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Is Living on Oahu Claustrophobic?

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  • Is Living on Oahu Claustrophobic?

    I use to live in Hong Kong and I found it was way too small. I mean as for Caucasians, they all went to the same places, Central, Wanchai, Causeway Bay, Southside of HK island, TST, Mongkok, the outer islands and a few other places. If you wanted to go somewhere you had to fly as Shenzhen was a bore just over the border.

    Now I live in Taiwan and there are more places to go and I don't feel so confined, however it is still a small island I can deal with it, plus Caucasians and Taiwan people mix and do more of the same things, there is no real division, esp. since more whiteys like me speak Chinese here.

    Do you guys living on Oahu ever feel claustrophobic? I am sure I won't be mored with Oahu, I am from Washington DC, but I have lived in Asia for over 10 years now, and moving to Hawaii I will feel like a foreigner and be wide eyed for a long time.

    Do you just take a flight to another island to get away? A jaunt to the Big Island maybe? Go for a hike or what? Or maybe it really isn't that bad. I mean it is way bigger than Manhatten and I have heard some people rarely ever leave that island.

    However, if you are bored with Manhatten, just get in your car and drive for hours and hours and you are in different place.

    Any comments would be appreciated.
    Last edited by Hobart; September 24, 2006, 03:21 PM.

  • #2
    Re: Is Living on Oahu Claustrophobic?

    I don't feel claustrophobic here on Oahu, other than wishing my place was bigger or maybe get rid of stuff I no longer need.

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    • #3
      Re: Is Living on Oahu Claustrophobic?

      The only time i really feel claustrophobic... Is when I get on an elevator in a large building and it seems like were a bunch of sardines.

      Neighbor island trips are fairly easy to do right now and with the airplane fare wars going on the price is pretty reasonable. It helps if you have family or friends to assist with lodging and rides...etc.

      The freeways can feel pretty crowded at times... I wouldn't call it claustrophophic type though. (Except for the recent Highway crisis we had http://www.hawaiithreads.com/showthr...ighlight=crane)
      Last edited by damontucker; September 24, 2006, 05:59 PM.

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      • #4
        Re: Is Living on Oahu Claustrophobic?

        I moved to O'ahu a few months ago. I am also originally from D.C. and have lived in Tokyo and New York.

        I've visited Hong Kong on two occassions and know the city a little. Honolulu and O'ahu in general do not feel like Hong Kong. There is an expansive feeling to O'ahu, because the sea stretches out in all directions. Plus, there are parts of the island that are still somewhat undeveloped or at least low density. Honolulu is a city situated between the mountains and the ocean, but it is not nearly as cramped and congested as Hong Kong.

        There are times when I freak out a little. I don't feel claustrophobic exactly, but I feel a little uneasy when I realize that Honolulu is the largest city anywhere around. I've spent the last six years living in Tokyo and New York, so I am used to expansive urban areas.

        This feeling quickly passes though. Honolulu is a small city, but it is a city. There are many things to do here in a variety of settings. The "island fever" thing is overblown, in my opinion. But yeah, some people don't like it.

        As for the local versus outsider thing, I won't touch that. My only thought is this: O'ahu is many things. Some of these things wil feel foreign and inaccessible. Some of these things will feel familiar and comfortable.

        Having lived in foreign countries, you probably have the cultural sensitivity and tools to navigate this kind of terriority. However, if you've found it difficult to deal with complex cultural landscapes in the past, then Hawaii will also be difficult.

        Hope this helps

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        • #5
          Re: Is Living on Oahu Claustrophobic?

          I'm from a big city, so when I lived on Oahu, I got a little of the island fever. But then I realized most people hardly stray more than 30-40 miles during their daily routine, so I feel I wouldn't get island fever if I returned to Oahu.

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          • #6
            Re: Is Living on Oahu Claustrophobic?

