Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 25 of 26

Thread: If you could leave Hawaii, would you?

  1. #1

    Default If you could leave Hawaii, would you?

    OK, I like know how many people on dis forum stay tink dey like come up hea for live, and if you like, I like know why....for money, opportunities, what? If can, where you like live??
    And if you no like move, I like know why, too.

    Mahalo nui loa.

    Miulang

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Location
    Honolulu, HI, USA
    Posts
    7,326

    Default Re: If you could leave Hawaii, would you?

    My wife and I mull this question quite a bit, which is surprising to some, considering my deepfelt love for the place where I was born and raised, and my family's strong ties (including a Native Hawaiian branch rooted in Kapa`au on the Big Island).

    If I were a rich man, sure, not only would I spend the rest of my life in Hawaii, but I'd get a nice cabin in Kamuela, a small cottage in Hilo, and a summer home (or something) in Kailua, and live a leisurely island life with my family, island hopping, relaxing, taking all sorts of classes... Hawaii is my home, my absolute favorite place, and in my somewhat deranged mind, the best place to raise my kids.

    But I'm not a rich man. And when times get tight, I have to admit, I would leave in an instant for the Mainland with an even modest promise of a good wage, a nice house, and hopefully moderate weather. For the right job, for the right paycheck, for a nice enough neighborhood... I'd leave. Not because I want to, but because I have to. Living in Hawaii is great, but it's not easy, especially when I'm convinced I'll never have a place to call my own as an islander.

    I'm not exactly the world's best employee, but it drives me nuts that my job is worth $84,000 on the Mainland, but just over half that here. And for the price of a "nice house" -- let's say $495,000 -- I could get three elsewhere!

    Where would we go? I love the Pacific Northwest -- Portland, in particular, and many of my friends have relocated there. My wife, meanwhile, would be thrilled if we moved to Virginia or Florida. (Her parents got a three-bedroom, two-bath house with a two-car garage, hardwood floors, a fireplace, all on a corner lot in a quiet neighborhood... for under $85,000.)

    I like Canada, though I've never been... perhaps Toronto, for the arts and color. I might consider rural New York, or even a balmy neighborhood in New England, just to be close to a city. Outside the U.S.? I love, love, love what I saw of New Zealand. I'd move there for the steak alone.

    I fantasize that I'll somehow "make it" here, and I think realistically, we'll just continue to get by. But a few years ago I came to realize, even I've got my price. I guess I just secretly hope no one ever offers to pay it!

  3. #3

    Default Re: If you could leave Hawaii, would you?

    Mahalo for the input. Many of the ex-pats left for the same reason. But like you, we also have come to realize after being away from the 'aina for many years, that having that $100k job isn't everything. And then when we retire, we think..."hmmm...could we make it if we went back to Hawaii?" Most of the time the answer would be, sadly, "no", unless we had family who would be willing to give us or sell us a house for cheap. Many of the people who are buying up the $500k houses are people who think of Hawaii as a fantasy place and have no concept of how hard you guys have to work to maintain some semblance of a comfortable lifestyle.

    Miulang

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Location
    Honolulu, HI, USA
    Posts
    7,326

    Default Re: If you could leave Hawaii, would you?

    But like you, we also have come to realize after being away from the 'aina for many years, that having that $100k job isn't everything.
    If only! If I got that $100k job, I'd barely pack before hopping the plane!

    Seriously, though, I'm not talking about "chasing the big bucks" or anything. I'm not looking for that proverbial golden opportunity to make it big on the Mainland. It's not capitalist or consumerist greed. It honestly is simple survival. Being one paycheck from the streets is, frankly, no way to live as a family... yet thousands of folks in Hawaii live that close to the edge every day.

    know what you mean about coming back, too. Even among my relatively (!!!) young peers, many of them are already aching to return. And from USENET posts and other online communities, I know there's no shortage of former kama`aina wishing they could come back. The fact that there are so many people with their face up against the glass looking in as I look out is another reason why I'd have to think twice, three times, before deciding to jump. It might be hard to leave Hawaii, but it's even harder to return once you've left.

    For some, the lifestyle you develop on the Mainland would be just too expensive to retain here, and for others, the simple cost of living - once you've gotten out from under it's massive weight - is too difficult to squeeze back into.

    If we do leave Hawaii, and if we can never afford to live here again, I can find solace in the fact that we've at least got a place to be buried here! That's a real tiny piece of real estate... but it's comforting to have.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Location
    Waipahu
    Posts
    3,534

    Default Re: If you could leave Hawaii, would you?

