Why the Big Island Is A Terrible Place To Live

When my family and I decided to move here a year ago, we thought we would only be here for one year. However, due to the fact that we love it here, we have found deep friendships and have made business contacts so we can find employment, we have decided to stay. So, you ask, why the title of this post? Mixing it up.

(This post was published on Huffington Post in the fall of 2013..more pics if you want to see it there!)

The Big Island is a terrible place to live because:

1. You send pictures of what you did on the weekend to your friends on the mainland and they write things like, “I used to like you”, “Stop, you’re killing me!” “Can’t you please keep it down?”

2. Once you stay here for any length of time, you feel the energy of the land and the people. When you leave the island, you can’t shake the feeling that you are missing a part of yourself.

3. You can’t imagine going back to a major city center. I used to love going to big, fancy shopping areas, watching movies in big theaters with hundreds of fellow movie goers, and watching people wearing the latest fashions. Now, I can’t imagine dealing with the traffic anymore. I can now show up 5 minutes late to a first run movie and get a good seat. Fashion does not own me anymore. I used to work to afford expensive shoes, the latest seasonal dress, and new suits. I wear sandals and flip flops, shorts, tank tops and on occasion a sun dress. I don’t spend much on clothes anymore, and with the extra time I have not working to afford it, I sit on a beach with my kids.

4. You have to drive slow. And let people in. You actually have to relax on the highway, because since many residents practice the Aloha Spirit while driving, there is very little, if any honking. Most people who ride people’s bumpers, are from California on their way back to the airport.

5. You can’t rest when it’s a blue day. Since you always feel like you are on vacation, its VERY difficult to look outside from your computer and not have the feeling that you should be out swimming. Or running. Or surfing. You feel the same way about laying around in your house with a book. You feel guilty that you are not out enjoying another day in paradise.

6. You can’t get anything done when people come to visit. If someone came to visit us in the Bay Area, they usually had other family members or friends to visit. Or they would come for dinner and go about their trip. Here, they live next door to us for a week. And since we are the consummate lovers of adventure and travel on this island, we can’t say no to taking friends and family to the best snorkeling spots, dining with a sunset view and sharing umbrella drinks, coffee farm tours or 4 Wheeling to remote beaches. Nope, your days are shot.

7. You meet people who make you re-evaluate your diet. There are MANY organic farmers on the Big Island. They talk about pesticides, genetically modified seeds, and commercial farming and livestock handling and how that affects your health and your spirit. You don’t realize it all at once, but you find yourself touring local farmers markets and giving tropical foods a try. You purchase island grass fed beef, no GMO dairy products from island dairy farmers, and you think about planting a garden yourself and growing vegetables. You find yourself blessing your food and really understanding where it came from. Isn’t that crazy?

8. Sunscreen? Hats? Swim shirts? You better have plenty because you find yourself walking on sunny trails, strolling through bright outdoor markets, swimming in tide pools, reading on a beach, driving in a convertible, exploring a Volcano or heaven forbid, hiking down into a sacred valley.

9. You can’t wear big, fat, heavy coats. Or thick scarves. Or shovel snow out of your driveway. Or have your car skid on black ice. (caveat..unless you go up to Mauna Kea above the 9,000 foot visitors center. Then all bets are off on the above complaint)

10. You can NOT commiserate with your friends on Facebook or Twitter when they say things like, “It’s going to be 114 degrees today in Scottsdale” and another says, “It’s 112 here in Tucson” and then finally from Phoenix, “My car thermometer says it’s 120. Please, kill me now”. Nope, you can not jump in there with a knowing statement. Conversely, you can only offer condolences when your friends send pictures of the four foot snow drifts left by a recent blizzard.

11. And the last thing I have to say about why this island is a terrible place to live…you see people standing on the walk way outside of the hotels and resorts with their bags packed waiting to go home. And you feel sorry for them.

