Talking Story John Hopf Moving to Hawaii from California

This is a guest post by John Hopf – Realtor with Windermere C and H Properties (RS-747276)

My journey to living in Hawaii began with the itch to travel. Originally from Wisconsin, I did what most people do. You know, go to school, get a good job and live happily ever after.

My Quarter-Life Crisis

But, that was not the life for me. After getting my Bachelors degree and then my MBA I experienced what I call my quarter-life crisis.

I quit my job.

I sold all my belongings.

I started traveling.

Gradually I worked my way across the United States eventually making it all the way to the west coast in Los Angeles, California but I wasn’t done. There was more to experience. More to see. I wanted to keep heading west…so Hawaii it was!

Moving to Hawaii

I moved to Hawaii in 2009 but not with the intent of making this my permanent home. No, this was just one of my stops as a part of my travels. I had no intention of staying.

When I came to Hawaii it was with a one-way ticket and a backpack in tow. That’s it. No plans, just off on a new adventure.

The moment I arrived I was hooked. The weather is perfect. I do love the seasons, so I chose to live in the best one…summer. Hawaii has the most idyllic weather on the planet! Let’s just say, I don’t miss the snow.

John and Malia Hopf Talking Story Moving to Hawaii from Wisconsin

Boy Meets Girl

All good adventure stories include a love story and mine is no different.

After arriving on the Big Island of Hawaii I met a girl. And that changed everything.

That was the first time I even considered staying in one spot since I started traveling. We didn’t settle down right away. Instead we started traveling the world together and have now explored 50+ countries together.

Malia & I got married on July 14, 2012 and are expecting our first child, a daughter.

Hopf Home in Hawaii after Moving to Hawaii

Why We Chose Kona

My wife, Malia, is from Kona so that’s the quick answer but I’ve visited the four major Hawaiian Islands and the Big Island is my absolute favorite.

Since I enjoy exploring, the Big Island was the obvious choice of islands to live. There is simply more to see since the Big Island is bigger than the rest of the islands combined. But it is also the most diverse with 10 of the world’s 14 climate zones.

With all that space on the Big Island we enjoy Calling Kona Home. What we love most about Kona is the views. Kona is the natural spot because the slopes of the mountains in Kona allow for many homes to have stunning views. And, of course, the western coast of the island of Hawaii provides incredible sunsets!

What I Miss Most About Wisconsin


But here’s the best part. When you live in a place like Hawaii which many would consider to be paradise, you get a lot of visitors.

I mean, why wouldn’t friends visit when there are free accommodations…especially in the winter when they can get out of the cold and snow!


My journey to Hawaii may not be very typical but my parent’s story is.

They followed me out here to Hawaii. They moved to Hawaii in 2015 after months of planning.

They sold their home. And their belongings. Then made the move to Hawaii, too!

They tell everyone, “best decision we ever made.”

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