5 Tips for Relocating to Hawaii

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In 2015, I was given the opportunity to leave Oregon and move to Hawaii. I'd never been to the islands before but always dreamt of it, so when I was given the chance I took it, and moved my little family across the Pacific to Oahu, from the Willamette Valley to the Nu'uanu Valley. It's a different way of life on the islands, and I learned a lot in my first year. These are my top five tips if you're ready to say, "Aloha Oe," to mainland life and move to paradise.

Plan ahead for where you'll live. Look for rentals or property to buy and schedule showings as close to your arrival time as possible. You'll find that getting a place to live is easy, but takes time with application processing. You'll also want to be sure that you have an address before your household goods arrive in their shipment from the mainland since storing them will increase your moving costs. The right real estate agent can help you get a leg up on house hunting and help you select a home in the right neighborhood for your family.

Slow down! Life on the islands doesn't move as fast as the mainland. Hawaii has freeways and highways like everywhere else, but the speed limits are slower than you're probably used to, with 45 miles per hour being common on the interstates. It can take up to half an hour to travel a few miles depending on traffic, so be sure to give yourself plenty of time. Hawaii Time is more than a time zone and the locals don't usually like to rush.

Listen to the local radio. It's a great way to learn local slang and pronunciation for some of the more challenging Hawaiian words, and find out about local events that can help to immerse you in the amazing Hawaiian culture. One of the stations plays island style music which, if you're like me, always works to put you in a great mood, and some songs are covers that you'll recognize and learn to love in a different way. One of my favorites is a cover of Dr. Hook's "Sharing the Night Together" by Fiji.

Everything is delicious! Be prepared for the best flavors you've ever tasted, from Korean Fried Chicken, to lomi salmon, to lau lau and (oh my goodness) the Sweet Lady of Waiahole. Everything in Hawaii is so ono! Most local restaurants offer a plate lunch, which is a meal with a protein like Korean Friend Chicken or Kalua Pork, with sides of rice and macaroni "mac" salad, or all rice, no mac in my case. There are also restaurant specialties, like chili or loco moco. They'll usually offer a mini or regular sized. Not sure which to pick? Let your appetite decide!

Be respectful! The islands have a long and rich history, and the Hawaiian people are proud of their home. Many hikes on the islands will lead to or past ruins of the Hawaiian kings and ancestors, and we must be sure to leave them untouched to protect them for future generations and honor the people who left them behind. I recommend to check out the Bishop Museum and Iolani Palace for a closer look at the local history.

To say that it's easy to move to Hawaii would be an understatement, but it certainly isn't difficult. I did it, and I've never looked back! You can find most resources to make the move online, and I'm always glad to answer questions and share recommendations. Get in touch any time!