Do the Highs Outweigh the Lows of Living on Hawaii Island?


I was swimming at Kua Bay this morning, before most people arrived, and as I was looking down into the PERFECTLY clear blue water with the white sand 20 feet down, I was thinking how fortunate I was to live here and how being able to do this all the time if I wanted, is just one of the best perks of living here. And then I thought of all the people who would say that two hours of fun on the beach is not worth the sacrifice of moving to the island to get it all the time.

Moving to Hawaii Island IS a sacrifice. You leave your friends and family to come here. You leave much of your personal belongings. The holidays are often not spent with your close family and friends. People have to work hard to find community here. The highs of seeing such beauty, which can bring tears to your eyes, is sometimes often the YING to the how expensive it is to live here YANG. I was drinking many more mai tai’s and glasses of chardonnay at ocean front restaurants a few years ago before the establishments all raised their prices as the economy got better and they could. Our friends do more potlucks than they do meeting at Huggos’s, that is for sure. 

You do what you do to live here, like live small, as I have been doing for 12 years so I can enjoy life in West Hawaii. One of my friends noted in a Moving to Hawaii Facebook group that bread is $7 a loaf. It is. I eat less bread now! (and more local fruits and vegetables).  Here is a quote from a recent local resident, Mike: “Who cares about bread, milk and steak prices when you have the freshest food in your yard?  It’s the way you live and it is not for everyone. I thank God for being able to enjoy such Paradise!” 

When I dove down a few feet to see if I could hear the whales yet, or floating face up with light waves carrying my body, I was thinking that if it were easy, everyone would be doing it and I would have to get to the beach at 6 am instead of 8 am to be alone!

I sit in gratitude for a place that is surrounded by the energy of Aloha, the Hawaiian culture that reminds us to care for the land, the ocean and each other, and the incredible feeling of having a connection to the spirit (mana) of this island. It is an annual Christmas gift, to be sure.

Merry Christmas to you all, especially the crazy adventurers who moved here or want to move here. The ones who feel called to be here or dream of floating in a blue ocean in December happy as clams and know that they won’t be heading back to the airport in a few days.

Share your thoughts in the comments!


(For your 2019 goals, get a copy of my “How to Move to Kona” book! You can also join the 365 Kona’s I’m Moving to the Big Island and Buying A Home” group, too!)

Spread the word if you love what you heard! #365kona so we can say Thanks!

Meet the Author

Julie Ziemelis

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  • Kawika says:

    What a beautiful post! I too felt called here and has been somewhat of a struggle because of the eruption(was living near leilani), but now moving to west Hawaii I have found good community and I feel blessed to be able to experience the same things you mentioned. Happy holidays neighbor! Aloha!

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