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55 Responses to Why the Big Island Is A Terrible Place To Live

  1. Tara January 18, 2018 at 11:07 pm #

    I lived in Kailua in Oahu before and miss living in Hawaii every day. I currently live in San Diego and am a FT student psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner. My husband recently retired from the military. I am hoping to get a job in Hawaii when I graduate. We have extended our final military move due to schooling so would only have to pay to ship 1 car or we could just buy a second car when we get there. The military will move everything else at no cost. I am wondering how hard it is to get a job there as a PMHNP. We love the big island but are afraid it would be hard for someone not local to get an in. I didn’t get a RN job in Hawaii until we had already moved there. Once I had a Hawaii address, it was easy to work. I do have connections on Oahu so it would not be hard to get a position there. I just love the natural beauty, different climates and higher elevations, of the big island. My husband and I would prefer to live at a higher elevation that would be cool at night, not requiring A/C. We were also looking at Maui for that reason.

    • Julie Ziemelis February 23, 2018 at 1:24 am #

      Tara-you can always apply at the hospitals and clinics. There always seems to be a shortage of good health care professionals here. BUT, the rental housing market is SUPER tight, especially right now due to high season. Just letting you know that will be one of your biggest hurdles. YOu almost need to find a job and housing simulatneously. Perhaps renting a VRBO for a few months may be an option. Good luck!

  2. James October 15, 2016 at 1:32 pm #


    I am considering taking a position as an aircraft mechanic on the big island. It offers full benefits and I’ll start at about $51,000/ year. I like the liveliness of a city, but also love surfing, going on long hikes with my dog (his paperwork and tests are ready to go) and swimming in waterfalls, all things I believe the island offers. I like to live simply, and frugally, I’d imagine trading my Jeep Wrangler here in the mainland for a small motorcycle or scooter on the island, Is that salary enough? Is assuming $1000/month in rent too little? I did as much research as I could financially and calculated that I might even be able to save money, but is that realistic? I am single, 32, fit and I am concerned if I’d be able to meet a girl there around my age bracket, or make friends, is island fever common? I’m also into yoga and mindful meditation and would hope to find like minded people. I imagine all of this being possible in the island paradise in my mind but am looking for a reality check. Thanks!

    • Julie Ziemelis October 16, 2016 at 4:43 pm #

      James-the average salary on the island is $50k, so you are right in line with most professionals who only work one job to make it. Most people pick up something else to be able to enjoy the $10 mai tais. πŸ˜‰ For $1000 you are going to get a little bit below average place to live. Which might put you in a weird neighborhood, but if you find an Ohana unit and are willing to offer handyman skills, etc you may find something really cool. Bump it up to $1200 and start looking. (A NICE place to live is more around $1400-$1500 a month right now)
      You will be driving to get to waterfalls, as there is not a waterfall to be found anywhere near Kona..lol. You might enjoy hiking to Anna’s Pond in Waimea.
      There are single women on the island..more so than men, so you should be a hot commodity. I’ll tell ya, there is a brain drain on the island. Most women in their early thirties who are looking for a professional career may not be in Kona. There ARE really nice women who are giving the island life a shot and may work in hospitality. There is an active bar scene, but be careful…its a small island, too. YOu’ll make friends if you get out and volunteer or get involved with sports groups. You will fit RIGHT IN with yoga and meditation! I can give you some names of friends to get you started. Join the Kona Newbies group on Facebook, too. Nice people there. Just go for it. When else in your life will you have this freedom? You have a job. That is KEY and you enjoy the spirit of the island..I can tell. Everything after that is an adventure. Good or bad..its a life changing adventure.

  3. Kelly June 13, 2016 at 2:47 pm #

    My 12 ur old daughter and I are moving for the school year. My husband and were married 22 years ago on the Big Island, we ha e been back several times. This last time, it was unbearable to leave. With a highly sensitive daughter. My husband and I agreed to give living there a try. My daughter stepped off the plane in April and said, “I am home”. We are so excited for this new adventure and trust that Spirit guides us thee for a reason. I have asked the Goddess Pele to show me how to best be of service while I am there.
    I guess after reading these posts, i just wanted to agree that the “pull” to be there was so strong, I felt thee was no option. In the 2months we have been back on the mainland, everything has fallen into place for us to move….we await what I’ll happen next. I am an Angelic Reiki instructor and can’t wait to meet others and live in a community of such connection to the Mother Gaia….

