butt too. We have 2 dogs and I don't know how feasible it will be to bring them which is somewhat difficulty. We may have to leave them with family...haven't decided yet.

    I understand that there are downfalls and it's different than moving from Little Rock, AR to Dallas, TX or something like that. I just would like to hear something.....anything.... positive about trying to make a move to Hawaii.
  11. Visit  Lisa From Maui profile page
    #9 3
    Dear Okie:

    Aloha! Thanks for your post. You wrote, "you need to research cheap ways to vacation." When I was in my 20s, I did find cheap ways to vacation. I would go camping, stay with friends, stay at cheap motels... I once stayed at a hostel that looked like bunk beds at summer camp. So yes, I have gone on cheap vacations. I am now in my mid 30's; my husband is in his early 40's. Our standards - his standards - are a little higher now. We no longer do Motel 6; we now stay at hotels that cost about 25% more than Motel 6. (Put another way, if Motel 6 costs $60/night, then we stay at a place that costs $75/night.)

    My main point was... if now you live in Little Rock or Dallas, and you want to take a week-end vacation to a town 100 miles away, you can go super-cheap. You can take your own car, load it up with your own camping supplies, grab your own cooler, load it up with groceries, pay for gas, and go! You can't do that here. If you want to go to another island, you've got to take a plane or a ferry. If you take a plane, you're gonna pay alot of $$ to get all that camping equipment there. If you want to take a ferry, I don't know about the costs there. To go between islands, it's really hard to go cheap!

    My husband works with locals. We live on the island of Maui. For one week he worked on another island, Kauai. He went with four employees who have all lived on Maui for over 20 years. Three out of four have never been to Kauai. You can't just get in your car and drive there. Hawai'i is just different.


    My best (female) friend lives back home, on the mainland. She's in nursing school. She tells me that she wants to get her RN, get some experience, and move here. I held my tongue. I didn't say what I was really thinking. Truth is... I would tell her to keep living at home (on the mainland) and vacation here twice a year for two weeks.

    I'm glad you wrote, "I understand that there are downfalls." True. Very true.

    You wrote, "I just would like to hear something.....anything.... positive about trying to make a move to Hawaii." Well, here's something positive. Yes, you absolutely can bring your dogs here. Once they get here, you won't have to worry about rabies. There is no rabies in Hawai'i. And it won't cost you $2000 to bring each dog here. When we brought my dog here, she flew from the mainland to Honolulu to Maui, same day. Didn't spend one night in quarantine. After we added up all the costs, from beginning to end, it only cost us $1200. For one dog. More positive stuff... if your dog does happen to bring fleas into your home, and you get a really bad infestation, you don't have to live with them forever. You CAN get rid of them. Between the vet visit, the exterminator, the carpet cleaning, and the Advantix-type medication, it only cost us $400.

    Another positive thing about moving here... re. your family and friends back home... you will realize how much you love them, and how much they mean to you.

    You MIGHT learn that real joy will never be found at another job, in another state, with another boyfriend (or husband), when you're skinnier, richer, drive a nicer car, wear nicer clothes, earn more money, get the degree, or get the promotion.

    The truth is not... I'm not happy now, but I'll be happy AFTER I move to Hawai'i.
    The truth is... REAL JOY is found, wherever I'm living, today, right here, right now.

    Something positive... you might learn that in Hawai'i. Lisa ;-)
  12. Visit  OkieICU_RN profile page
    #10 1
    Lisa, Mahalo for your response. I appreciate your aloha spirit in mocking my post.

    Since we are in the same age range, I'm certain you can understand that I haven't stayed in a Motel 6 in many, many years either. Unlike you, I have never had the adventure of staying in a hostel though in my younger days it probably would have been fun to backpack around the US, Europe, etc. staying in hostels. As I was writing my previous post, it was in jest that I suggested ways to find cheaper ways to vacation. I just happen to have a knack for it and I help friends and family find things that they couldn't find on their own. I well understand your frustration with having to pay a high price for travel to go anywhere. It's just one of those prices one plans for and pays when living here. Certainly you can imagine that living smackdab in the middle of the continental US requires significant travel to get to any beach, so I can sympathize with you in some respects.

    After having researched many things involved in moving to Oahu, I know I can bring my dogs. It's just a matter of whether we will since they will have to live in a condo or small house and become confined a lot more than they are now running free in the backyard. I too have checked out the cost of obtaining the vaccines and tests required to bring them here and avoid quarantine altogether or only the 5 day period. Your vet where you are from must be far more expensive than mine because it was around $300 per dog to get everything done. I'm sure if my dogs had a flea issue and it became a household issue, it would likely cost the amount you quoted whether I was in Oklahoma or Hawaii.

    I will miss my friends and family no differently than if I lived in Washington state or Washinton D.C. than I would if I were in Hawaii. The cost is only slightly more to come to Honolulu than it is to go to San Francisco or LA, so I would still visit often and they too would visit me because they will not have to pay for a hotel or car.