    Leave Hawaii? NEVAR

    Hawaii is where I was born and raised. Hawaii is my only home, and if I left, then I rather die.

    When I went to Texas for a school trip, no one had the aloha spirit, everyone just didn't talk to me because i was "brown" (plenty people either black or white, never "inbetween".

    And when I asked for directions, they looked at me weird because I spoke pidgin, and I never knew how for translate it into english.

    My brother stay in Michigan, and he say that its very cold and snowy. No more local foods or Hawaiian songs (he had to rip it from CDs before he left and put it in his computer).

    This is the only place where everyone can understand you, whether your having a bad day, or a good one. No one can ever pay a broke college student to ditch his family, friends, his island home to live in "haole land".
    How'd I get so white and nerdy?

  6. #6

    Default Re: If you could leave Hawaii, would you?

    Quote Originally Posted by adri1456
    Leave Hawaii? NEVAR

    Hawaii is where I was born and raised. Hawaii is my only home, and if I left, then I rather die.

    When I went to Texas for a school trip, no one had the aloha spirit, everyone just didn't talk to me because i was "brown" (plenty people either black or white, never "inbetween".

    And when I asked for directions, they looked at me weird because I spoke pidgin, and I never knew how for translate it into english.

    My brother stay in Michigan, and he say that its very cold and snowy. No more local foods or Hawaiian songs (he had to rip it from CDs before he left and put it in his computer).

    This is the only place where everyone can understand you, whether your having a bad day, or a good one. No one can ever pay a broke college student to ditch his family, friends, his island home to live in "haole land".
    Thanks for your thoughtful response, Adrian. If you have the chance to, though, when you finally get that good paying job in Hawaii come up here some more or travel a little in other parts of the world. Once you do that, you start putting your own life in perspective: yes, in parts of this country, there are still some very narrow minded people out there ("rednecks") but isn't that also true in Hawaii? I went to visit my inlaws in North Carolina a couple of months ago. I thought, with all the stereotypes I had of how the "Rufuses" and "DaisyMaes" would treat me because I don't look like white bread America, that people would stare at me or worse. You know what, though? Everybody treated me very courteously and no one even stared at me! (not that that would have bothered me) Where I visited was in the middle of the Bible belt, even.

    The people who treated you badly probably have never left their own little neighborhood and probably have never been outside of Texas. Man, I tell you! One of the best things about travelling to other places is it really opens up your eyes to the world around you. So stay and prosper in Hawaii and do everything you can to make your community a better one, OK?

    Malama pono,
    Miulang

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Location
    Honolulu, Hawaii
    Posts
    10,240

    Default Re: If you could leave Hawaii, would you?

    I guess the question would be why would one leave Hawaii in the first place? For a better job, yeah I would, but that too would depends on where I end up.

  8. #8

    Default Re: If you could leave Hawaii, would you?

    Quote Originally Posted by helen
    I guess the question would be why would one leave Hawaii in the first place? For a better job, yeah I would, but that too would depends on where I end up.
    K'den, Helen. If somebody up here offered you a job, and told you you could relocate anywhere (all expenses paid, even!), where would you want to live?

    Miulang

  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Posts
    350

    Default Re: If you could leave Hawaii, would you?

    Only to visit other places...maybe for six months or so. I've gone to China for six weeks at a time, ditto Japan and Europe and after three weeks I always wanted to come home. Even visiting my daughter in N. CA. for five weeks is too LONG! I just don't feel comfortable anywhere but in HI! I'm now retired and soon my hubby will retire if we ever "can't" afford HI. I'll make my kids pay! for me to go into a retirement home (LOL)
    Retired Senior Member

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Location
    Honolulu, Hawaii
    Posts
    10,240

    Default Re: If you could leave Hawaii, would you?

    Quote Originally Posted by Miulang
    K'den, Helen. If somebody up here offered you a job, and told you you could relocate anywhere (all expenses paid, even!), where would you want to live?
    Some place where the weather is cooler.

  11. #11

    Default Re: If you could leave Hawaii, would you?

    Well, this is the longest I've ever lived in one place (got here in 1978, but the family moved here in 1970), and I've thought about it, particularly when I was working half-time in LA and still getting Honolulu wages.

