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Hawaii looks like a beautiful place. And I long to visit one day. It looks like perfection, like life there is a constant state of paradise and beauty. But I do know people who have lived there and it seems that paradise is more like every other place in the world, with it secrets and mundane routines. There is definitely a cost and a downside to the "perfect place." But hey... I'm still going.

Redditor u/Higglesworth98 wanted to hear truth from those that spend their days in paradise by asking.... People who live in Hawaii, what are some misconceptions and/or things people don't realize about island life? [Serious]

Same old, same old....

lilo and stitch water GIF Giphy

Life can often be very routine. There's less space to build new stuff so new developments are generally a much longer timeframe. If you're not comfortable going to the same two beaches, the same three restaurants and the same coffee shop on a regular basis, life can be very difficult here.

captain199

Island Staples

A major employer and source of residency is the US military.

Those of Japanese ancestry make up the second largest ethnicity.

Staples like groceries and gasoline cost a fortune to account for shipping costs.

Yesarooni

Alea....

Lived in Aiea for 3 years.

It's not all about Zippys, Hilo Hattie, and Abc stores.... Apart from the tourist stuff everyone is living and working normal jobs.

Dating is rough if your if your looking for a LTR. Dating pool is small, but tourist and military people we pretty cool for small stints in my case.

Also very few mexican food places. :(.

Orangeglazedcattails

Things of Nightmares....

Damn giant centipedes. Found one a good 10" long on our pillow before going to sleep one night. Also had one get stuck half way in a sticky trap, and I woke up to the sound of it dragging that box all over the kitchen tile trying to escape. Nightmare fuel.

It's a beautiful place to live and has a lot of advantages, but f**k centipedes.

bravehamster

On TV

This isn't a thing anymore, but in the 1960s and 1970s EVERY TV show would have their characters greeted by Hawaiian dancers and get a lei necklace as soon as they stepped off the plane in Honolulu. For awhile I think a lot of people believed this is what happens all the time.

AnthillOmbudsman

Loveless in Paradise....

Bench Press Hulk GIF by Love Island Giphy

Dating is hard in Hawaii. The population is small, and there is a joke that "people are waiting for someone to break up." I could see it being lonely there long term if you didn't find someone quickly or move there with someone.

Reddit

Before Cali....

Born and raised on the Big Island, live in California now.

I can only speak to my own experience in the town I grew up in, on the island I grew up on, but it's a pretty damned normal life, just happens to be in a very beautiful and unique place.

Like any other tourist destination, the vast majority of visitors only see what's on the path of the "guided tour" so to speak. When you peel back that curtain, you just see people living their lives like anywhere else.

Murdathon3000

Peek a Boo

scooby doo halloween GIF by Boomerang Official Giphy

It's not very easy to hide from police on a small island... so "don't do crime kids and stay in school" is a very important message here.

Jonukas96

Crazy Expensive....

I was born and grew up on the mainland. My wife and I have lived in Hawaii (Maui) for almost a decade now. It is definitely a lot more expensive to live here. 2 bags of groceries is generally in the $100 range. Rent is crazy. Gas is stupid expensive. The other end of that is that pay can be higher too, depending on the job. If you get a good job serving somewhere fancy, it's not uncommon to leave with $300-$500 for a shift.

We depend completely on tourism here to survive. So as much as tourists can be annoying, intrusive, rude, and entitled, we need them. Distance is weird. If I'm gonna drive 30 minutes somewhere, we better be having a whole day planned. Eating out somewhere casual is at least $30 for two people. It's really like living anywhere else tho honestly.

I have fast internet, Wal-Mart and Target aren't far away. My family is on the east coast, so seeing them is hard during normal times. Forget about it right now. So that sucks. Also, I miss hoodies, good sammiches, and the woods. But Maui is stunning and magical and living and breathing.

NakedScrub

Influence of the West....

dancer hawaii GIF by ali mac Giphy

Pre Western contact Hawaii had a long and awesome oral tradition, but the islands did not have a written language or written numbers until the 1820s. The Hawaiian Islands did not have a Western system of land surveying/map making/ recording the sale of land until late into the 19th century. Some of the earliest surveys are dated in the 1870s. To this day the state of Hawaii it has two different systems of land registration.

Title searches in Hawaii can be complicated and difficult because many of the original documents were originally written in Hawaiian (which is one of the official languages of the state). Even today there are many clouded titles on land and disputes as to actual ownership dating back to the days of the Hawaiian monarchy, and some of those claims are still in litigation more than a 100 years later.