  4. Derek Wittman June 1, 2016 at 8:53 pm #

    My fiancΓ© and I are planning on moving to Kona at the beginning of September and we want some peace of mind about the job market. We are 23 & 24 and both have business degrees and experience. We have been traveling the world and decided we want to settle in Kona, we are looking for any advice at all for a young couple moving. Thank you so much for anything you can offer!

    • Julie Ziemelis June 2, 2016 at 6:31 am #

      There is no “easy jobs” here, but you can take whatever you can get when you arrive and start to build your network.

    • Julie Ziemelis October 16, 2016 at 4:54 pm #

      Derek-Did you move to Kona? Wondering how you landed.

  5. Deanna June 4, 2015 at 6:45 pm #

    I’m 52 and disabled with chronic migraines, chronic fatigue and myoclonic seizures after barely surviving leukemia twelve years ago. I have found that I feel worlds better in the tropics, and am planning on spending this coming winter on the Big Island, not quite sure just where yet. I am intrigued by your mention of Hawaiian healers. Are they difficult to find? Do you think they would be willing to treat a tourist overwintering on the Big Island and not yet living there full time? I’ve been to naturopaths, acupuncturists, herbalists, yogis, and lots and lots of men with a string of letters behind their names, and the only relief I’ve been able to find has been with natural remedies. I feel like this could open up a whole new avenue of potential.

    • Julie Ziemelis June 10, 2015 at 3:13 am #

      Aloha Deanna-If you want to try and see what is going on RIGHT NOW, contact my Hawaiian healer friend, Ilona at IDreamBeach@aol.com. She can reach out to you via phone and give you an idea of what is causing it and then can help you from there. She is a true magical healer. (She also is pretty intuitive, so she may tell you other reasons for your pain, as well.) Good luck!

  6. Shannon January 10, 2015 at 6:04 am #

    My husband and I are relocating to Kona this month and I am looking for ways to meet new people, so I thought I’d leave a message here!

    We are mid thirties with a young son and 2 dogs. My background is advertising and marketing but I am 3/4ths of the way through my masters in Clinical Counseling. I am hoping to get some part-time work in either field over the coming months but in the meantime simply looking to settle into our new home. Please feel free to PM me if you have any suggestions or free time for a coffee. shannongng@gmail.com

    Aloha! Shannon

  7. holly October 7, 2014 at 2:52 pm #

    hi Julie,
    i have always had a passion for the island life. i feel like just flying down there, but i worry about finding work to provide for myself. i have money saved, but who will rent to me without having a job? I am a single mom, my children are grown and i’m wondering now what. My last job was a correctional officer of almost 5yr. I have volunteered as a victim advocate for women in shelters. Other than that i have worked minimum wage jobs. When my youngest turned 19, i stopped working as a correctional officer, i only worked there to raise my children. I hated the 12hr shifts, 6 on, 2 off.
    Now i just can’t stop thinking about Kona, but i don’t want to get down there and be homeless. i have money, but again i would really like to have a place to live when i get there, learn the island, and find a job that is spiritually rewarding. i like working with people. My spiritual gift is compassion and encouragement. Thanks for listening, hope to hear from you soon.

    • Julie Ziemelis October 16, 2016 at 4:52 pm #

      Holly-sorry for the delay..I myself left the island, too! Unlike you, I had two kids who needed a good education. I wish someone could do a group home for people who just need a landing place in Kona to get started. The social service jobs in Kona pay barely enough to live off of..you would need a roommate or two jobs. For anyone else reading this..DO NOT go to the island unless you are bringing a job with you, have skills that are needed to the point that an employer wants to meet with you or if you wait tables or are willing to do hospitality jobs to get started.

  8. Jamie May 26, 2014 at 9:40 pm #

    Aloha. I lived in Hilo for 2 years coming from Los Angeles. While I enjoyed living in Hawaii since I am a beach bum, for me a professional, single, 30 year old (was living there when I was 27 and 28) woman the social aspect was hard. While people were friendly, I was just another white girl. Dating was impossible unless I didn’t mind dating a security guard or person with several kids! Living in Hawaii was a fun experience for me yet a lonely one. I would never make the move again unless I was going with a significant other. Recently I received an offer of employment in Princeville on Kauai, but now that I have a dog, the move looks too expensive. Very few places I found in the area up there allow for dogs in my price range. Will just stick to visiting Hawaii 2x a year!