    I dunno. There's still a lot of country I haven't seen yet, and travelling is a lot easier once you're actually on the mainland.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Location
    Honolulu
    Posts
    3,169

    Default Re: If you could leave Hawaii, would you?

    I was born and raised in Hawai'i, and though I spent several years in California for college, and have visited lots of places, I never considered settling down anywhere else. It's not that I don't enjoy seeing other parts of the world -- I'd love to travel more -- but Hawai'i will always be home. I know that people in other parts of the country make 50% to 100% more than I do for the same work. But I make enough to live on, and I'm not tempted by the extra money -- because I'd have to live somewhere else. Even if I got offered a huge salary, I wouldn't move.

    Why? Because all my family is here. Because I love the culture of Hawai'i. Because the food is so 'ono. Because the weather is great, and the land is beautiful. Because I don't like the cold. Because I've seen other parts of the world, and most of them are horrible places to live.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Location
    the hills of Kalihi
    Posts
    946

    Default Re: If you could leave Hawaii, would you?

    Yes, if I could get my act together, get a new passport, arrange a bank account where my retirement checks would be automatically deposited, save a little while for the ticket, I'd return to India and Nepal.

    BUT ... there are some people on this island of Oahu I'm not at all sure I could force myself to leave behind.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Location
    Oahu now part of the traffic problem in lower Puna
    Posts
    8,415

    Default Re: If you could leave Hawaii, would you?

    I'm like Glen, I've been to the mainland (lived there for four years) in Idaho. One thing I learned while being up there is that you tend to seek out other's from Hawaii and your form a bond that continues wherever you end up.

    I'm originally from the Waialae-Kahala area (yes a true Townie) and lived a sheltered East Honolulu lifestyle. I joined the Air Force and ended up in Mtn Home Idaho where I met up with Mac (da Hawaiian) from Pearl City, Sterling (da Filipino) from KPT, and Keith (another Filipino) from Molokai. We ended up together for each other's sake because we all brought together stories of Hawaii. Mac would tell me, "Eh bradda Craig, you dakine bugga I wen beat up for lunch money". Sterling would say, "Yeah, me too!" Keith would say, "Wow Mololai mo betta den dat".

    But because we were the only ones from Hawaii (and no Internet back then) we stuck it out and became really close friends. And thru this bond I learned more about being local (up in Idaho) than I could ever have learned staying in my cocoon in Waialae Nui. I stay so local now, when some punk wants to pick one beef with me, I no fear no moa. I pound em. Before I would run away.

    I'm older and wiser now and I only use my defensive Aikido when somebody want to attempt to "tune my okole"

    But you gotta grow up in Hawaii, move away for a few years, then come back to understand that giddy feeling one feels when you land at Honolulu International Airport. I literally dropped to my knees and kiss Oahu when I came back for good.

    But the question begs the answer, No I wouldn't leave Hawaii for more pay or stature. I'm sorry, I have my simple pleasures in life (no mortgage, no car payments, kids with good grades and attitude, lovely wife, and money in the bank).

    One thing though, I think its a good idea for everyone young to venture beyond our islands and see the world in order to appreciate that slogan, "Lucky you live Hawaii" I've been all over the United States, Europe and the Middle East and can truthfully say there's no place like Hawaii.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Location
    Honolulu
    Posts
    3,169

    Default Re: If you could leave Hawaii, would you?

    Craig has a good point: I never appreciated Hawai'i much until I left for college and got a taste of what other places are like. Growing up here, I took it for granted and didn't really understand why the islands are as popular as they are, why tourists and travel writers gushed about the beauty of the place. "Kaua'i? Oh yeah, it's nice. Kinda slow but."

  16. #16
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Location
    Seattle WA
    Posts
    666

    Default Re: If you could leave Hawaii, would you?

    After I got out of UH, I lived in Idaho for a few years working at a paper there. Then moved to Tokyo for three. I kinda decided to try my hand at living in Hawaii again and fortunately wound up working at job I really enjoy. But I wonder if I'll ever be able to afford a home here. Prices are a complete joke, yet idiots continue to buy crap houses for idiotic sums of money. I can't see myself doing that, just on principle (although perhaps I will). Only time will tell if I'll stick around or not.

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Location
    Oahu
    Posts
    1,055

    Default Re: If you could leave Hawaii, would you?

    If I could have the packers/movers here today, I would leave! Hubby's company moved us here for "one to three years" back in late '93, and we're still here. I try to not question, cuz I have faith in a God that is personally insterested in every angle of our lives, but still I pray to move back to the mainland, preferably home to Texas, back to one of the most wonderful extended families in the world.

