Updated “How To Move to Kona” Book Available Now!

How to Move to Kona - An Insider's Guide to Moving to the Big Island

Thank you for coming to my blog and being excited to get your hands on the best guide to moving to Kona out there! If you are salivating to begin reading and devising plans to make Hawaii home, don’t let me stop you-  Jump right to the updated download link here!

Why Did I Write A Book About How to Move to Kona?

In early 2014, I hosted a “365 Things to Do in Kona” community meet up at Keauhou Bay to meet some of my readers who had recently made the big move to the Big Island. It was fun to hear all the stories of why they came and what they planned on doing for business, lodging, schools, etc. All of them said they had read my blog to help them make the exciting transition to island life. However, I kept feeling that I could offer even more advice and connections to people who feel they have been called here or just want to do something interesting/adventurous for a short time. So, I wrote a book, “How To Move to Kona” released in December of 2014 and those meet ups became the genesis of the Kona Newbies group on Facebook.

Sharing the Aloha and Our Insights

 When you are called to live here..and you want to stay, being of service to others is helpful. In that vein, I shared my insights, experience and the experiences of others who made the move successfully to the Big Island in my book and many people gleaned valuable insights and many to this day, come up to me in public and thank me!

So, I updated the book- FINALLY

I had hoped when I first conceived the concept of my book that it would be a  bone fide “find it on Amazon” book, and it has been since December 2014! But now it will also be an ebook you can download with live links that I can update as time goes on. I first said I was making the book a download in March of 2018..but that is before I realized how many links needed to be tested and fixed, and a whole new chapter needed to be revised about VOG and the volcano erupting! So, I can finally take a bow and rest and know that you can easily have the information in your hands in a matter of seconds! OR, if you like paper, you can order the book from BookPatch and they will send you a hard copy!   

A Taste of the Goodness Inside!

Here is what you will find in “How To Move to Kona”

1. Schools in West Hawaii

2. Finding a job and why you should bring your own

3. Where to live and why you can’t decide until you get here

4. Why Hawaii is the most expensive place to live

5. What you should bring here and what to leave back home

6. Thinking ahead…things you can do to be part of the community from afar

Hawaiian keeper of the customs7. Hawaiian principles for living to know before you get off the plane

8. Expectations you need to leave at home about living in Hawaii

9. Who you need to know and why they will make your life easier as a resident.

10. Interesting facts the locals know about your new island home.

11. How to create community so you find a sense of place in paradise, otherwise known as “How to Avoid Loneliness”

12.  Things to do with young children and safety issues you need to know

13. Resource guide on businesses you will need to make your move ALOT easier.

14 . Six things you can do to save money as soon as you arrive.

Considering a move to the Big Island of Hawaii?

“How to Move to Kona” will be the beginning of your journey. If homeownership is another journey you want to embark upon, I also wrote “The Insiders Guide to Buying Real Estate on the Big Island of Hawaii”! You can purchase a hard copy through here or  you can buy both books as downloads here! 

Back Story: Our Family’s Arrival To Hawaii

When my husband and I stepped off Aloha Airlines with two small children in the spring of 2005, we came not knowing much about the island, the culture, the climate, housing, etc. because no  one was blogging about the island or moving here. Heck, GoogleMaps/MapQuest was not even available yet. In fact, no one even knew what a blog was and Facebook was still a few years away! (I wrote a six page email to my friends about spending Christmas with a 4 foot tall tree in a condo in 80 degree weather with a toddler and a four year old-this was before the advent of Facebook,  Skype, FaceTime, Google Hangouts and such.)

What We Wish We’d Known

We came in the middle of the housing boom and we had five condos to look at. That was it. “Pick one” our Realtor said. Talk about finding the lesser of two evils..all the condos we looked at needed major help and the prices were crazy, so we did not have much to choose from in our price range. We knew nothing about the school districts, which as a family with two kids, is one of the most important things to consider in a community.

We found out, belatedly, that elevation makes a big difference for where you want to live. Also, knowing about VOG was important back then.

Unlike quite a few people who have dreamed of moving to this island for the rest of their lives, we moved here to spend only a year! We thought we would sell the condo we purchased and renovated after the year was up and go back to our “happy little life in Silicon Valley”.  Funny how life does not always go the way you expect sometimes..;-)

We also did not have a CLUE about how expensive it is to live on an island, so we should have taken it a bit easier that first year on going out to have seaside dinners!

The Z Family in 2005

I still wish I would have known about alot of these issues before moving here and it sure would have been nice to connect with someone before I showed up to ask questions.

Making a decision to pick up and move your life 2500-5000 miles away from your family, friends, work and home is a huge jolt to the system. It can be exciting, rewarding, adventurous, expensive, crazy, fun and scary.

But having a “how to manual” makes it so much easier and you will save time and money after you read it AND you will know where some great happy hours are, you can come to a Newbie BBQ and start making community happen! 

How to Move to Hawaii Workshops-My next endeavor 

I am working on holding twice yearly (or more) workshops where you can come and talk story with people who live in different communities or neighborhoods you may be interested in living in, rental managers, Realtors, mortgage professionals, hiring managers, moving company representatives, etc. A one stop shop for all you need to make a successful move! Stay tuned as I roll out my first one in October 2019!


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

  • JAHJAH says:

    Hi and thanks a lot.

  • Denisa says:

    I am happy to help with strategies for Canadians, moving here on a visa has its challenges… We are still going through them… but ALL worth it.
    I am happy to help with content for foreigners.

    • Denisa-as I get the book rolling along after I put on the Chocolate Festival in May, perhaps you would be interested in writing a chapter on Strategies for Canadians and Non-US residents. Would enjoy adding your expertise to the book! (don’t mind my web developer Scott’s photo there..;-)

  • caron filhaber says:

    Aloha Julie, Great work — love your blog from Dana Pt. CA — hubby and I are looking forward to reading your e-book as soon as it is available! Mahalo, Caron and Jeff

    • Thanks Caron! Join my email newsletter list! I am thinking of releasing the chapters as I write them on the newsletter and then charging $20 for the whole thing when its in a book format. That way my email newsletter peeps will be getting it for free as its written!

  • Pat haskew says:

    Looking forward to your book

  • Maria Sharp says:

    Hi! We live in Santa Clara, Ca and our kids go to school in Los Gatos. It is incredible to have found your website. Thanks for doing this! We considered moving about 6 years ago, when we lived in Sunnyvale, and a job opportunity that was not remote kept us here. Now, here we are again with the opportunity and 2 kids ages 11 and 7! Anyhow can’t wait to learn more!