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  • Thinking about making the move to Molokai

    The more I think about it the more I can't deny that , really I just wanna live in Hawaii. I've read through almost all the posts about this subject and have done alot of research online. Now I just want some opinions on some specific things. Here's my situation. I have a successful online business and I would not need to find a job. I really want to live somewhere rual that is nowhere near the 'tourist traps'. My business is beadmaking and beaded jewelry. I wouldn't mind selling some of my stuff at a local market if that would be possible.
    So give me some opinions on living on Molokai. I realize this place may be the most rual island in Hawaii, but I think it sounds wonderful. I grew up in only the most rual parts of Missouri. I am kinda used to it. When I was a kid my family lived off the land and we had to drive 45 mins to get groceries. I am not all that worried about it being too rual. I do wish I knew more about the actual experience of living there. The houses seem to be a little cheaper there in comparison to other islands. Why is that? Does any one know which part of the island is best?
    Just give me all the opinions you can... I know you all got em . Just be nice.
    Thank you all very much,
    Susie

  • #2
    Re: Thinking about making the move to Molokai

    One problem you have to take into account, Susie, is that many of the current residents of Moloka`i are having a hard time economically at present, and may not be particularly ... shall we say, "open-hearted" ... about another family coming in from the Mainland to live off "their" land.

    Costs of living in Hawai`i are exorbitantly high, especially if you're coming from the Midwest. Your online business will need to be VERY successful. And will your husband be able to find work on Moloka`i?

    This would not be an easy move to make - not impossible, of course, but one that demands a lot of research and preparation. Your whole family will experience culture shock, and a more distinct variety in country Moloka`i.

    At this point, I'd suggest you start planning to make some trips. Plan to visit Hawai`i a few times, including several jaunts to Moloka`i. Spend enough time to get beyond the veil of "paradise." Learn about life, language, culture, food, costs, pace, people, history. If you move, you need first to erase as much of the ignorance that us non-locals all carry.

    And you need an "escape plan" - enough money and a safety net to catch you if it just doesn't work out and you have to leave the Islands. It would be one thing if you were unfettered, but you have your keiki to take care of.

    Read ALL the threads here about people wanting to move to Hawai`i, and you'll see some fantastic advice - and even a success story or two. Eyes wide open, dear - that's the only way you can make it work.

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    • #3
      Re: Thinking about making the move to Molokai

      Hi Susie,

      I notice that those on this board who are most familiar with Molokai are decidedly silent on this thread.......... which says something in of itself..... (Random - where are you?)

      Let me start with the fact that I LOVE Molokai and many of the people who live there. Many good memories there and hopefully more to come. That being said, Leo makes some good points. If you are serious about this, then I would recommend at least a week's stay at the Hotel Molokai (not at a condo). Make sure you take the ferry from Maui to Molokai. Your other option is to fly, but if you are considering moving there, take the ferry. Hang out with the locals on Friday night (excellent times!). Get to know the people who work there. Then drive around and visit with whoever you can.

      Friends of ours relocated to Molokai a few years ago. And that was from Maui. It was (and still is) a tough nut to crack. They are still considered outsiders. He has to travel to Maui for work every day. That is a ferry ride each way with 10 ft swells on a good day. She is a teacher there. Education is another issue on Molokai. Unfortunately, it is not a priority. You avatar shows you with a small child? How will he be treated by the other children?

      You say you are from Iowa or Missouri. Either one is a place I have absolutely no idea about other than it is land-locked in the middle of the country. All I picture is flat corn fields and Dorothy (sorry Leo and whoever else is from there - chalk it up to cultural ignorance ). I grew up on what amounts to a sand bar stuck out in the Atlantic ocean, where living off tourism and fishing is a way of life and visiting/living on & off for 20 yrs on Maui. I could not live on Molokai - as much as I love visiting there. You mention you had to drive 45 minutes to get groceries. How are your sea legs? There are no supermarkets on the island. And don't expect any to come too soon. That too, is a ferry ride away.

      It's been a couple of years since I was there, but they used to have a bumper sticker on Molokai that says something like "Molokai - a wonderful place to visit - just don't stay" or something to that effect. Although the company that ran the Molokai Ranch have pulled out now (or could you say - pushed out?), they were trying to build ocean front McMansions on La'au Point. The last time we were there, all the for sale signs had buckshot through them. Of course, that is sacred land, but the point is, the locals- for many reasons - are not inclined to welcome strangers wanting to move there.

