Lived in Honolulu for almost 3 years for the fun of it. Had a blast. In the end though, I got the island fever itch and moved back…but not back to the East Coast…that would be culture shock after Hawaii. People are great, culture is interesting, and sun is always out. As a white, middle class kind of gal, it was an eye-opening experience to be the minority. Everyone should figure out a way to experience discrimination – makes you wiser. Snorkeled, surfed, body boarded, hiked every trail on Oahu, visited other islands, fell in love with the winter in Hawaii. Never wore anything but shorts/t-shirts/slippers. Embraced what it means to be laid back.
However, don’t think you know Hawaii just because you’ve visited a couple times. If I had kids, I probably wouldn’t have moved to Hawaii. Especially if they were in school. School system really sucks there and private school is a given if you can afford it. They don’t have a recycling program. Government is beyond nepotistic. As a matter of fact, so is most of the economy. Thus, it helps if you know someone. If you can afford to float your living expenses while you find a job and you don’t mind taking a job that you are probably over qualified for and probably not what you had in mind and if you don’t mind making a whole lot less money than you would doing the same thing on the mainland…then go for it! Oh, and don’t forget your sunscreen…it sucks to get a Hawaii burn. And there is a constant struggle with overpowering military who wants to turn the Islands into one big training ground…although some folks like it because its a boost to the economy; genetically modified foods being grown in open air, secret farms; ocean water constantly being polluted by sewage (outside of Waikiki of course); a nasty ICE habit and homeless problem (is there anyplace better to be homeless?); and the fact that America illegally took the Islands and some locals still remember this and aren’t too happy about it. But, don’t let that stop you!