What island do you call home?
What’s your “Hawaii life” like?
I moved to Maui over 12 years ago mostly to get away from mainland overpopulation and traffic. We came for 6 months, fell in love with the people, land, and lifestyle and decided to make it home. Most people think living in paradise is easy. This misconception is why most people from the mainland get spit out by the 2 year mark. There are several factors for this:
- It’s expensive. Yes, Maui prices for home rentals and real estate are becoming comparable to big mainland cities, but the day to day is more costly. Food, gas, etc… And though jobs are available, finding ones that pay enough to be comfortable are few and far between.
- Island Time. The slower pace can be hard for those looking for excitement. It can also be frustrating for those new to the islands and want to have things done quickly. Those that adapt find the pace a highlight.
- It’s a challenge being accepted into the community right away. Making friends with long-time locals can be hard at first and for good reason. We learned both sides of this firsthand when first moving here. We made great friends with a couple that arrived around the same time we did. They moved away 2 years later and subsequently our friendship suffered due to distance. SO, now we’re more hesitant to put effort into developing strong relationships with those new to Maui. It’s an unconscious defensive mechanism I didn’t realize I had until maybe 5 years ago. It’s pretty common and understandable. Transient friends are great, but adding them to my small sphere of important daily people isn’t something I do.
That being said, it’s an incredible place to live once you adapt and overcome the financial hurdles. It’s funny, I just read that Hawaii is one of the few US States that is declining in population each year. In light of the points above, it’s understandable, but with the increase in visitors, it doesn’t feel like it. Real estate prices and traffic get worse daily!
What’s your favorite thing to do on your island?
Beach time and exploring with the kids. There’s so much to do here! Even when we get stormy days (we live on the north side, so rain’s a pretty regular occurrence), there’s plenty to do with the kids. Keiki Playhouse, Ultimate Air Trampoline Park, The Maui Ocean Center, and more. Or, we can just drive to the south or west side which are usually dry and sunny.
What are your favorite local “gems” on the island? (This can be beaches, hikes, things to do, restaurants, etc.)
Kai Kanani out of Makena. We discovered this sailing catamaran pretty early on. They’re one of the only south Maui vessels allowed to do beach-entries, which is fun. They depart from Maluaka Beach (our favorite beach) in front of what was the Maui Prince (or Makena Beach Golf Resort). Though they run most of the normal boating trips (snorkeling, dinner cruise, and whale watching in season), we especially like them because they keep passengers to a minimum, so there’s lots of room to roam. It also helps them deliver pretty remarkable service. Besides dozens of trips in between, we had our entire wedding party go out on this boat over 10 years ago and we just took their Valentine’s cruise this last month!
What are some places you always take friends and family when they visit?
The beach. We also try to get them Upcountry to some of the farms and restaurants. It’s an area that visitors widely ignore. For those of us that live here, the views and countryside are worth the drive.
Where would you go for a staycation on the island?
Travaasa in Hana or Four Seasons in Wailea. We most often do the west side at the Sheraton Maui because of Starwood point accumulation. The resort is in the perfect location on Ka’anapali Beach and you can’t beat FREE!