#Hawaii : Love it or Leave it

April 7, 2015

[Haleiwa Town, North Shore]
I love where I live or should I say, I've grown to really like living on Oahu. You might read this and think..."Duh! But who wouldn't love it there?!" The truth is that most people that haven't visited here LOVE the idea of Hawaii but living here is another thing, completely. It takes an open-mind to navigate through the pitfalls and challenges of living faraway on an island, which are easily forgotten when taking in its charm and beauty.

Here's are six challenges that I had to overcome:

The Price of Paradise. 
Everything and I mean EVERYTHING is expensive here. Food, dining out, shopping, gas, and real estate all have a high sticker price. It's just something you have to get used to. There are many amazing products created and made locally but keep in mind all things are shipped here. Let me explain further. There is no manufacturing here outside of farming. So, even if a product is made here, its parts were probably manufactured elsewhere. The smallest of things are shipped here; even those things that are used to create and produce items sold locally. Nothing escapes high shipping costs which eventually is passed down to the consumer. 

Yes, the traffic is legendary. If you follow me on instagram, you probably have seen pictures of how congested the roads get here. You literally are moving at a snail's pace to drive a few miles. Nothing is far, but if there is an accident or construction roadblocks, it will take you hours to get to your destination. There are only so many places a road can lead you on an island and only a limited amount of shortcuts or back roads to take. I've prepared great playlists on my devices as well as increased my data plan on my phone so I can stream music to keep me entertained. 

The Culture
Not everybody is a native Hawaiian but the transplants have adopted the Hawaiian culture and its traditions. This little island state is a melting pot of polynesian, micronesian, asian, european and mainland cultures. Most people are descendants of a culture transplanted here generations ago, which makes it confusing for visitors and newer transplants like me to figure out between authentic Hawaiian traditions and things infused from other cultures. I was suprised to see a large asian influence, specifically japanese, on Oahu. However, I experienced authentic culture once we visited other and less populated islands. My favorite so far has been the Big Island. It was amazing and out of this world!

I assumed that once I was here, it would be easy to travel among all Hawaiian islands. Well, ah, No! See challenge #1. Intra-island travel is expensive and limited to airtravel. You can only take planes between islands. There is no ferry that you can use to island hop. However, there is one small cruise line that will take you to all the islands but that involves taking a vacation and time off from work and school. 

This is far from home. Period. I just had to get over being homesick other ways. It's been hard not being able to pick up the phone and chat (yes, I still like to use the phone for conversations) with friends and family on the mainland because of being in different time zones. Also, I can't tell you how many times I've gotten early morning wake-up calls at 3 a.m. because someone forgot to subtract six from nine. 

Luckily, I like the ocean and taking easy to intermediate hikes for fun. However, if you don't like the outdoors, specifically the beach and hiking, then living here can be monotonous. As with anybody living in a small town, one can get tired of doing the same things. It really forced me to try new activities and to repeat doing what I liked with different friends. 

I hope that as you read this you didn't feel like it was a complaint. The six things highlighted here are experienced by many that live here and are topics of many radio talk shows, too. Believe me, I've spent countless hours in my car listening to jokes and commentary about these while looking at this...

[Kapaa Quarry, Kailua]
[Pali lookout]
[Pali lookout]
[Makapuu lookout onto Waimanalo]
[Bellows Beach]
[Pililau Beach, Waianae]
Poof! All challenges have magically washed away. So, Hawaii love it or leave it? Well, I really like it, loved all that I've experienced and hate that I have to leave it in eight short weeks.

1 comment :

  1. Gorgeous photos friend. Im sorry you have to leave it....best of luck on your new adventure. Xo


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