    I'm sorry to hear you have had such a difficult transition. Many people do whether they move 10 miles or 3000 miles. Certainly it is important to be happy with oneself and not rely on external gratification. Hawaii isn't going to bring me or anyone else happiness. It's just that people like to be different places. Some people want to live in Florida, others in New York City, still others in Alaska. It just so happens that I would like to live here, in Hawaii.

    I'm sure I will be waiting indefinitely for a helpful reply.
  13. Visit  WindwardOahuRN profile page
    #11 1
    OkieICURN wrote:

    >>I'm sure I will be waiting indefinitely for a helpful reply.<<

    So just what is your question?
    I'm not all that sure you're headed here anyway, seeing as just a few weeks or so ago you posted that "you really want to move" to Seattle (??).
    Fantasies are nice but reality is a kick in the butt.
    Anyway---here are some issues to ponder:
    1) Extreme difficulty finding a place that will rent to someone who has dogs.
    2) Extreme difficulty in finding a job---you've apparently got some experience but so do many many MANY unemployed nurses here. And yes, facilities DO count residential stability (read: local, long-time resident, even military spouse, not FOB) as a big factor when hiring.
    3) Oh...and if you do manage to snag a job, guess what happens if census drops? You're the first to be cut. You stay home. No PTO accrued, no pay, period. I've seen FT nurses work as little as one day per two week pay period in times of low census. I've also seen newcomers head back home after an extended period of low census, unable to survive here.
    4) The average stay for PROFESSIONAL people who are transplants to Hawaii (not beach bums or trust fund babies) is two years. The bloom is off the rose and the honeymoon is over by then. Step into the revolving door that is life in Hawaii. Aloha, baby.
    5) Things undoubtedly work out better if you bring a fair amount of cash as a buffer during lean times. Excellent credit rating is a plus, too, when apartment hunting and, increasingly, when job hunting. I have no idea what your cash flow/credit standing situation is so don't get defensive, just thought I'd toss this in the pot.
    6) Resist the urge to convince yourself that you can put up with anything as long as "WE ARE IN HA-WHY-EEEEEE!!!!" It's at best unrealistic and at worst downright delusional.

    We've been here nearly ten years and doing fine. Please re-read issue #5 above. Just as a point of information we would survive without my income, if need be. DH is retired with a decent pension, cars are paid for, just six years left on a mortgage that's got a monthly payment of not much more than most decent apartments rent for. Kids are grown, we can travel a bit when we want to, my job is secure (YAY UNION). My everyday stress level is pretty low. Nice garden, nice little house (doing renovations ourselves), nice neighbors, good dog.
    We've accepted the trials and tribulations of living here and yes, there are many. They've been discussed at length in this forum. Like clockwork, every few months or so, there will be someone with dreams of moving here that will ARGUE with residents about what it is like to live here. The classic "cost-of-a-gallon-of-milk" presentation gets old. My take on this is that they are actually arguing with themselves, trying to convince THEMSELVES that all these people who live here are wrong and they are right.
    Advice? As always, my advice is come on over and give it a try. The worst that can happen is that you use up all your savings and head back home.

    LisaFromMaui is venting, as many of us who have lived here a while tend to do.
    You're fantasizing, as many who are on vacation tend to do.

    Enjoy your vacation.
    Last edit by WindwardOahuRN on Nov 8, '09
  14. Visit  OkieICU_RN profile page
    #12 1
    so just what is your question?
    well, my original statement (rather than a specific question) was: i just would like to hear something.....anything.... positive about trying to make a move to hawaii.

    i'm not all that sure you're headed here anyway, seeing as just a few weeks or so ago you posted that "you really want to move" to seattle (??).
    definitely. i'd love to live in seattle. i love it there too and it's so completely different from hawaii. i have never said that i want to move to hawaii next week and stay for the rest of my life. it may be one place, it may be the other, or it could be both! in reality, we're waiting another year or two to become empty nesters and for me to decide on graduate school.

    in asking questions about moving to seattle, many people are happy to tell others about the pitfalls of living in seattle. very high cost of living - comparable to hawaii if living downtown, near puget sound. the rain and gloomy weather almost all the time, etc. and the list goes on. one thing that is different though is that most people will extend further information to not only make an informed decision, but give information on how to make it a success. like: here's the downsides, but it can be done! they are talking about how wonderful seattle is and what it has to offer. i find that extremely rare on this forum.

    1) extreme difficulty finding a place that will rent to someone who has dogs.
    this is very helpful to know. i don't know if i'd want to have a dog(s) if i were going to live in a condo. especially since my dogs are big. really, that is helpful.

    2) extreme difficulty in finding a job---you've apparently got some experience but so do many many many unemployed nurses here. and yes, facilities do count residential stability (read: local, long-time resident, even military spouse, not fob) as a big factor when hiring.
    no military, no family here, etc. i get that. i haven't sought out the assistance of any staffing agencies, travel companies, nurse recruiters or applying to any position since it will be some time yet before we decide "for sure" where and when we want to go. so who knows, maybe things will be better at that point for everyone seeking a nursing position. if not, it is something that will add to our decision.

