We moved to Hawaii for all the reasons you might expect including weather, ocean views, outdoor activities but now that we’ve been here a few months I thought I would share some of the unexpected pros of living in Hawaii. The image is upside down on purpose…because it’s unexpected…like the benefits you’ll be reading about.
Hawaii is the happiest state in the United States but the benefits of living in Hawaii go beyond the obvious and include things such as the aloha, chilling out and talking story, living in nature, beach time and less emphasis on impressing others. Check out our 13 unexpected benefits of living in Hawaii to find out why we are so happy living here!
1. The Aloha
One of the major reasons we chose the Big Island and, more specifically, Kona is because of the Aloha. In other words we felt welcomed. And not just like you would in any city where you might visit but a real sense that people want to know who we are, where we came from, why we moved here and what our experiences have been up until now.
2. Talking Story
Although tied to the aloha, talking story is more about taking the time to really engage and share a moment in time together without worrying about what’s next or what has to get done.
I’ll be honest here that at first this was a bit more difficult for me as I am all about efficiencies and getting stuff done. But Hawaii isn’t about that. Hawaii is about living life. Creating a fulfilling life. Being present in the moment.
So, when I am planning to do anything that involves other people I assume it will take 2 to 3 times longer than it did in Colorado. A good example of this is picking up eggs from a local farmer. (We met on the side of the road and his only form of transportation was a motorcycle with the eggs tucked inside a small bag.)
When I met Greg I figured it would be a simple exchange of money for eggs. Maybe a 2 to 3…maybe 5 minute max transaction. Nope! That initial exchange took about 40 minutes and the second time I bought eggs from Greg it took about 25 minutes. It is about taking the time to connect and talk story.
3. Chill Out
Life is just more relaxed and laid back in Hawaii than any place I’ve lived before.
Similar to taking the time to talk story when interacting with people life is not about getting things done but making the moments count.
Don’t get me wrong, I am still a driven and self-motivated individual who likes being productive and seeing the results of my actions. But I’ve learned to balance that and now take more time to chill out.
One good example of this is a recent change I’ve made to my morning routine. After our morning workouts I would generally make coffee and head right into the office to start work around 6:30 to 6:45 AM. Well, I’ve decided to chill out a bit more and not jump right into the day by taking 10 to 15 minutes to enjoy my morning coffee out on the lanai.
I find this time to be relaxing and grounds me each morning before I get going. The morning sun lights up the clouds and creates a magical experience to start off my days.
4. Quiet Evenings
Not only are those magical mornings a great way to get the day started but Hawaii makes a great place to enjoy evenings as well.
Hawaii is between two to six hours earlier than the rest of the United States depending on where you are at and the time of the year since Hawaii doesn’t do daylight savings time. This time difference provides us with quiet evenings because we are not getting calls from people on the mainland after around 5:00 or 6:00 PM Hawaii time.
That gives us several hours each evening where we are unattached from our phones and enjoying our time without interruption or worrying that someone might need to reach us.
5. Circadian Rhythm
Ok, this one may seem a bit strange but I go to bed earlier and wake up without an alarm clock every day!
I believe it is because my body is more in tune with nature. We have our windows open more often and the window coverings open allowing the sunshine or darkness to enter our home. This creates a natural cycle that allows me to go to sleep more easily and wake up without that groggy, tired feelings.
And that’s circadian rhythm. The natural cycle of living beings in tune with the environment around us that makes us sleep and wakes us up in the morning (along with other things like eating meals).
6. Living in Nature
Similar to my last point, I feel we live in nature more than ever before.
We have our windows open so we can feel the breezes, enjoy the sunlight, see the ocean and watch the amazing sunsets.
When we lived in Colorado we had our windows closed most of the year because it was either too hot or too cold outside to make the inside of our home comfortable so we relied on heat & A/C. But in Hawaii we have the consistency of weather and the perfect elevation that allows us to literally live in nature.
