19 Things You Quickly Learn When You Move To Hawaiʻi

Megan Shute for Only In Your State on 19 things about Hawaiʻi known to residents.  Join us on our Volcano Hiking Adventure so you can experience firsthand the ‘therapy’ of hiking.

There is no doubt that – as the most isolated population center on earth – Hawaiʻi is easily the most unique place in America. While the white sand beaches and the lush scenery is certainly appealing, moving to Hawaiʻi is not only expensive but can result in quite a bit of culture shock. Here are 19 things everyone who moves to Hawaiʻi quickly learns about their new state.

All beaches are not created equal.

With more than 750 miles of coastline, some beaches are going to be better than others – especially for certain activities.

Hiking is the best form of therapy.

I never knew I was a hiker until I moved to Hawaiʻi – and now I try to hit the trails every weekend to ditch the stress of everyday life.

You learn about the Aloha spirit…

There’s nothing quite like the Aloha spirit you’ll find in Hawaiʻi.

…and that Spam is actually delicious.

Who knew that Spam in sushi form could be so delicious?

Geckos are your friends.

You might freak out the first time you find one in your new home, but trust us, they will soon become your favorite roommate.

There’s nothing worse than Honolulu traffic.

Honolulu rush hour is no joke.

There is such a thing as sun guilt – and it is not fun.

Some days you just need to stay inside, watch Netflix, and relax. The sunshine can make you feel guilty for not getting outside, though, and it almost defeats the purpose of your lazy days.

It’s shoyu, not soy sauce.

No one will look at you funny if you call it soy sauce, though.

The fear of tsunamis, flash floods, jellyfish and shark attacks is totally justified.

Don’t forget about rip currents, strong undertow, and rouge waves.

There’s a certain indifference to current events that exists in Hawaiʻi.

When you live more than 2,000 miles from the mainland, it’s hard not to feel indifferent when it comes to United States politics.

You will learn how to actually pronounce Hawaiʻi.

You’ll learn very quickly, my friend.

Poke is not the action of prodding someone or something with your finger.

Poke, a raw fish salad, usually consists of cubed ahi (yellowfin tuna) marinated with sea salt, soy sauce, sesame oil, limu seaweed and chili powder. The delicious dish is currently taking over the mainland, but Hawaiʻi obviously still does it best.

The vog will easily ruin your week.

The vog – or volcanic smog – that wafts over from Kilauea can be miserable for your sinuses.

 Life moves slowly in Hawaiʻi.

Life in Hawaiʻi is meant to be lived slowly – and that’s the way we like it.

You should not, under any circumstances, use your car horn.

Throw a shaka instead, man. Spread the aloha.

Malasadas – and sunrises – are worth waking up for.

Forget the days of staying up late and sleeping in – you’ll want to wake up for that amazing sunrise hike and some fresh malasadas.

Slippers are the only shoes you’ll ever need.

Well, except for hiking boots.

There is nothing better than a kama’aina discount.

The cost of living in Hawaiʻi is astronomical, and the kama’aina discount certainly helps.

Living in Hawaiʻi doesn’t make you Hawaiʻian.

Being Hawaiʻian isn’t the same as being a Californian – Hawaiʻians are a race, and only those who can trace their roots back to the islands’ original Polynesian settlers. In fact, only about 10 percent of Hawaiʻi’s population are native Hawaiʻians; everyone else is a Hawaiʻi resident, or local.


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