Hawaii Welcome Wagon For People Moving To The Big Island of Hawaii

Julie Ziemelis enjoys Holoholokai park

I have assumed a new role and it is the Welcome Wagon for new Hawaii residents or for people wishing to move here!

I met with a couple last week who came to me from a friend living in Seattle.  They treated me to a fantastic mai tai at Don the Beachcomber as they asked about what life was REALLY like on this island and where the best neighborhoods were to consider moving into. I enjoyed sharing what I know about the different climate zones, cost of housing, crime rate, desirability based on my friends who have rented and bought homes in West Hawaii. I think I am a great resource!

(2021 update: Check out our website at www.MoveToHawaii365.com for amazing resources!)

We also had a nice chat about the energy of the island, as well!

I also have become somewhat of a “future adviser” for friends on the mainland waiting for their children to get into college before they make the move over here. They want to know the job outlook, things to do for “empty nesters” and retirees. (Don’t come with a medical problem is usually my response, due to our lack of specialty care for the elderly!)

Tomorrow morning, I am meeting with another “island hopeful”. She came as a referral from a parent at my children’s school and is actually touring the school this week. One thing that I enjoy about doing these meetings is that I get to help people. It’s quite a shock to the system to move to an island.

I met another family who recently moved here a few weeks ago and their daughter was terrified of the ocean..which I found out when I encouraged her to jump in off a rock and she almost drowned me and then blew my eardrums out screaming about urchins, coral, jelly fish and rocks. If you plan on moving here, you must accept that its a FAMILY decision if you bring your kids. Get them out of the house before they arrive on this “adventure island” because it takes a person who knows how to balance on lava, swim in the ocean, blow off large cockroaches and centipedes as part of the terrain and treat geckos as small house guests to feel good here.

Another woman who found me through my blog, shared a similar background in PR/Marketing. We met at the Mauna Lani and she treated me to lunch while I shared with her the business climate here and how to get more involved. Since she already bought a piece of land here and wanted to develop, I also encouraged her not to hire an off island architect, as most people who don’t work here don’t understand the lava/aquifers/building codes we have in West Hawaii.

Sharing my Aloha and experience will hopefully ease the moving transition for these folks and I want them to  know they have someone who  they can trust to connect them to resources and information. This blog has really helped create a virtual “Welcome Wagon” and I hope to create something that will continue to help new island residents! If you want to ask a question, go to Facebook and find me at Facebook.com/365Kona. I have a great community there who can be a resource, too!

2021: If you are coming to the island, I have created an amazing “eco-system” of resources and Facebook Groups to help you be successful. I also have written MANY posts and created videos about how you can be an asset to the island and come with Aloha. Our 365Hawaii YouTube channel is a fantastic resource. 



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

Meet the Author

Julie Ziemelis

Julie Ziemelis is an entrepreneur, business owner, author, blogger and vlogger in Kailua Kona. She created and moderates the “365 Things to Do in Kona” page and the Kona Newbies group on Facebook. She blogs at 365Kona.com and MoveToHawaii365.com and vlogs with her husband, Eric, at “365Hawaii” on YouTube. Julie also authored the books, “How to Move to Kona” and the “Insiders Guide to Buying Real Estate on the Big Island of Hawaii”. You will most likely find Julie in Kona hiking, running, biking, taking photos and sharing Aloha.

Leave a Question or Comment About this Topic

  • Super cool, Julie. I hope that one day soon, you will welcome me to the Big Island. Maybe not just yet as a resident, but as a fellow chocolate and coffee lover. I’ll keep my fingers crossed that we will meet in the next few months.

  • Sarah says:

    Hi Julie,
    I have been contemplating moving to Hawaii for the past couple of months. I currently live in Northern California and work as a Realtor. I would like to practice real estate in Hawaii and start as a buyers agent in order to build clientele and meet people initially. I would be moving by myself and have been to Hawaii quite a few times so I have some basic knowledge as to the differences between the islands. Could you please help me connect with some local Realtors? Do you have any advice for a twenty-five year old moving to Hawaii? Also, I plan on flying out there sometime in March to explore, meet people and try and figure out housing. It would be great to meet you!!