Is Hawaii Worth It?


In the brand new issue of “Honolulu Magazine” that just hit newstands here, the cover asks this question: Is Hawaii Worth it?

It then cleverly lists the pros and cons:

Sunshine……………………………..$5.00 gallon milk

3rd Safest City in the U.S………Solid Gold Electric Bill

Mangoes from Neighbors……….Living w/ your parents till age 35

Surf’s Up!…………………………….You just can’t get there from here (anywhere!)

Then: “I Stay Broke” (local pidgin for I’m always broke!)

And: Median Single-Family Home Price: $597,000. ($625,00 Honolulu). Cost in Witchita? $155,200. In St. Louis: $126,800.

From Editor A. Kam Napier’s Page in Honolulu Magazine, Titled “Paying the Paradise Tax:

“Unlike the residents of 49 other states, who can only dream of living in Hawaii, we actually know what it’s like to live here. While there’s much to be grateful for, we know that Hawaii is not always a bed of roses, or even a lei of plumeria. Mainly, this is because we have what a friend of mine calls America’s “most expensive ordinary life.” According to MetroTrends, an online publication from the Washington, D.C.-based think tank, Urban Institute, Honolulu lost more residents between 2004 and 2010 through out-migration to other U.S. cities than it gained from in-migration. (Top three places to which Honoluluans fled: Los Angeles, San Diego and—shocking, I know—Las Vegas.) We also earned a D grade from MetroTrends for economic security, mainly for housing unaffordability.”

 So what do you think? Is Hawaii really worth it? Would it be worth it to you?

A hui hou! (til next time). If you’d like to subscibe to this blog, please click the “Follow” button to the right.

Aloha, Jamaica

4 thoughts on “Is Hawaii Worth It?

  1. Great to see another blog update! As I’ve mentioned in previous comments, I’m planning my first ever trip to Hawaii (Maui) this May (4 weeks from today, baby!), so hearing things about what real life is like for residents of Maui and Hawaii are very interesting to me. To mainlanders like me, Hawaii is an exotic getaway, a Shangri-La of beauty, a fantasy and a dream come true. Obviously perfection cannot be found anywhere on Earth, not even where waterfalls meet oceans and the sun rises over mystical mountaintops. But Hawaii–Maui–does have some pretty darn good claims to fame as far as nature goes, so I hope residents of the islands don’t take it for granted (though I’m sure many do).

    As an outsider planning a visit, I want you and anyone else who might stumble on this note to know that when I arrive in Hawaii, I’m not expecting perfection, but I am expecting Aloha. I’m expecting a relaxed friendliness I just don’t find too often here in New York. I’m expecting an easy-going populace and easy-going visitors who have relaxed into the romantic swoon of Maui’s charm. God and Mother Nature can show me the beautiful beaches, palm trees, and waterfalls, but I hope Hawaii’s natives will show me Aloha.

    I have a belief that the Aloha spirit is within all of us, no matter where on this planet we are, but Hawaiians are known for it. Hawaiians are famous for it. And Hawaiians are expected to provide it. No, not expected in a demanding, obnoxious, New Yorker way, but expected in the way we expect those graced with the blessing of living in Hawaii to show us how it has affected them. So when I visit Maui in a few weeks, I will bring my own Aloha spirit with me, my namaste recognition of the divine in everyone I meet. And I just know I will be welcomed to the Islands of Aloha warmly. And in case it needs to be said, I can’t wait!!!!!!! =)

    thanks as always for your blog. Keep up the great work!

    • Sean, you will love your trip to Maui and will never want to go back home! I took my first visit to Maui earlier this month and within in the first hour my boyfriend and I were already pleasantly surprised by how nice everyone was! Also, just the flow of the island. There’s a reason why they say “this ain’t the mainland, slow down.” No one seems to ever be in a rush and get this, cars let other cars MERGE! You’ll rarely ever see that in San Fran. It was also very evident that Maui is trying to conserve it’s natural beauty. The state has a BYOB law. Bring Your Own Bag. Don’t expect any of the business to provide plastic shopping bags for your purchases. Some business may provide paper bags, but at a cost. You can find a good reusable shopping bag at any ABC store.

      The Aloha spirit is so powerful it will embrace you and may never leave you 😉

      • Aloha, Thank you for your comment and observations about our very lovely island. I’m so glad you enjoyed your time here. How are you coming with your plans to move to Maui?
        Aloha, Jamaica

  2. I come from NY and NJ and although wages here are higher, I spend a lot more on food than I spent at say the Paia health food store. WF is another matter entirely. Eating out in HI has always been cheaper for us than it ever is here, maybe because in order to get a decent meal here, you need to spend a minimum of $70. Probably because we like Asian food when we eat out and it’s much more attainable there than in our section of NJ. Our family had our first vacation in HI in Kauai and we loved it despite the fact that many of the transplants had negative auras floating around them. But this April we spent in Maui and Oahu and fell in love particularly with Maui which we found to be the best blend of stuff to do, friendliness and overall variety in the landscape.

    My plan is to move us there with my online business paying the way. The only things I foresee as “problems” are rats and cockroaches! I hear chickens will eat the roaches, but what the heck will eat the rats!?

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