      I wish you all the best in your quest. But I highly recommend that you visit the different islands - each has its own unique character (kind of like the difference between Iowa and Missouri? I'm just guessing.....) - before you make the move. Good luck!

      Jill

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      • #4
        Re: Thinking about making the move to Molokai

        Originally posted by acousticlady View Post
        How are your sea legs? There are no supermarkets on the island. And don't expect any to come too soon. That too, is a ferry ride away.
        Is this the ferry they use?

        Do people pay 50 dollars each way just to go to the supermarket?

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Thinking about making the move to Molokai

          Originally posted by Vanguard View Post
          Is this the ferry they use?

          Do people pay 50 dollars each way just to go to the supermarket?
          Yes, that is the ferry. Locals get a discount. I believe that if you work on Maui the employers pay for it or they only have to pay $10 or so. Even at that, it is still a huge cost. But that is one reason, that a trip to the supermarket is a once a week or once a month event. Many bring on board big coolers to hold their groceries because there is only one trip in the morning and one trip in the late afternoon.

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          • #6
            Re: Thinking about making the move to Molokai

            I would like to thank you all for posting. All kinds of advice and opinions are appreciated.
            I would like to clarify a few things about my situation that I may not have been clear about.

            Originally posted by Leo Lakio View Post
            many of the current residents of Moloka`i are having a hard time economically at present, and may not be particularly ... shall we say, "open-hearted" ... about another family coming in from the Mainland to live off "their" land.
            I never said I was going to live off the land on Molokai. What I said was that I've lived in rual areas before and when I was a kid my family lived off the land in Missouri. Although i wouldn't mind having a small vegetable garden, though.


            Originally posted by acousticlady View Post
            You mention you had to drive 45 minutes to get groceries. How are your sea legs? There are no supermarkets on the island. And don't expect any to come too soon. That too, is a ferry ride away.
            Acording to visitmolokai.com there are nine grocery stores and a farmer's market on the island, and that includes a natural foods store, too. I realize these are not supermarkets, but in rual areas, I don't expect supermarkets. I really have a hard time believing that all 7000 Molokai residents take the ferry to Maui every week to get their groceries. Maybe some do, but I've lived in places where there are no supermarkets nearby. I think its great that all the grocers are independent business owners. Gives them character.

            I really would like to hear from someone who actually lives on the island. What I need is some expiriential advice. I've already done so much research. I have read almost every thread and post on moving to Hawaii on this site and some on other sites. They always say the same stuff. Its all very good advice. Well noted.
            I love hearing opinions, too. Even the negative ones are interesting. Keep them coming, especially if you live on Molokai.

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Thinking about making the move to Molokai

              Originally posted by acousticlady View Post
              I believe that if you work on Maui the employers pay for it or they only have to pay $10 or so. Even at that, it is still a huge cost.
              A one hour trip to New York City on a suburban commuter rail costs about that much or more each way (twice as much if you live 2 or more hours away from the City). But I can imagine it is still quite difficult. If anyone has information about this type of fare or a monthly pass, please share, I am curious as to how exactly this works.
              Last edited by Vanguard; July 9, 2009, 08:03 AM.

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              • #8
                Re: Thinking about making the move to Molokai

                Originally posted by susie View Post
                The more I think about it the more I can't deny that , really I just wanna live in Hawaii. I've read through almost all the posts about this subject and have done alot of research online. Now I just want some opinions on some specific things. Here's my situation. I have a successful online business and I would not need to find a job. I really want to live somewhere rual that is nowhere near the 'tourist traps'. My business is beadmaking and beaded jewelry. I wouldn't mind selling some of my stuff at a local market if that would be possible.
                So give me some opinions on living on Molokai.
                Am I reading your post correctly? You've never even set foot on Molokai? It's astounding that you could form an opinion without any actual experience. It's difficult to see how the reality could ever live up to your current expectations.

                Try turning your question around for a different perspective. When you were living in the most rural parts of Missouri, how would your community have reacted to a new family who moved in from Hawaii with no idea of the local culture, expecting to earn an online living and perhaps sell jewelry at the weekend flea market? How long would it take such a family to adapt and to eventually (if ever) be welcomed as locals by the rest of the community? I grew up in a small town near Pittsburgh and I saw the scenario play out over & over.

