This post should give you some food for thought on why you might not like life in Hawaii.
To get the most out of this, think about each of the points below and ask yourself, “Is this true for me?” If it is, that doesn’t automatically mean you’ll dislike life in Hawaii. It does, however, point out something that you need to consider carefully in deciding whether or not to move to Hawaii.
For example, #20 is true for me — I moved to Hawaii and left all my friends and family behind on the mainland. Before I moved, I thought very carefully about whether I would feel too lonely living in a place where I really didn’t know anyone, and if I would miss my friends and family too much to live happily in Hawaii.
Top 30 reasons why life in Hawaii might not be for you
If any of these statements are true for you, you might want to ask yourself if you’d be happier being a regular visitor to Hawaii, rather than a permanent resident.
I look forward to the weather and landscape changes that the different seasons bring.
Hawaii has warm weather, all year round, this should not be surprising! The landscape changes with the seasons and that brings it’s own surprises. This is something you should enjoy or want to experience yearly before moving here.
I hate bugs with a passion, and I’m not willing to learn to live with them to any degree.
Hawaii is a tropical island, which means flora and fauna flourish! On the fauna side, you can expect insects, and not just little ants or spiders, BIG ones too! This being said, you can of course seal your home, keep things clean, and avoid them generally speaking, but don’t expect to move here and never run into bugs, even in the city they are common.
My spouse/partner isn’t in love with Hawaii like I am.
A united team is required to move to a place like Hawaii. The reason is, it’s most likely a big life change. Unless you’re moving from parts of Asia that have similar conditions, you’re likely going to experience many things that are completely different from where you live. You AND your partner need to be on the same page and want the same thing before moving here.
Going to live concerts, world-class theater performances, or art-house films is important to me.
Hawaii is great – IF you love the outdoors and small cities. There are some theatre and art-house films etc available, but for the most part that’s not what life is about in Hawaii. Life in Hawaii is all about the beach, nature, chill vibes, and slow living.
I am a type-A personality with little patience, and I don’t intend to change.
Moving to Hawaii you’ll need patience, nothing happens super quickly and life is slow here. So don’t expect things to go your way, or people to bend over backward to serve you.
I love living in a city that never sleeps.
Hawaii sleeps. Honolulu isn’t New York or London. This is a very peaceful place and it is considerably smaller. That’s not to say there isn’t nightlife here, just don’t expect multi-day benders!
I’m not willing to lower my standard of living (for example, rent a more modest home).
Hawaii is expensive! There’s a reason why a site like this has visitors! People WANT to live in Hawaii. Housing is the most expensive part of living anywhere most of the time, and it rings true for Hawaii, so don’t expect to get a massive house with all the latest mod-cons.
I’m not willing to change my current job occupation.
You very well may need to change your job in order to move to and live in Hawaii. That is unless you’re a remote worker, then power to you and I’m a bit jealous!
I get hot, overheated, or sweaty very easily and feel better in a cooler climate.
Hawaii is not a cool climate, and if you prefer the cold this should be a massive warning sign.
I’m just not that into nature or the great outdoors.
Do you like the beach at least? If you’re not into nature, why move to Hawaii? You could go anywhere else and probably save a ton of money.
My skin is sensitive to strong sunlight and I hate covering up or wearing sunscreen while outdoors.
Hawaii is, perhaps unsurprisingly, very sunny. If you have skin issues or don’t like wearing sunscreen, you should consider whether constant sun and hot temperatures will be good for you.
Social status is important to me.
Social status is not important in Hawaii. It’s a laid-back environment and having a massive ego won’t get you very far.
I like to take long road trips.
Hawaii is a series of islands, so as nice as road trips sound, you’re not going to get far!
I get bored or restless spending too much time in one place.
Maybe you’re better off visiting Hawaii than living here? Hawaii is a great place to enjoy, that’s not to say you couldn’t just live here for a year or two.
A good public education system (grades K-12) is important to me and my family.