    This paradise is a blessing to those that have huge families here, but to me it's just a place that has come to cost more than it's worth. Besides, my bottom line isn't the TAXATION hell this place is, but that home is where the heart is, and my heart is in South Central Texas, where I was born and raised, as it should be.

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Location
    Oahu
    Posts
    1,055

    Default Re: If you could leave Hawaii, would you?

    Wow, I just finished reading this whole thread, and am surprised that a couple of posters say that their job in Hawaii would pay a lot more on the mainland! I just assumed we are paid more for living here, and in hubby's case, it may be so, but we do not get C.O.L.A., that I know for sure, but he does make 100K a yr, and I do not think this specific job would pay him more on mainland, and we may get to transfer to Seattle or Florida someday, with this engineering job.

    Just seems every job, or darn near every job would pay more here. Other things cost more here than mainland, so I thought, oh boy did I think it was proportionately higher pay here in just about everything. WHY does hawaii pay less for comparable jobs, yet so many businesses charge more, for their costs are more?

    Sigh, maybe someone will be able to explain it, maybe I won't figure this one out.

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Location
    Honolulu, HI, USA
    Posts
    7,326

    Default Re: If you could leave Hawaii, would you?

    Quote Originally Posted by Karen
    Just seems every job, or darn near every job would pay more here.
    Oh, if only! If only! (Sigh.) You'd think that would be the case, or even just hope so, but it's not. For most of us, at least.

    You make a good point by bringing up COLA, though, 'cause that's one way you get more in gross dollars than comparable employees on the mainland. Federal workers and military are compensated for the higher cost of living "overseas" -- which includes Hawaii. IIRC, it's 25 percent. Folks who relocate here with federal jobs are thrilled when they see the giant new numbers on their checks from Uncle Sam... but they soon find out the money disappears just as fast.

    WHY does hawaii pay less for comparable jobs, yet so many businesses charge more, for their costs are more?
    I know it's going to sound like a flippant answer, but it's true, and many economists have elaborated on it at length, saying, essentially, that employers in Hawaii pay lessthan they do on the Mainland simply because they can. There are pressures, to be sure, such as a much higher cost of doing business (including mandatory health care, which is no small benefit to employees), but that alone doesn't account for the small paychecks.

    It's an employer's market, because there's always someone else willing to do the same job for less. If I wanted to hire a network technician, I can advertise it for minimum wage (unlike almost anywhere else), because I'll still get fifty resumes. After all MCSE/Cisco certified geeks are pumping gas and running cash registers.

    Also, our labor force is not mobile like that of Mainland cities. Our qualified workers can't just hop a bus and work for a company in another town. We're a captive market -- both as customers, and as employees.

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Location
    Honolulu
    Posts
    3,169

    Default Re: If you could leave Hawaii, would you?

    Quote Originally Posted by pzarquon
    You make a good point by bringing up COLA, though, 'cause that's one way you get more in gross dollars than comparable employees on the mainland. Federal workers and military are compensated for the higher cost of living "overseas" -- which includes Hawaii. IIRC, it's 25 percent.
    Effectively, it's actually even more because COLA isn't subject to federal income tax. That's why those Pearl Harbor shipyard jobs are so prized...

  21. #21
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Location
    Oahu now part of the traffic problem in lower Puna
    Posts
    8,415

    Default Re: If you could leave Hawaii, would you?

    I think if the cost of housing wasn't so high we'd be okay. Here in Kea'au, where homes of equal curb appeal cost about 1/3 as much as in Honolulu. Because homes cost less here, I realized I didn't have to work anymore. My wife works and I stay home and terrorize this board all day long.

    She tells me it's my turn to take a break after 10-years of two jobs to take care of my family while she went back to college and raise our children. So now I stay home and raise our 8-month old son and I took an early retirement at age 44.

    You can make here in hawaii, just get out of Honolulu. When I need my Ala Moana fix, its just a 1-hour flight away.

  22. #22
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Location
    Oahu
    Posts
    1,055

    Default Re: If you could leave Hawaii, would you?

