Aloha and welcome back! If you missed part one, you should go back and check it out here.
In 2010 my wife and I vacationed in Maui, and fell in love. After talking, planning, procrastinating, and then finally taking action, we moved to Maui, Hawaii on April 8th of 2014. At the time of this writing we just signed a two-year lease here.
Moving here was one of the hardest things our family has ever experienced. We did a lot of research before moving here, but what we found is that a lot of the information was dated.
In the first post I talked about how hard it is to find a place, how hard it is to get a job before you're actually on the island, and how different living here is from vacationing here. Today I would like to give you a few more helpful tips if your dream is to move to Hawaii.
I tried to make these as general as possible because of the difference between the islands. We moved to Maui, but you might want to move to Oahu. I'm only trying to hit on the points that apply to all islands.
4. Have a large emergency fund
I've heard people say that they don't want to wait until they have a bunch of money saved up for their move here, they would rather find creative ways to make up the income. If you can make that work, I'm happy for you. The likely reality though is if you move here without any money saved, you probably won't last very long.
An emergency fund is a smart way to prepare for any unexpected emergencies. Chances are you will need to use it. You will spend a lot of money right away when you move here in a few different ways:
- Renting. To rent a place in Hawaii you will likely need to pay the first month's rent, and the security deposit. The security deposit is usually the same price as the rent. For us that meant dropping3,900 right away. We paid for rent in March just to secure the place even though we didn't move until April, along with the security deposit, and first month. Depending on the type of place you get, you could be spending thousands of dollars your first few days on the island.
- Vehicle. If you did not ship a vehicle, you will probably need to buy one. We didn't own a car for the first 45 days we were here. We used public transportation. This is OK but we needed to buy a car. Factor a vehicle in your expenses if you're not shipping one.
- Furniture. If you did not ship furniture, you'll need to buy some.
- Food. You have to eat. Right? Food is not cheap here.
You can find the things you need from places like Craigslist at a reasonable price, but the point is you'll need money when you get here, and it will go fast. Having an emergency fund will greatly help your stress level!
5. Realize this isn't the mainland
This isn't the mainland, I have seen several bummer stickers reminding me of that. Things work differently, and move at a slower pace. They sometimes call it "Hawaiian time." As soon you get off the plane, leave mainland life behind, and start to embrace your new life.
If you move here thinking this is going to be like some place you moved from, you probably won't make it. You have to embrace life the way it is here, and embrace the Hawaiian culture, not try to change things to what you think is best.
6. Figure out what's really important for your life
Yes, it's expensive here. Yes, it's harder to get certain things here. Yes, life is completely different than the mainland. However, if you want to move here, it's for a reason.
I'm guessing that reason is because you want a slower pace of life. You want to experience the beauty of Hawaii, and enjoy outdoor life all year. You want fresh, organic food, and to swim in the ocean whenever you want.
You may not be able to live as "good" as you did on the mainland, but life is about more than stuff, and your definition of good changes once you live here. You're not going to remember all that stuff at the end of your life; you're going to remember this incredible experience.
So what happens if it doesn't work out?
I wrote another article for the Huffington Post. As expected, there were many comments. The one comment that you see, and one that we hear a lot from people is, "it's only been six months, I hope it works out for them."
My first response is ME TOO! However, what if it doesn't? What if we crash, and burn, and have to move back? My answer is SO WHAT! If it doesn't work out, at least I'll come to the end of my life with NO regrets. Years later we'll tell our grand children about the time grandma and grandpa moved to Hawaii, and we'll all have a good laugh.
Too often we let the fear of failure hold us back from living an amazing life, and most of the time it's not justified. If your dream is to be a bull fighter that's one thing, but if your dream is a better job, moving to a new place, losing weight, and so on, what's the worse that could happen?
So what if you fall flat on your face, get back up, and keep pushing forward. The worse thing you can do is let fear or the negative voices of others keep you from your dreams. My father died suddenly with regret in his heart, and he begged me not to do the same.
If Hawaii doesn't work out, we'll do what we have to do, but we won't have the regret of an unfilled dream in our heart. Don't let the people that say "I hope it works out" keep you from living the life that they will only dream about living. Chase that dream and die empty.
It's not going to be easy, and it's going to take some time, but you can make your dream of moving to Hawaii a reality. Don't let anyone tell you otherwise, they're wrong!
Do you have a dream of moving to Hawaii?