How Can You Afford To Live in Hawaii? How Can I Afford Not To?
Aloha Fridays are an Island tradition. I remember when it was de rigueur to wear an Aloha shirt or a mu’umu’u and a lei on Fridays. Nowadays, not so much.Things change.
It is easy to get nostalgic for things bygone, but a lot of things had cultural implications that went straight over my head at the time. When cultures mix with so much ethnic, racial, and economic diversity, it is easy to misconstrue. The soil is rich, and the stories ripe. It will be hard to run dry of Friday fodder. So, I invite you, Dear Reader, to use the comment tag above to help me choose what topics to cover.
Living the Dream!
The sight of palm trees swaying to the gently blowing Trade Winds, the feel of the warm sun, the smell of salty surf and coconut sun-tanning lotion, the sounds of ukulele and slack-key guitar, the taste of fresh-made syrup topping fluffy shave ice––Wha? You neva heah? Check ‘em next Friday. Broke da mout’ da kine! (Translation: If you don’t know what shave ice is–and even if you do–check this blog next Friday for a tour of one of my favorite spots for this iconic Island treat.)
When people find out that I live in Hawaii, they ask me all kinds of questions. They have their picture-postcard ideas of what life in Hawaii must be like. And truthfully, there are So Many Lives one can live in Hawaii, who am I to say they are wrong?
My point being: Hawaii is everything you every thought it was AND so much more.
I truly am living a dream.
But before you start selling your things and packing your bags, please read on. Caveats await…in abundance.
My biography could not be written without mentioning Hawaii.
I’ve vacationed, visited and lived in Hawaii for 5 decades now. So when I decided to chuck it all last year, as I related in About Lara, I wasn’t exactly doing the “Eat, Pray, Love” that my grown daughters told everyone I was doing. Although, I welcome most any comment that conflates me with either Elizabeth Gilbert or Julia Roberts.
My extensive personal history with Hawaii had one recurring theme: The only regrets I have had about living in Hawaii really involve leaving Hawaii. I had to leave the Islands for what I thought were very practical reasons, but those were always my BIG mistakes. Hawaii is the most practical place for ME to live. Strange, but true. Once you get to know me and my Hawaii, this will be abundantly clear.
My first semester as a UH undergrad, I went through a half-dozen roommates. Yes, 6 of them. And no, it wasn’t me or the my irksome rooming habits. They all went back to the Mainland because real life in Hawaii wasn’t the vacation life they thought it would be. More than 30 years later, people are telling me that same story. They leave because THEIR personal story is located somewhere else.
How Can I Afford Not To Live in Hawaii?
John Saddington shared his strategies of becoming a financially self-sufficient writer in his post, “How Much Money Do You Really Need?” John gave us a peek at his family finances. I live in Hawaii on about 1/5th of his budget. And I do so happily. And that is the key. I have a Wabi-sabi aesthetic. A check ofmy early childhood habits established on a Southern Illinois farm against my current life show surprising similarities.
Plenty of people spend plenty of money to live here. I don’t. Not a sacrifice. No worries.
Know Thyself! ~Delphi Oracle
Socrates was famous for quoting the Delphi Oracle. Its message is crucial, both meanings… Double entendre alert: KNOW thyself v Know THYSELF
What makes you uncomfortable, and what makes you happy? What truly does?
I took a diversity test some years ago that measured how comfortable I felt in racially mixed circumstance. I was an outlier. BIG TIME. Unlike 99.99% or something close to that, I was MOST comfortable in diverse environments. I prefer them. Most people of all backgrounds do NOT. Most people tend to gravitate toward people who are similar. I like healthy doses of difference. Correction: I NEED healthy doses of difference. Hard to find a more diverse environment than urban O’ahu.
Hawaii IS practical if you put in your dues, if you’re naturally are cheap, and if you thrive on diversity. To live here successfully, you have to know two things very well: Hawaii and yourself.
When people inevitably ask, “How Can You Afford To Live in Hawaii?” I answer, “How Can I Afford Not To?”
This was a heavy-traffic driver for my most recent blog. I’d like to update it and make it more relevant to my new target reader.
“To live is so startling it leaves little time for anything else.” ~Emily Dickinson Lori Sailiata