  9. kathleen anderson March 19, 2014 at 10:56 pm #

    Have discovered the Big Island and have been going there for a few weeks each winter to escape the ice and snow of Boulder. I feel a really deep spiritual connection to this island. But as i am now older, i wonder about the availability of medical care, pain clinics, and doctors. Sad that i have to make this a priority but being able to live longer has its consequences. On the other hand, when i am on the island i feel healthier and happier than at any other time. Any advice for the older/Boomer generation who might feel that pull to sleep on top of slumbering (and some not so sleepy) volcanoes?


    • Julie Ziemelis March 20, 2014 at 12:46 am #

      Aloha Kathy!
      You are right that we don’t have the kind of medical care/facilities here in Kona that they do in Honolulu or in a major mainland city. We DO have ONE pain clinic in Kona..however, if you look at all the older people walking every morning, laughing in the coffee places, crowding the gym at 5:30 every morning…you’d think something was definitely in the air around here! People don’t come here to give up. I have been in gym classes with women in their 60’s doing the same thing as me! Being able to live longer has given these folks more of a reason to enjoy life! It takes a special person to live here well..money, attitude, etc, but I can attest that I personally have not seen a doctor in almost four years. If it were not for shots, my kids have not seen a doctor either. When we have aches, pains, sprains, we take advantage of an amazing Hawaiian healer, Ilona, who helped me recover in just ONE day when I was sick with the flu… We have incredible healers on this island..every modality you can think of. A friend of mine at Kokolulu Cancer Retreats brought in a “medicine-less healer” from China to do healings and workshops on Qi Gong. There is no need to be in pain on this island. SO..if you are going to age..this might just be the place NOT TO! πŸ˜‰

      • Kathy March 20, 2014 at 1:39 am #

        What a lovely response, dear lady! And there is great truth to what you have said. I have felt it personally. I had not taken a sinus headache pill for our two weeks on the Island in January. By the time we had driven from the Denver airport back to Boulder (40 minutes) i had a massive nosebleed and had a severe sinus headache. My pain doctor agreed that the altitude, warmer climate, more humid and cleaner air plus the general feeling of happiness that usually correlates with a warmer climate with lots of sunshine may translate into less measurable pain for those of us with degenerative discs. WE have lovely mountains here, a generally sunny climate, but the cold and snow seem interminable in this alpine desert clime. Most importantly, now that i am no longer part of an aggressively achievement- oriented mindset, the traffic and population density and frenetic feel to the city of Boulder is rather off-putting. Yet you seem to be busy and productive…. just a lot happier and more relaxed than most of my fellow Boulderites. It could just be my stage in life. It is not my city that is the problem; it is me and the fact that i am out of sync with its culture now. Strangely enough, Boulder’s cost of living including the real estate, food, and entertainment expenses are not much lower than what we found in Kona! Thank you so much for your wonderful reply. My husband is delighted that i found my way to your online site. Synchronicity perhaps? Or maybe since i have an altar to Pele and her incredible power of both destruction and creation, She has left me a message via cyberspace: You!

        • Julie Ziemelis March 20, 2014 at 2:10 am #

          There are no coincidences when it comes to people who are called to live on this island and believe in the power of Pele. πŸ™‚ When I started meditating a few months ago, I had a little message that said, “Bring this community together by using the 365Kona blog”. Seriously. I told that little “angel” that I am not making a living off of blogging..the angel said, “All will be well..create the community”. SO, here I am as a conduit to the Big Island. There may be a reason you feel connected to Pele and this island and most people who do, come here with a lightness in their heart..if you believe in the concept of raising the vibrational frequencies of the Earth..this may be the place for you! As you know, its a very spiritual island and coming from the Silicon Valley, I would be the LEAST likely person to hear those spirits talking, but they do. If you read back to my first post almost four years ago, I mention that I heard a voice saying “tell my story”..since then I have met the most amazing people and now am creating events for “the called” to get together, help each other and create community for the people who have found my blog who have used it as a source of inspiration to get here. It’s all very interesting and I just keep following the path.. If nothing else, you remember back in the old days when people would want to be by the ocean because it made them feel better?..positive ions will do that for you..and being in a community where people are not driven by materialism, consumerism and keeping up with the Jones’ may be the ticket for you!