                This board hears from a lot of people who are enamored of island life but who haven't lived it-- so they're enjoying a fantasy totally disconnected from the reality. Many show up with high hopes and unbounded enthusiasm but lack a long-term plan for living the rest of the decade here, let alone the rest of their lives. Locals are skeptical that newcomers will last for more than a year or two, and it's difficult to invest time & effort getting to know the "new guys" when they may only be short-term round-trippers. Unless you were born & raised on Molokai, it's hard for the residents to imagine why someone like you would want to live on "their" island. Invade "their" space. Put another car on "their" road. Crowd another kid into "their" schools. Use "their" beaches and surf "their" waves.

                You have a lot of visiting ahead of you and a lot of thinking/discussing with the rest of your family whether they'd see Molokai as such a wonderful place as you do.
                Youth may be wasted on the young, but retirement is wasted on the old.
                Live like you're dying, invest like you're immortal.
                We grow old if we stop playing, but it's never too late to have a happy childhood.
                Forget about who you were-- discover who you are.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Thinking about making the move to Molokai

                  You are right Nords. I do need to visit.

                  As far as reversing the question... The town I lived in in rual missouri could not possibly be compared to rual Hawaii. There were around 150 people there. There are no beaches there. The climate is harsh most times of the year. There is very little natural beauty aside from a few muddy creeks and rivers. Most people I knew back then don't even live there anymore. If a Hawaiian family moved there, we probably would have been astounded on why they would have wanted to come here of all places from Hawaii of all places. But, nonetheless, I don't think most folks would've been unkind to them.

                  What I hear you telling me is that the locals will hate us for coming, and we will not be socially excepted, and that I probably won't make it because of this. If its so bad, why do you all love it so much? Why is it so unbelievable that I would love it too, in my own way?
                  Are all 7000 people on Molokai people who were born and raised there? Is it impossible to transplant there and be happy? I know I wasn't lucky enough to be born and raised in Hawaii, but does that mean I can't be happy if I move there?

                  I know that there is a stereotype about newcomers. There have been a lot of suggesting that I will come and not know what I have gotten myself into and be miserable.
                  This is why I'm talking to you all. So I can get some questions answered and know all that I can so I would know what I am getting myself into. Please don't post suggesting that I am completely starry eyed and ignorant. I may have a few stars in my eyes, but I'm not irrational.
                  And I do want to come to visit. It will just take some time.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Thinking about making the move to Molokai

                    Many have come before you and asked the same questions and den some.

                    Read the archives.

                    Mahalo,

                    1stwahine
                    Be AKAMAI ~ KOKUA Hawai`i!
                    Philippians 4:13 --- I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Thinking about making the move to Molokai

                      I HAVE read the archives. and then some. I want experiential advice and opinions.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: Thinking about making the move to Molokai

                        Originally posted by susie View Post
                        I HAVE read the archives. and then some. I want experiential advice and opinions.
                        How much you willing to pay?

                        HAHAHAHAHAHAH

                        Juss joking.

                        But...den again...some people have the time to answer and some people don't. If can~can. If no can~ no can.

                        Be humble...no get mad.

                        Hope you get wat you looking foa.

                        1stwahine
                        Be AKAMAI ~ KOKUA Hawai`i!
                        Philippians 4:13 --- I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: Thinking about making the move to Molokai

                          I think a first step would be to visit. More than once. Sure, there's a lot of researching that can be done online, and you're doing that well, including here on HT. But as hinted above, there's probably a good reason there's a dearth of responses from people on Molokai, and only part of it is because connectivity and thus representation in online communities is limited.

                          Each island has its own personality. And some islands, from Kauai to Lanai and Molokai, are more protective and inherently (and often rightfully) skeptical of outsiders. Now, I personally feel that Kauai's reputation in this regard is partially manufactured, fanned in part by Mainland transplants who just want to keep their "paradise" from others seeking the same dream. But as far as Molokai is concerned? It's earnestly about the most genuinely Hawaiian community you'll find. And that's something to be admired, respected, and carefully weighed. Even I, born and raised in Hawaii and part Hawaiian, adopt a very different and measured mindset when visiting Molokai.