    3) oh...and if you do manage to snag a job, guess what happens if census drops? you're the first to be cut. you stay home. no pto accrued, no pay, period. i've seen ft nurses work as little as one day per two week pay period in times of low census. i've also seen newcomers head back home after an extended period of low census, unable to survive here.
    just for clarification.....why would i be the first one cancelled? if i were full time staff and the census drops, do they not take turns amongst the nurses on staff or on that unit?

    4) the average stay for professional people who are transplants to hawaii (not beach bums or trust fund babies) is two years. the bloom is off the rose and the honeymoon is over by then. step into the revolving door that is life in hawaii. aloha, baby.
    it may be that way for me and my family too. i have often asked (not here) the question for those moving to hawaii....how long does it take to look at the mountains, the ocean, the views all around and not be awe struck? i realize it will happen.

    5) things undoubtedly work out better if you bring a fair amount of cash as a buffer during lean times. excellent credit rating is a plus, too, when apartment hunting and, increasingly, when job hunting. i have no idea what your cash flow/credit standing situation is so don't get defensive, just thought i'd toss this in the pot.
    excellent points made here. definitely working on that. paying off student loans, socking away money to have "just in case" things don't turn out to be all lilikoi and plumerias. i'll ask more questions about this at the end.

    6) resist the urge to convince yourself that you can put up with anything as long as "we are in ha-why-eeeeee!!!!" it's at best unrealistic and at worst downright delusional.
    agreed.

    we've been here nearly ten years and doing fine. please re-read issue #5 above. just as a point of information we would survive without my income, if need be. dh is retired with a decent pension, cars are paid for, just six years left on a mortgage that's got a monthly payment of not much more than most decent apartments rent for. kids are grown, we can travel a bit when we want to, my job is secure (yay union). my everyday stress level is pretty low. nice garden, nice little house (doing renovations ourselves), nice neighbors, good dog.
    we've accepted the trials and tribulations of living here and yes, there are many. they've been discussed at length in this forum. like clockwork, every few months or so (i see stuff more often that that! ), there will be someone with dreams of moving here that will argue with residents about what it is like to live here. the classic "cost-of-a-gallon-of-milk" presentation gets old.
    i couldn't agree with you more which i why i get so annoyed when people living here always bring up how much the milk, bread and gas costs. i'm not trying to argue, i'm trying to ask for real, information....tell me the truth.....it may be $8.00 in maui, but it simply isn't on oahu because i just paid for the stuff 2 days ago! that is reality.

    my take on this is that they are actually arguing with themselves, trying to convince themselves that all these people who live here are wrong and they are right.
    i really don't think that is true. i think people are trying to understand what other areas are we not seeing that no one else talks about? like i "hear" electricity is very expensive here but i have no idea how much a monthly electric bill would be. same for gas, water/sewage, etc. i hear about how bad traffic is here but i drive here everytime i come and i don't find it all that bad. i realize i don't have such "hard deadlines/timelines" as a vacationer; but those who live here do have to be at work at a certain time and want to get home as quickly as possible just like everywhere else in the world. as a nurse, if you work 12's, do you find traffic to be incredibly difficult to deal with at those hours of the day?

    advice? as always, my advice is come on over and give it a try. the worst that can happen is that you use up all your savings and head back home.
    good advice and true reality.

    lisafrommaui is venting, as many of us who have lived here a while tend to do.
    but damn, if you guys are venting...why not vent to each other, even within the forum? this thread as well as many others are directed towards mainlanders desiring to move here. warning about pitfalls is one thing, but a helping hand might be nice too. for instance, direct people towards resources that you may know of that others do not about making a successful move here. how much money to save up, what will have to be paid once here.

    for instance, i find that many apartments to rent state that they are furnished. i have read conflicting information on bringing furniture from the mainland, buying it here, or it coming with ones apartment or condo.

    i have also read conflicting information about shipping a car. at what point is it reasonable to ship ones own car? in other words, if the car is paid for, money is still owed, if it's only worth $2000 or if given many circumstances it would just be better to sell it and buy one here.

    how much money is enough to have for cushion? i realize this is dependant on a lot of factors, but just thought i'd throw it out there.

    you're fantasizing, as many who are on vacation tend to do.
    that may be, but one day i'm hoping my fantasy becomes reality. trust, i will find the answers i need be it here, or elsewhere.

    enjoy your vacation. [/quote]
    thank you!

    i'm not necessarily asking you or anyone on the hawaii pages to answer my specific or non-specific questions. it would just be helpful if you or others would direct me to resources where questions could be answered. i see now that allnurses is probably not the best place to ask these kinds of questions, but since i'm a nurse asking other nurses, i just thought it would be reasonable to expect some level of commraderie in asking for information. if you wanna answer these questions, that's cool. if not, that's cool too, no big deal.

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