            I wouldnt say claustrophobic, but Hawaii is sometimes very small. In the past I've found out that some friends dated the same girls I did, at different times.
            I think alot of people get away to Vegas because of the price. ($450 pp for 4 days air/room/board)
            Aquaponics in Paradise !

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            • #7
              Re: Is Living on Oahu Claustrophobic?

              I don't feel Oahu is claustrophobic because I get out there and go... to places I know and have loved all my life, also hiking different parts of the island or hanging out at beaches I haven't before. To me the only way for it to truly feel small is if someone only works, sleeps and does dishes... know what I mean?
              Make use of this beautiful place by trying to see as much of it as you can.
              Life is either an adventure... or you're not doing it right!!!

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              • #8
                Re: Is Living on Oahu Claustrophobic?

                I read a study years ago regarding "geographic claustrophobia."

                IIRC, those who were raised in inland areas (Midwest, etc.) were comforted by vast expanses of land mass. They felt strangely "rootless" and uncomfortable, unsettled, unsafe even, when living on islands. Those who were raised near the ocean felt claustrophobic when surrounded by land---almost choked.

                I was always less than five minutes away from water, either bays, marshes, canals, or the Atlantic Ocean, when I lived in New York.

                Living in Hawaii is really nice, for me. I never feel the least bit claustrophobic. The overriding feeling is one of good fortune.

                I think I would lay down and die if somebody told me I had to move to Phoenix.
                Last edited by WindwardOahuRN; September 24, 2006, 06:16 PM.

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                • #9
                  Re: Is Living on Oahu Claustrophobic?

                  I think I go to neighbor islands to get away from the city feel of Oahu. So it's more of a country trip. I never get rock fever. I love it here. I'm from NJ, so always close to water. I would go crazy if I lived in Wyoming or Nebraska. When I was in the USAF and stationed at Edwards AFB in the Mojave Desert, I appreciated it for what it was, and for a big part of the year, the expansive lake beds weren't actually dry. But I hated how remote it was. I needed the ocean. I put in for worldwide after being there a year. I got orders to Hawaii. I suspect had I asked for Hawaii, I would have ended up at Oh My God Nebraska, I cannot remember the real name of that base, but that's what we called it.
                  I look out over the ocean, and if I'm not looking at the neighbor islands, I'm seeing an expansive sea, and I feel such peace. It is perfect.
                  Aloha from Lavagal

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                  • #10
                    Re: Is Living on Oahu Claustrophobic?

                    Originally posted by WindwardOahuRN
                    I read a study years ago regarding "geographic claustrophobia."

                    IIRC, those who were raised in inland areas (Midwest, etc.) were comforted by vast expanses of land mass. They felt strangely "rootless" and uncomfortable, unsettled, unsafe even, when living on islands. Those who were raised near the ocean felt claustrophobic when surrounded by land---almost choked.

                    I was always less than five minutes away from water, either bays, marshes, canals, or the Atlantic Ocean, when I lived in New York.

                    Living in Hawaii is really nice, for me. I never feel the least bit claustrophobic. The overriding feeling is one of good fortune.

                    I think I would lay down and die if somebody told me I had to move to Phoenix.
                    That makes total sense to me. I grew up on Long Island, surrounded by Ocean, tho' not as close as alot of Hawai'i towns, where you can actually SEE the ocean from many vantage points. I agree that living near an Ocean makes me feel "at home" here in California. If I was in middle America, I may freak out from the lack of nearby ocean.

                    I wonder if that makes me more likely to find Hawai'i living comfortable, and not suffer from Island Fever.
                    http://tikiyakiorchestra.com
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                    • #11
                      Re: Is Living on Oahu Claustrophobic?

