Living in paradise, as you may have guessed, does not suck. It is warm year round, filled with more beaches than you could ever make it to in one vacation, has a unique and refreshing culture, and everything is beautiful… the people, the mountains, the ocean, even the snow cones. Before I decided to live in Hawaii, one of the most desolate places in the world, I was warned that I would get rock fever and would move back to the mainland again within a year, as something like 90% of people who decide to move to Maui end up doing. I was warned that many of the locals have lost their sense of “aloha” with mainlanders who decide they want to live the easy life in paradise. I was told I would never be able to afford living here and be constantly miserable trying to afford gas and groceries.
But here’s the thing: every place is what you make of it.
If you move to an island for the first time thinking you’ll never want to move somewhere else or go back home and that you’ll be celebrating your 70th wedding anniversary down the street on the famous Front Street in Lahaina, you’ve already set yourself up for failure. If you move to Maui thinking you’ll have no problem finding a house-sitting gig, a high-paying job that is both personally and professionally fulfilling, and a life that is full of beaches and cocktails and completely devoid of any real strife, you’re wrong. Plus, at least in my opinion, that seems really boring. My advice is to go into your move, wherever it may be, with less expectation and more adventure.
That being said, Maui has a lot of potential for becoming my paradise, but I’m not putting any labels on it yet. From the winding Road to Hana to the sunrise on Haleakala to beach parties to excellent surfing, there’s no reason to be bored on this island. And although I’m from the huge state of Texas, I go farther out and do more on this island than I ever did living in the boiling concrete wonder that is Dallas.
Just for the record, I’ve only been living in Maui for about a month, but I haven’t met one person that has been in any way rude or unwelcoming. I’m sure they’re out there. They’re everywhere, really. People are people and places are places, after all. I found a job that I actually enjoy within the first month of moving here, and yes, buying groceries and filling up my Toyota 4Runner makes me want to die a little inside, but no one ever said Maui was cheap. They just said it was awesome. So far, I believe them.
Update: Moving to Maui – One Year Later
Photos by Peter Rimkus and Kelsey Love