Maui96793

Climate Needs

I am kind of surprised no one has said that the homeless population is outrageous in Hawaii.

saltywings

A big part of that is the fact that homeless people come from the mainland to be homeless here because it's a more livable climate.

I've met soo many homeless people who came from like Washington or Colorado.

And then also, when all the mental health hospitals were closed, there still hasn't been any programs or ways to help people who needed those services and therefore, homeless.

And then now Covid.

Hi_Supercute

Molokai'i it's just what it is...

Relaxed Island Life GIF by Sentosa Giphy

Depending on which island you're on, you legit can be out of food and have to wait on the barge to come by for basic crap.

It's like living in the mainland when you have shortages from storms and such. The grocery store just has what it has and if it doesn't wait a few days for the next barge.

On Maui and Oahu and the big island you don't really see this, but out on Molokai'i it's just what it is.

payperplain

Oahu

Born and raised on Oahu. Every local I know doesn't wear shoes or slippers in the house. And most dislike going to tourist spots (like Waikiki). Also a half hour drive is considered a long drive.

kira621

Bad Times

My dad moved to Oahu and stayed out there for many years. I would go visit when I could.

The biggest thing I noticed was the drugs and outright poverty that seems to go over looked. With that came violence. My dad got mugged and put in the hospital coming out of a bar. I was beat up walking out of a hotel once.

per_alt_delete

The Theme Park

We went to Kauai a couple years ago and while there we attended the agricultural fair. A local told us he dropped $500 on he family at the fair. He said that was it as far as amusement parks so every year the fair was the thing. It hit us then that for us we could go a couple hours to say Busch Gardens or a day to Disney World. If they were to go to anything like that other than the fair it would be a major haul to the mainland.

AllSoulsNight

Big Island

look at this turn around GIF by Shinesty Giphy

You don't honk (much) and NEVER flip off someone in traffic.

A quick shaka will do, since you may know them or see them at the store soon anyway.

We lived on O`ahu for a decade, and have family born and raised on there and the Big Island, but will never be "local".

Don't try to talk pidgin. I know the lingo and tonal inflection, but still, just no.

Wrathchilde

I'll be there for you...

Lived on Oahu for about 4 years from 2012-2016. How expensive everything is is definitely at the top of the list. The one that most people don't expect is that I had a hard time making friends. I'm guessing this could be hard in any tourism based place but I'd go to the restaurant or bar and meet tons of people. They were all there for the week. It seems that even residents my age were all only there for a short timeframe as well. I just had a constantly rotating group of friends and it got old.

That's part of the reason I moved back to the mainland. Also everyone was always stealing stuff. Mopeds and other goods get stolen all day every day if it's not locked, it's gone. It was frustrating the amount of stuff that would just go missing or get broken into.

All that being said, I would live there again. I do miss it every once in awhile.

FeelinFishy16

flying out...

Was stationed at Oahu. When I first got there I thought the place was beautiful and had a great time. But after 3 years I kinda got sick of all the disrespectful tourists and the fact that it is a small island and the only way for me to leave was flying.

aznsensation8

Haole

Being called a haole can be derogatory or neutral depending on how it's used. I'm a white woman married to a brown man. Once, we were having dinner out while I was pregnant and our server told us we were going to have the cutest hapa-haole baby. She was pretty nice and I'm pretty sure she said it completely innocuously.

Another time I was visiting the Big Island (I lived on Oahu) and was checking out an off-the-beaten-road beach that belonged exclusively to the locals. It was crystal clear that I wasn't welcome, and though they never called me it to my face, I heard them call me a haole amongst themselves and it definitely wasn't neutral.

When I first moved to Oahu, my husband's employer hosted us for a dinner party with some of his new co-workers.

Another white dude who had lived there for about 20 years pulled me aside and told me point-blank that I should expect to be called a haole and not to let it bother me. That I was a white person from the mainland in their space - it was my trade off. Broadly speaking, it wasn't really an issue while I lived there. Most people were really nice as long as you weren't acting like a self-entitled fool.

Reamund

The Florida of Paradise...

bob ross painting GIF Giphy

Lived in Honolulu for four years. People tend to think of Hawaii as a peaceful, laid back place but really it's a freaking madhouse.

I also lived in Florida for five years and I always tell people that Hawaii really is what people only think Florida is. I've shared many stories on Reddit over the years of the endless string of lunatics and crazies I dealt with on nearly a daily basis out there. There's something about being on a remote island in the middle of nowhere that really brings out the loony in people.

schnit123

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