          • kathy anderson March 20, 2014 at 2:45 am #

            Thanks, Julie. I agree with everything you said. And i appreciate the response. I see you are working on a book about moving to the Island. I will stay posted via FB. WE have already learned a lot by looking at the postings on the blog. You Rock, young lady!!!


  10. tower hobbies kaos January 8, 2014 at 5:01 am #

    Its like you read my mind! You appear to know a lot about this,
    like you wrote the book in it or something. I think
    that you could do with a few pics to drive the message home a bit, but instead
    of that, this is great blog. An excellent read. I’ll definitely be back.

  11. Jeff January 3, 2014 at 7:43 pm #

    I was a paramedic in Minnesota for a number of years and will be finishing my nursing degree soon. My wife and three young children would love to move to Kailua Kona area in the next year. Aloha is a lifestyle for us. We want to live off the land and truly enjoy life. Kona Community hospital is similar to where I used to work. Currently I work for a large institution and miss the smaller setting with truly caring staff. Really hope I will be able to secure a nursing job and make the move.

    Nicely written post, thanks for sharing!!!

  12. Yvonne September 6, 2013 at 1:38 am #

    Great post – Thank you.
    Here’s an on-going forum about moving to and living on the Big Island that I rely on – http://www.konaweb.com/forums/moving.cgi

  13. Terri September 5, 2013 at 7:54 pm #

    Hahaha-yup, Great article! I already knew all of this when we packed up and left but I also trust God to only lead me to where he needs me. I am a Kona Girl-born and raised, that prefers rubber slippers over heels any day and have anxiety attacks while on the freeways but we are so blessed to do what we are currently doing(Own-operate Island Style Cafe, a little Hawaiian restaurant) and share with so many up here in San Diego who are missing their Hawai’i nei(even if its through their bellys for some-lol) Like I always remind our Big Island born and raised kids, we have the aloha spirit to share with others who don’t even know it and also to those who miss it or need to be reminded about it. That is our “responsibility” now. Hawai’i and our home will always be there for us(Thank you God!!)and the world needs a little aloha in their lives everyday no matter where they are

    • Julie Ziemelis September 5, 2013 at 8:18 pm #

      Terri-Your words bring tears to my eyes. The Aloha spirit is so important to share with people all over the world. I left the island for a year and would love to visit our local L&L BBQ restaurant for a taste of Hawaii! We would read the Star Tribune, drink the Aloha Maids and enjoyed the “Hawaiian Word of the Day”. I am sure your cafe helps people taste the islands and the feeling of Aloha. Good for you! Thanks for being the Ambassador of Aloha while you are in San Diego. Thanks for commenting!

  14. Crystal September 5, 2013 at 5:10 am #

    *sigh* everything I dream of, I may have been born in Oregon but my heart is Hawaiian! I envy you and your Hawaii life πŸ™‚ Maybe someday I will have the courage to make the leap.

    • Julie Ziemelis September 5, 2013 at 5:18 am #

      Crystal: Here is the secret. If Pele wants you to be here because you bring a gift that will help her land or her people, the stars will align for you to be here. I see it time and again. If you have a true love for this island, come and do some meditation and see if Pele can make it happen. My husband found a full time job here 10 days before we arrived. We did not know what he was going to do and it all worked out. My job in the Bay Area paid me for a year to be here until I made the leap to a consultant. If its a dream, find a way to make it happen.

      • Debra Vittore September 7, 2013 at 7:45 am #

        I caution you on your reference to Madame Pele. You really should know what you are talking about. Believe it or not, she is a force to be highly and deeply respectful of.

  15. Nancy Adkins September 5, 2013 at 2:39 am #

    Loved it …what is REALLY hard is owning a house in Hawaii and only being able to be a part time resident YET (moving over full time 2015) while your son gets to live in the house and take care of it for you πŸ™ BUT at least I get to spend several months a year in Hawi till moving over full time. LOVE every moment in Hawaii and find myself spending my time that I am off Island planing for my return to Hawaii.