Hawaii has an ‘okay’ education system, but on the mainland, you can expect much higher quality public schooling. Perhaps you could homeschool to overcome this issue?
I am a non-Asian who is planning to live on Oahu, and I’m uncomfortable with the idea of being outnumbered by Asians.
Oahu is very Asian populated, and this brings an amazing vibrant culture and food to the island. If this makes you uncomfortable, you might look elsewhere.
I’m not interested in learning about or experiencing other cultures.
I am uncomfortable being around a visible U.S. military presence.
The US has a massive military presence in Hawaii due to its strategic position in the pacific ocean. Expect soldiers in and around local areas.
I cannot tolerate inefficiency or lack of progress for the sake of preserving traditions.
The government of Hawaii focuses on preservation above improvement for many reasons but mostly to ensure the strong culture and natural landscapes are protected.
I am planning to move to Hawaii alone, leaving all my friends and family behind.
It is a sad truth that Hawaii is very far from the mainland of the United States, and well actually, basically everywhere! It’s in the middle of the pacific ocean, and moving here will most likely mean leaving friends and family. Though of course nowadays you can fly in and out, and people will visit, it’s not the same as living where you’re friends and family live.
I have a hard time flying on airplanes.
The only way on or off the islands (well I guess you could take a ship?) is to fly! So better be happy with airplanes!
My children are Caucasian and will be attending a public school in Hawaii that has few white students.
I’m not sure why this WOULD be a problem, but if it is, well Hawaii isn’t for you. Hawaii is beautifully multi-cultural as well as has a very strong local culture and many different ethnicities.
I believe that Hawaii, as part of the United States, should adopt the mainland’s ways of doing things.
Huh? Hawaii is an island, having strong culture and way of life in Hawaii is in many ways nothing like living on the mainland – that’s the attraction! If you are coming here, please don’t bring your mainland philosophies, just join in and take life slowly.
I believe that employees who never work beyond 40 hours a week are lazy and unambitious.
Work-life balance is paramount in Hawaii and you won’t find the minimum 40h work week here. When the clock strikes 4pm (yes 4pm in Hawaii, not 5pm), you leave your work at work and get to the beach!
I refuse to pay $5 for a gallon of milk and $4.5 for a gallon of gas.
Hawaii is expensive, it’s an island and it’s far from the mainland, so unsurprisingly things cost more! Get used to it.
I am a young Caucasian male who plans to live in an area of Hawaii where few white people live.
Does this bother you? Not sure why it should. Enjoy the culture, Hawaiian people are super friendly and you’ll have a great time!
I thrive in a fast-paced, dynamic environment.
If you move to Hawaii you’ll soon find that life in Hawaii moves at a slower pace. You shouldn’t expect a fast-paced environment, even in the cities, so chill out and relax.
I cannot tolerate a work environment where promotions are sometimes based on personal relationships and seniority, rather than job performance.
This is the reality in many workplaces in Hawaii and as such if you’re moving here, just go with the flow and don’t expect things to be the same as the bustling mainland cities.
It would be difficult for me to adapt to working office hours that are 7am-4pm, instead of 9am-6pm.
Not a morning person? You might need to become one because Hawaiian working hours are different to the mainland. The earlier start means more time for family and outdoor activities later in the day! Woo!
I’m not willing to work multiple part-time jobs, instead of one full-time job.
You may need to work multiple jobs to afford to live in Hawaii, depending on your specialty. There are plenty of full-time jobs available, but as a tourist destination, a lot of work in Hawaii is part-time or casual depending on the seasons.
Still want to move here?
Life in Hawaii is amazing, but as I’m sure you can appreciate it’s not for everyone. Some people are better suited to living in cooler climates, around their family, or where things are more fast-paced. The tropical life seems appealing to many, but under the surface, there are trade-offs, like anything really.
For more food for thought to help you decide whether living in Hawaii would be right for you, check out this post Should I Move To Hawaii.
Aloha and have a great day.