                      Originally posted by lavagal
                      I think I go to neighbor islands to get away from the city feel of Oahu. So it's more of a country trip. I never get rock fever. I love it here. I'm from NJ, so always close to water. I would go crazy if I lived in Wyoming or Nebraska. When I was in the USAF and stationed at Edwards AFB in the Mojave Desert, I appreciated it for what it was, and for a big part of the year, the expansive lake beds weren't actually dry. But I hated how remote it was. I needed the ocean. I put in for worldwide after being there a year. I got orders to Hawaii. I suspect had I asked for Hawaii, I would have ended up at Oh My God Nebraska, I cannot remember the real name of that base, but that's what we called it.
                      I look out over the ocean, and if I'm not looking at the neighbor islands, I'm seeing an expansive sea, and I feel such peace. It is perfect.
                      My husband was born and raised in much the same circumstances as I was. While in the Army in the late '60's he volunteered to go to Vietnam to get out of Oklahoma.

                      'Nuff said...
                      Last edited by WindwardOahuRN; September 24, 2006, 07:51 PM.

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                      • #12
                        Re: Is Living on Oahu Claustrophobic?

                        I've had sumpin like this happen once.

                        Other than the Bay Area, I've only resided on Oahu (about half my life) and in the Philippines (two years). [Relatively short stays in several mainland cities while in the Navy don't count.]

                        So, my one episode with rock fever was unexpected. About 25 years ago, during my first extended return visit to Honolulu over Christmas, rock fever hit me about 2:30 am after an evening of imbibing . . . but disappeared after about ten minutes or so. Felt like a short panic attack ... I couldn't just jump into the car and drive to Reno / Las Vegas / Idaho / Oregon. You know.

                        Some of you may remember that I was stuck in Honolulu for three months earlier this year ... no rock fever.

                        BTW I was stuck in an elevator once for an hour and a half with no problems. Since it was pauhana after a long day, I almost fell asleep laying on the floor talking to the emergency personnel on the phone.
                        Born in Hawaii, too - Truss me

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                        • #13
                          Re: Is Living on Oahu Claustrophobic?

                          Originally posted by tikiyaki
                          If I was in middle America, I may freak out from the lack of nearby ocean.
                          I went to college at Southern Illinois University...about the only major bodies of water one would see there is if he/she ventured south to Cairo, Illinois to witness the confluence of the Mississippi and Ohio Rivers. Or perhaps Crab Orchard Lake. Not much in the way down there in that end of Illinois for the romantics who enjoy their "walks along the beach at sunset".

                          Being in the heart of farm territoty while going to SIU, I knew many farmboys from the area...many of them never set foot out of, say, the six county area they called home. The farmboys I actually knew who did get around to visiting a major ocean, on trips to California or Florida, reported to me that when they saw the ocean for the first time, the feelings they had were all similar: They all felt that they were in a place that was not for them and a very long way from home. They all discovered that they were more comfortable at home, being surrounded by the prairie, rather than being on the ocean shore.

                          As for me, I don't have much preference, though I do live live less than .5 mile from Narragansett Bay, and less than 10 miles from the Atlantic. In fact, one of the farm plots I work (a potato field) actually overlooks the Atlantic...it's kind of weird to be farming so close to the ocean.
                          Last edited by Surfingfarmboy; September 25, 2006, 01:32 AM.

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                          • #14
                            Re: Is Living on Oahu Claustrophobic?

                            This is an interesting topic. I havent been here long enough for "island fever" to set in yet, but when I was in Vegas talking about the move, people would bring it up. But you know, Las Vegas is almost a desert in itself. Yes you CAN drive out of town, which basically means out of state, but the majority of people stay in town for often times years on end. There isnt much difference from living in a large city, except that on the mainland you have the opportunity to drive if you really want to.

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                            • #15
                              Re: Is Living on Oahu Claustrophobic?

                              From the posts it seems the ocean provides the necessary peace and sense of never-ending expanses that stops one from feeling claustrophobic.

                              It seems I would be happy to explore every side street of the city looking for interesting shops, restaurants cafes, while exploring the countryside for vistas and local flora and fauna as well as the smaller towns and restaurants. I will be fine. Thanks for the posts.

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