Dream vs Reality Of Moving to and Living in Hawaii

I get emails almost daily from people who have seen our videos, read my blog posts or are part of our Facebook groups about “taking the leap of faith” and have decided to buy a home and move to Hawaii.
Some of these folks have been visiting Hawaii each year for twenty years and feel like they know what they are getting themselves into from switching to visitor to resident. They have traveled to many of the islands to see which one is their favorite and believe they have made the right decision for themselves and their families. But how prepared can you be when you move 2500 miles away from everything and move to a new environment, culture, and way of life?

Dream vs Reality 

To help people grasp the reality of living in Hawaii, I have written numerous blog posts and created videos about making the move here with: (click on the links)
1. Right attitude and what to leave behind
2. Cautions and cons of moving to Hawaii  
3. Having the right personality traits to make a go of it here,
4.Why you may not want to move to Hawaii  
and even 
5. What should you be grateful for (because gratitude is at the heart of Aloha) 
These articles/videos are somewhat of a litmus test for people to get them to really think about what it means to move to Hawaii and not just live here, but really become part of the fabric of society as to understand island living and fitting in so they stay longer than the average span of three years. Yes, three years.
I keep telling people who have this dream of “living in paradise” that Hawaii is NOT for everyone. But, if you can understand the challenges you may face, if you have resolve and resiliency to spare with a bank account to get your through until you are humming along with understanding what everything costs and keeping yourself on a budget, then you may just be one of us lucky enough to call Hawaii home for over a decade or more!
For those of us who have made it, and I’m not kidding about it being a badge of success, I am sure we all would have enjoyed the insights and knowledge you find so readily on Facebook and YouTube of people sharing their stories, warnings and successes. (But not on Instagram. That platform still makes it look like beautiful tan people sit poolside or on a white sandy beach lounging around all day-which people who live here full time DO NOT DO, I can assure you. Trust me. Put THAT in your reality thought bank, too!)

Living Life Well In Hawaii 

Another reality is fitting in and carrying on the basic values of why everyone wants to live here. I’d like to share that MANY residents have asked me to ask those of you considering a move to adopt these values. (If you read enough of the comments on our YouTube channel, you will see what I mean)
I encourage you to understand and put the following Hawaiian core values into your soul when moving here:
Core Values
Kuleana: Being responsible for, ourselves, each other, and the land
Pono: Practicing and working with integrity in every endeavor
Ohana: Family, caring, nurturing and inspiring one another
Malama ‘Aina: Serve as good stewards of the land with the goal of sustainability
Laulima: Working collaboratively with each other
Aloha: Respecting each and every one of us as equals
Kokua: Being thankful for one another, our providers, and community
These core values apply to anyone moving to ANY of the islands and seriously, if you also lived your life focused on these values in ANY community in the world, it would be a beautiful thing, yes?

A Vision For New Residents 

Can I help keep Hawaii the paradise people envision it to be? I sure the hell am trying!
I had a rather grumpy guy send me an email after I posted about trying to encourage people to leave their mainland “stuff” and attitudes on the mainland and embrace the whole new way of life offered here and he said that Hawaii was doomed to be just another melting pot of American life as we see on the mainland in the next few decades. I told him I was working towards not having that happen by educating newcomers to the island. He said I couldn’t make a difference.
I reminded him of the “Starfish Story” of how an old man, came upon a young boy walking among hundreds of starfish which were washed up onshore. The little boy was throwing them back one by one into the ocean. The old man said to the child that the chore was too great and he couldn’t make a difference. And the little boy, upon tossing one more starfish back into the ocean, said, “It made a difference for THAT one”.
 If I can help educate “the dreamers” who wish to move here, to bring their talent, energy, volunteer time and love of Hawaii with a commitment to “Let Hawaii change you, not you change Hawaii”, then it WILL make a difference and we ALL will benefit. Yes?
If you ARE considering purchasing a home in Hawaii, please consider joining our new “365 Ohana” service where we offer private Facebook groups to foster community, events for networking, connections to knowledgable Realtors and mortgage professionals, complimentary books/guides to make your move and buying real estate easier, and more information about the culture of Hawaii. Click: Join 365 Ohana!
Eric and I invite our Hawaiian friend, Illona, to Talk Story with new residents each month in Kona!


You're Invited to




Family, relative, kin group; related; extended family, clan

We have been creating content for people just like you over the past 10 years. As you can imagine, there is a ton of great info out there but the problem is finding the information that is relevant to you as you look to buy here in Hawaii. That is why we created our 365 Ohana where you will get everything you need, all in one spot.

Regular emails with tips, advice and insider knowledge to not only make moving here easier, but also living here more enjoyable.

Free access to our books, “How to Move to Kona” and “The Insiders Guide to Buying Real Estate on the Big Island”.

Live monthly real estate & mortgage market updates

Private Facebook Group with like-minded individuals to make friends and gain insight

Hours of video content covering how to move to Hawaii, life on the island and adventures for you and your family