    • Julie Ziemelis September 5, 2013 at 5:16 am #

      Nancy-well, you have a foot in the door..or a slippah in the sand, you could say! You’ll be here soon enough and you can pray that Pele decides to give us a break for a bit! Aloha!

  16. Dawn August 20, 2013 at 11:33 pm #

    Aloha Julie and everyone.
    I am planning on moving to Kamuela/Wiamea area to work at the hospital and wouldlove any housing/ grocery shopping/ banking info you can give me. looking at going this September 2013.
    Also, just plan hekpful hints on moving and relocation in general would help.

    • Julie Ziemelis August 21, 2013 at 12:39 am #

      I used to do consulting work for the hospital, specifically to work on their relocation package! They have helpful materials they can send you. Connect with the Communications Department and tell them you got hired and would like to have all the information they have about the area and living there. Bring coats, sweaters and scarves..that part of the island is CHILLY! I don’t know about housing, but the town has a main center where the banks and shops are. Go to KonaWeb.com to find out more info about moving to the Big Island..also cruise through more of my blog posts, too!

  17. michelle fitzhenry July 8, 2013 at 4:09 pm #

    Is this a good place to find paid internships or experience for college students looking for a place to go for the summer because this sounds amazing. It sounds exactly like the place
    I need to go to find myself before I grow to old. I am in college and want to explore the world so I know exactly the kind of life I want to live. Hawaii is stop one.

    • Julie Ziemelis July 8, 2013 at 6:44 pm #

      The paid internships on the Big Island have mostly to do with agriculture. They do live/work programs where you can get free room in return for working on the farm. Check it out on the newspapers and the KonaWeb. You can always post a notice on CraigsList telling people what you can do and what you want…good luck!

  18. Mark February 20, 2013 at 6:22 pm #

    Since you mentioned you have children, how are the schools there and what particular one do you use? What area do you live in? Do you have any problems with crime? I will be moving that way soon and have it narrowed down to the big island..

    • Julie Z March 6, 2013 at 10:41 am #

      Mark-the Big Island has alot less crime than a major city. Our schools are not the best in the nation, but everyone tells me,,its about the parents, not the teachers or the schools..well, you have to be diligent with your children and their school work. I live in Keauhou and we have NO crime here at this point.

  19. Tom February 8, 2013 at 3:42 pm #

    Aloha! Great article! We want to retire to the big island when we turn 60 in 2 years. What standard of living would $3000 month get us? Would work partime as a landscape designer.
    Mahalo! Tom & Anna

    • Julie Z March 6, 2013 at 10:44 am #

      Hi Tom! You can get a place to rent in Kona for about $1500 a month for a decent place. Groceries are expensive here..we are spending $200 a week for a family of four. However, you have less for clothing and heating and cooling than on the mainland. Gas is $4.50 a gallon, so get a car with great gas mileage! Having a part time job to get a few mai tai’s would be a good idea! There are people who live here with two pair of shorts, a bike and no windows and they are happy as hell. You can get by!

      • Ray Duncan August 13, 2013 at 3:09 am #

        Buy when only on sale we bought tri-tip only 4.99 a pound
        and shop at local farmers markets! local fresh fish off the boat etc etc a lotta stuff cheaper then the mainland

      • Melanie March 8, 2014 at 2:38 pm #

        Aloha! Great post! My family and I are from Bastrop, Texas. In September 2011 we had Historic Wildfires, destroying 1500 homes and burning over 36,000 acres of land including our precious “Lost Loblolly PInes”. Since then my kids have been ill, Nikki experienced Pneumonia for 5 months, missed 26 days of school and still managed to pull of A Honor Roll! They are still experiencing illness, so we have made the decision to move to Hawaii, I spend around 200-280 a week for groceries here, we eat organic, GMO free, NItrate and Nitrite free, no processed etc.
        I am excited to that we chose the Big Island, we do consider ourselves country folks and want to get a horse for my almost 14 year old Nikki. We totally understand how much hard work this will entail, considering we are shipping our belongings, cars, pets and ourselves. We live in a modest custom built home now, but we are willing to sacrifice to live healthier! The challenging part is buying the home, so many in foreclosure or short sale, we won’t be able to fly out each time something changes. Any suggestions on that part? And yes buying is our only option due to our pets, we will not leave them behind due to renting stipulations. We are such hard workers and have great work ethic! We cannot wait to get there.
        Mahalo for reading about me and my family! Aloha~Melanie(35), George(36), Nikki (13 1/2) and Lexxi (7)!