Studies have shown that being in nature can reduce stress and enjoy life more.
“Being in nature, or even viewing scenes of nature, reduces anger, fear, and stress and increases pleasant feelings.”
7. Going for Walks
We walk almost every day. Whether it is the one-lane Kohanaiki Rd right down the mountain from where we live or a short trip over to the beach we have no shortage of places to go for walks.
Because of the consistency and predictability of the weather we simply get out more.
I feel like I am going to be able to live to 180 because of all the health benefits of living in Hawaii from the circadian rhythm giving me better sleep, living in nature which reduces my stress and the health benefits of going for walks.
8. The Beach
Could we really write s post about the pros of living in Hawaii without mentioning the beach?
We love Hapuna Beach. It is one of the world’s best beaches and it is only about 35 minutes from our home! How great is that.
Believe it or not it is actually quite easy to not go to the beach when you live in Hawaii because there’s always tomorrow. And we have found times during our time living here that we fell into that trap. But we have recently committed to “creating an adventure” at least every two weeks. Sometimes an “adventure” is as simple as loading up the car and heading to the beach.
9. Less Time in the Car
Speaking of jumping in the car that’s another great thing we’ve enjoyed since moving to Hawaii…less time in the car.
Everything is so close. The airport is literally 10 minutes from our home. So is Costco. And Downtown Kona is, maybe, 12 minutes or so from where we live.
Because we have the flexibility in our jobs to set our own schedule and choose when we drive around town we can avoid “highly trafficked” areas those times of the day. But even with traffic it is a far cry from what drive and commuting times were in the Denver Metro area when we lived in Colorado.
10. No Keeping Up with the Jones’s
That’s another thing that is very different about Hawaii compared to our lives in Colorado…there is no keeping up with the Jones’s. And if you tried to, you’d get a strange look from people wondering why.
Going back to the first 3 pros associated with moving to and living in Hawaii it is not about what you can get done and more about the life you can live. People just put less emphasis on the things money can buy and puts the energy into the things you can do or experience instead.
11. Less Make-Up
I wear so much less make-up here in Hawaii than ever before.
Only kidding. I only wore make-up on Thursday’s when I lived in Colorado so it is not much different here.
Ok, ok, in all seriousness I asked Marla what she has enjoyed about living in Hawaii so far and this is one she mentioned. It is in line with the last pro of living in Hawaii and not trying to keep up or create an image. It is just not about that. It is about talking story, getting to know people for who they are and enjoying life. It is not about getting all dolled-up to impress someone who doesn’t need to be impressed.
Her time getting ready for the day or for bed has reduced by about 80% because she doesn’t have to worry about the entire make-up routine.
12. Eating at Home
I’m not sure whether we eat at home more now because it is less expensive than eating out or because we take more time to enjoy the process of making dinner. Either way it has been a welcomed benefit of living here in Kona.
We’ve always enjoyed cooking…both of us. And it is something we enjoy doing together. Oh, and we’re pretty darn good at it which helps. Just ask us…we’ll tell you how great we are at cooking. 😉
I’m ending the list of pros with one very similar to the first. Community.
When we go to the grocery store or local farmer’s market or just about anywhere we typically run into someone we know.
But it is more than just running into people. We don’t just wave and keep on doing what we’re doing. No, we stop and talk story for a few minutes to see what they are up to, what they did earlier in the day, what’s coming up later in the day or tomorrow.
The other part of a small community is getting to know our neighbors. Now, we did not do a very good job of trying to meet or get to know our neighbors when we lived in Colorado. But here in Hawaii, despite the long driveways and privacy we enjoy at home we’ve gotten to know many of our neighbors. We commonly hang out for pupus, dinner or when we go to the beach!
As you might expect living in Hawaii is incredible. We are so glad we moved to Hawaii and have found some unexpected benefits as a result. If you have any questions about making the move just ask us! We would love to talk story with you and see how we can help. If you already live here…share your story!