                          So... why Molokai? Why choose the most drastic option when it comes to relocating to Hawaii?

                          Generally, when anyone says they want to move to Hawaii -- specifically that they want to get away from it all, get away from the hustle and bustle of Western life, stay away from tourist traps, yada yada yada -- I still tell them to start on Oahu. (As to well as come with housing and employment arranged in advance, as well as about $10,000 in savings and return tickets just in case.)

                          You can still go "rural" on Oahu, you can still get away from it all and shop at farmers markets or grow your own food and hang out with artists and sell crafts. You can pretend you're living on Molokai or the Big Island or Kauai, in a different time and place, and feed whatever desire for escapism that strikes...

                          But when push comes to shove, you also have ample employment options (well, comparatively, though the job market is tough everywhere), you have infrastructure, you have public transportation, you have quality health care, and yes, you have access to the "trappings" of modern life like shopping and events and attractions and entertainment if you ultimately want them.

                          Saying you want to move straight to Molokai from anywhere, having never visited Hawaii at all, is like saying you want to climb Mt. Everest having only read books about it. You should at least take a few vacation trips to Nepal -- taking it slow, getting a read from the front-lines, rather than virtually -- before investing in hiking boots.

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                          • #14
                            Re: Thinking about making the move to Molokai

                            1stwahine,
                            I am so sorry I sounded harsh to you. You seem like a very nice lady and I never meant snap at you like that.
                            I must say I was getting a bit frustrated/disappointed in the kinds of responces I was getting.

                            Pzarquon,
                            What are some of the more rual areas on Oahu that you recomend that I check out?
                            and btw, the reason I have such an interest in Molokai is the fact that it is the most genuinely Hawaiian community that can be found. I find hawaiian culture so fascenating. From what I hear it is slow paced and simple. I am so drawn to that. I am open to other islands. I'm just trying to gather some info. Thanks so much for responding.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: Thinking about making the move to Molokai

                              Originally posted by pzarquon View Post
                              I think a first step would be to visit. More than once. Sure, there's a lot of researching that can be done online, and you're doing that well, including here on HT. But as hinted above, there's probably a good reason there's a dearth of responses from people on Molokai, and only part of it is because connectivity and thus representation in online communities is limited.

                              Each island has its own personality. And some islands, from Kauai to Lanai and Molokai, are more protective and inherently (and often rightfully) skeptical of outsiders. Now, I personally feel that Kauai's reputation in this regard is partially manufactured, fanned in part by Mainland transplants who just want to keep their "paradise" from others seeking the same dream. But as far as Molokai is concerned? It's earnestly about the most genuinely Hawaiian community you'll find. And that's something to be admired, respected, and carefully weighed. Even I, born and raised in Hawaii and part Hawaiian, adopt a very different and measured mindset when visiting Molokai.

                              So... why Molokai? Why choose the most drastic option when it comes to relocating to Hawaii?

                              Generally, when anyone says they want to move to Hawaii -- specifically that they want to get away from it all, get away from the hustle and bustle of Western life, stay away from tourist traps, yada yada yada -- I still tell them to start on Oahu. (As to well as come with housing and employment arranged in advance, as well as about $10,000 in savings and return tickets just in case.)

                              You can still go "rural" on Oahu, you can still get away from it all and shop at farmers markets or grow your own food and hang out with artists and sell crafts. You can pretend you're living on Molokai or the Big Island or Kauai, in a different time and place, and feed whatever desire for escapism that strikes...

                              But when push comes to shove, you also have ample employment options (well, comparatively, though the job market is tough everywhere), you have infrastructure, you have public transportation, you have quality health care, and yes, you have access to the "trappings" of modern life like shopping and events and attractions and entertainment if you ultimately want them.

                              Saying you want to move straight to Molokai from anywhere, having never visited Hawaii at all, is like saying you want to climb Mt. Everest having only read books about it. You should at least take a few vacation trips to Nepal -- taking it slow, getting a read from the front-lines, rather than virtually -- before investing in hiking boots.

                              that is pretty much what I came here to say. This is very sage advise, I would take it to heart.
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                              To: People of Earth
                              From: God
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                              Subject: stop

                              knock it off, all of you

                              seriously, what the hell


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