        We are always open to any suggestions!!! Please feel free to call or email~512-629-6469!


        • Julie Ziemelis March 15, 2014 at 7:35 am #

          Melanie-I sent you a private email. Would be great to help you find your way on our island, connect you with the right peeps to move you over and introduce you to some good folks!

  20. Bridgett Ross October 26, 2012 at 11:35 am #

    So glad I found your web site. Spent 2 wks on the Big Island and fell totally in love. I would move to the island in a heart beat if could afford the move. Someday…… Being on the island was like being in the Garden of Eden to me. If someone hasn’t visited the Big Island yet they are missing out on a very amazing experience.

  21. heidi hogan January 16, 2012 at 8:19 pm #

    just stumbled across this blog entry. made me smile, and sad at the same time. “hawaii” is part of emme’s emerging vocabulary at the ripe old age of 2.

    • Julie Z January 17, 2012 at 12:21 am #

      Heidi-hopefully when Emme comes back when she is older, we can teach her about the true beauty of this land and in enjoying it, understand its culture and history. Hawaii is much more than beaches and restaurants. It’s Pele and the spirit that resides here and continues on in the hearts of those that believe in it, look for it and nurture it. ONe of the comments I received on this post was from a Native Hawaiian. He wanted me to acknowledge the painful history of the Hawaiian people in losing this beautiful island to the USA. I will keep this perspective in mind when writing posts here. I hope to educate people on getting to know the history, so they can be more cognizant of our impact as tourists and residents here.
      Thanks for finding this post!

  22. Teri Conrad November 20, 2011 at 5:07 am #

    *drool* I hate you! πŸ˜› JK – plotting my Hawaiian retirement as we speak! Cheers!

  23. Ed Gory July 2, 2011 at 4:12 am #

    Great article, Julie!

  24. Laura Kinoshita June 30, 2011 at 10:35 am #

    Really great post, Julie! We have friends coming on Friday and I can vouch that everything you say here is true! Last year I tried to work over the summer but this year I’m just going to play while they’re here. Still haven’t made it out to Makalawena…the beach club here is so nice it’s hard for me to get off my butt. You forgot one thing though … No fourth of July holiday traffic! I know you mentioned traffic, but remember how hard it was just to get home on holiday weekend Fridays? Being on an island means the same amount of cars on the road no matter what the day. And I also like the fact you can watch TV at 3am and see the 9am cable shows broadcast from New York.

  25. Eva June 28, 2011 at 8:12 am #

    I love it. Mostly because I (almost) already live it here in Atlanta. I love it when it’s 105 degrees, but I would move to Hawaii to avoid the cold winters (don’t care how short they are :))

    • Mark September 5, 2013 at 5:37 pm #

      I *used* to live in Atlanta (like Eva) but after a few travel deals (Clark Howard) I moved out here to the Big Island. I got tired of the tornados back there. Give me a disaster I can see coming, anytime πŸ™‚

  26. Eric Hempler June 28, 2011 at 4:55 am #

    Glad I saw this post on Facebook today. Even though I haven’t been to Hawaii and my wife has we have talked about retiring here when we get to that point.

    • Julie Z June 28, 2011 at 5:39 am #

      Hi Eric! Living on the Big Island is TOTALLY different than living on any other island, so these TERRIBLE things only apply here! LOL!
      We bought our condo in 2005 to get a “piece of the island” so we would have something to retire into. Even though the prices dropped, we still love our condo in Keauhou and felt we made a really good decision buying here. Thanks for your comment!


  1. The "Called to the Island" Club | 365 Kona365 Kona - March 12, 2014

    […] I just was asked to accept a friend request this morning from a lovely lady who read my “Why the Big island is a Terrible Place to Live” post and she felt we were kindred spirits from what I wrote about the spirit and lifestyle […]

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