Last November marked our 5th year living in Kailua Kona. Time has literally flown by. Lately I have gotten a few email asking me how things are going or questions about moving here, so I thought it might be a good idea to post an update and share some of my my thoughts about living here.
For the most part we are really happy. All the good things about paradise we love. But since most people don’t email me asking what I love most about islands I thought I would focus on some of the frustrations or challenge living on a remote rock in the middle of the pacific can bring.
First I must recommend reading a ongoing series of articles Civil Beat has done on living in Hawaii. I think they give you a good feel for what we deal on the islands. It mostly focuses on Oahu – but still a lot of it applies to living on the Big Island just on a smaller scale. http://www.civilbeat.com/projects/living-hawaii/
There are 3 things that would make us considering moving back to the mainland. Jobs, schools and medical.
I think what is most frustrating is if you do finally find a good job that pays decently, you find you are bound to that job because there isn’t anything else. On the mainland if you don’t like your job you know in time you can probably find something better. It’s different here. Kona is small and there are only so many businesses. One of my biggest concerns is if my husband or myself lose our jobs what would happen – more then likely at this point in the game we would have to seriously consider moving back to the mainland.. As much as I love living here - working a shitty job just to live in Hawaii? I don’t think I would last long anymore. 5 years ago I would of have said it was worth the sacrifice. Now maybe because I am over 40, I don’t know if I am so willing to make those sacrifices as much. There is a part of me that feels like you get stuck here growth wise because there isn’t that many opportunities available here. As time marches I wonder how do you get ahead in Hawaii? Is it possible?
The fact of the matter is, you will work you ass off to survive here. I recently had a conversation with one of my friends from the mainland and she made a comment about how people here probably don’t like to work much and just implied this lazy attitude people must have living here. I had to laugh at her. Everyone I know works their asses off here to survive. I don’t anyone who is lazy or not motivated because if they were – I don’t know how they would survive with everything being so expensive.
I have talked about this in a previous post. There are 3 public school, 1 charter, 2 private for elementary school. None of them are really that great. As my daughter gets older and middle school comes – I really will be concerned about our options. Hopefully, we can be making enough money to send her private or she is lucky enough get drawn in lottery for WHEA. If not, it something to considering moving for.
Kona is small and rural. So if one of us were to get really sick – we would be off this island so fast. For the last 4 years we were on a PPO and could see any doctors we wanted. The problem is once again, you have limited options or choices. There just aren’t a ton of good doctors here – trying to find a specialist isn’t always possible. You probably will have to fly to Oahu and that is expensive. I am very grateful we haven’t had any medical issues but if we do – its a no brainer to move back to the mainland. If you have a medical condition before moving here. Do your research. This might not be the best place for you.
To end on a good note. As of right now we have good jobs, my daughter is doing ok in school and we are all healthy so we have no plans on moving anytime soon!