    Pzarquon,

    thanks and you did help explain it better than I could have, alone. The captive market, it being an island, and sure, I can understand how this state isn't very business-friendly, tax them a lot, and overhead here is a lot, so they pay less, sigh....because they can. Boy is this a wake up on the subject, for me! I have had mainland friends and family ask me if pay is in-line with costs here and I didn't know, so I just said, well it must be! LOL....hubby's company found out we were unhappy when renting, a few years ago, so the gave him a 22% pay raise that yr, and since then, a five and a 3, two consecutive yrs, so with the low interest rate, it did get us into the lower end of the market, and we bought a bit more than two years ago, before a huge price boom.

    Sigh...paradise, with family here, sure it would be. Still so many move to Las Vegas, for example, that have even great-grandparents here. Must be hard for them, but at some point, quality of life overtakes the heart.

  23. #23
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Location
    Honolulu
    Posts
    3,169

    Default Re: If you could leave Hawaii, would you?

    Quote Originally Posted by adri1456
    Leave Hawaii? NEVAR

    Hawaii is where I was born and raised. Hawaii is my only home, and if I left, then I rather die.

    When I went to Texas for a school trip, no one had the aloha spirit, everyone just didn't talk to me because i was "brown" (plenty people either black or white, never "inbetween".

    And when I asked for directions, they looked at me weird because I spoke pidgin, and I never knew how for translate it into english.

    My brother stay in Michigan, and he say that its very cold and snowy. No more local foods or Hawaiian songs (he had to rip it from CDs before he left and put it in his computer).

    This is the only place where everyone can understand you, whether your having a bad day, or a good one. No one can ever pay a broke college student to ditch his family, friends, his island home to live in "haole land".
    Adri raises a good point: if you're white, living in America is a lot easier than if you're not. When I went to California, it was the first time in my life that I ever felt like a "minority". More so when I would visit even whiter states like Texas or Colorado. Shee, what a weird feeling. This must be what the kotonks feel like all the time. No wonder they're so angry and neurotic.

    I think that haole guys like our friend dick, kama'aina though they may be, have less problems adjusting to life in America than us browner types would, and therefore are less reluctant to try leaving. And it makes sense that folks like Karen and Albert, who weren't born here in the first place, have less of a stake in staying.

  24. #24
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Location
    Seattle WA
    Posts
    666

    Default Re: If you could leave Hawaii, would you?

    >>>I think that haole guys like our friend dick, kama'aina though they may be, have less problems adjusting to life in America than us browner types would

    Hmmm... last time I checked, Hawaii was in America. But I know what you mean.

    Also, I wonder why haole people would be thought of as having "less problems" (sic) adjusting to life on the mainland. Just because of the color of our skin? Is skin color the only contributing factor to one's adjusting to a certain place? Interestingly enough, I felt a larger dose of co-called 'culture shock' moving to Idaho than I did when I moved to Japan.

  25. #25

    Default Re: If you could leave Hawaii, would you?

    Being a military family, the issue hasn't been IF we could leave Hawaii, but rather we HAD to leave Hawaii (at some point). Hubby's first experience was when he left for boot camp, mine was about 1 1/2 years later, after we got married with a 1 year old son and another one on the way. Of all places, his first duty station was in Patuxent River, Maryland. Talk about being homesick. The people on the East Coast, at least in my neighborhood, weren't friendly at all. I didn't expect everyone to say hi, but even an acknowledging smile almost non-existent. It was a pretty rough time emotionally for me at that age to be away from the customs I was so familiar with and took advantage of. Thankfully we weren't there for too long.

    We moved to Jacksonville, Florida. It reminded me more of home. At least the people there had a warmer, friendlier personality. One of the first things I've noticed about Florida was the sand there is fine, finer than grains of table salt so I didn't care to walk in it much. My friend, who was born and raised in Florida told me they have sand not boulders on their beaches (comparing Florida sand to Hawaii's coarser sand).

    When we moved back to Hawaii, I immediately took notice of the things I had missed when living on the Mainland:


    • Ohana
    • Blue ocean
    • Mountains
    • Tradewinds
    • Brown people
    • Rubber zoris
    • Plate lunches

    Anyways, we've moved several times since. Hawaii is my home, it will always be my home because no matter where I reside, I'll take Hawaii with me in my heart. Unfortunately, we're one of those who can't afford to purchase a home and live comfortably in Hawaii, so we've decided to set roots in the next best place (for us), Washington state. We're on the waitlist for Hawaiian Homestead so maybe in the future, we might be able to relocate. We're hopeful anyway. http://hawaiithreads.com/images/smilies/wink.gif

Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •