This is what an average day for me looked like when I lived on Oahu:
Background – Location, Building, etc.
I had just arrived on Oahu and already had my first IT job. I was making $50K per year, but it felt like nothing. I had some online businesses that were sending money every month – which was essential. I like to eat out a LOT – and $50K wouldn’t have worked for me. Keep that in mind – meals are expensive in the islands.
I lived in a small 1 bedroom condo with a nice lanai that gave partial ocean views. The roof had a stunning Waikiki ocean view, so I spent a lot of time up there washing clothes and working on websites.
I was renting for $850 per month on Kapiolani Blvd in Waikiki on the island of Oahu. I was on the 5th floor, there was an elevator in my building. There were about 10 condos per floor and 7 floors. We had an outdoor conference area beside the 20′ x 40′ swimming pool, a small library, and a place with computers for anyone to use (residents).
We had a locked gate that opened with a magnetic card. The building was about 30 years old, but not in bad shape. The maintenance fee we learned later was something like $450 per month. That was outrageous because we didn’t even have security in the building! Hawaii maintenance fees on condos are through the roof. Keep this in mind if you’re planning on buying a condo when you move to Hawaii – usually you should rent first and figure out all the little things that will affect your purchase decision.
Getting to Work in Kailua, Hawaii (Oahu)
I worked in Kailua, so I woke up about 5 am, showered and got in my Honda that I drove from Florida to Long Beach, California so I could ship it over on the Maersk container ship to Oahu, which then shipped it to Maui later when I moved.
Traffic sucks getting out of Waikiki and up to the Pali Highway. Once there, it’s all good. Kailua is a very small town on the northeast part of Oahu.
On the way to work I’d stop at one of two places to grab a big breakfast – Starbucks, or McDonalds. If Starbucks – they had these giant dark chocolate muffins with chocolate bites in them. I’d get 2 of those and a big blueberry muffin, along with a giant quad-shot espresso latte – which was some absurd amount of money that is escaping my mind. I must have repressed it so it doesn’t shock and kill me.
If I hit McDonald’s I’d have the rice, soy sauce, portuguese sausage type thing, and scrambled egg. I’d get the hash browns and a big coffee. Sure the coffee was nothing like Starbucks – but, sometimes I craved the scrambled eggs.
Work started at 6 am. I was never late. The bosses brother in law, a giant Japanese guy, always arrived later – about 8 am, but we figured the boss had cameras installed, or at least saw when we logged in the computers.
I sat in the air-conditioned office in my shorts, bare feet, and t-shirt from 6 am to noon and then headed out for a sub sandwich, ahi-poke from the grocery across the street, or something else quick – even Taco Bell. It was always amazing to hit the open air and feel the wind. Kailua is exceptionally beautiful and I think the main beach got “best beach in USA” at one time. At least top 10… need to look that up.
Traffic is a bit nuts all over the island at lunch time. Waikiki is insane at this time, along with rush hours.
I usually ate at a park on the beach, or just back at the office. My office mates were cool enough and it was great to eat on the steps leading up to the office, look out over traffic and people walking around looking for something to eat.
There was little stress at the office, the boss was local, office manager – local. Then two of us from the mainland. We worked on the computer and phones all day and got off about 3 pm – hours before rush hour, which was nice.
After Work Activities
From there I had my surf stuff in the car and would head to the beach. Bellows, Makapu’u, Sandy’s, or even down to Waikiki if I felt like hanging with all the tourists. If waves were good on the south end I’d go to Ala Moana Beach and hit Magic Island break, there were some nice waves there at times.
About 6 pm I’d get hungry again and go off in search of pizza or other italian food usually. I ate soup and other things, but usually pizza was my dinner. I ate pizza slices every day for a couple years in New York City while walking around as a paparazzi photographer. I never broke the habit.
I’d eat with a friend I met, or by myself – no matter. The weekdays were basically just for me. I would hit a bar on the beach if I wanted to hear music and watch the waves roll into Waikiki. I lived in Waikiki, so I walked most places after dark. It is entirely safe, and a nice way to get around town.
Sometimes I ran at the Ala Wai canal – to Diamond Head volcano. It’s a nice run along the sidewalk with Plumeria (frangipani) blooming on the many trees there.
I’d be home around 10 pm most nights and working online to see what I could do with my online businesses… answering email and things like that.
I worked 5 days per week and had weekends free.
Life in Hawaii… is low stress
That’s basically live on a daily basis in Hawaii for a working guy with a job in IT. There was enough money to go do some things… no need to work a 2nd or 3rd job. It was a very stress free way of living, and you would probably enjoy it, like I do.
Many people fill their time living in Hawaii with television and drinking at the bars. I filled mine with eating great food, exercise, and working on my websites to see them do better. There are all sorts of people in Hawaii, living all sorts of ways. There are many distractions available – drugs being the primary one, but you need not partake if it’s not your style. You’ll be offered pot and other things often, on the street and maybe socially, but there’s no real problem about it if you choose not to. To each his own in Hawaii… to each, her own…
Any questions about life in Hawaii? Ask in comments, I respond to all…
Video of Kailua Beach Park – One of the best beaches in Hawaii – Try it!
Map of Kailua, Oahu
[Photo credit - flickr.com member, legge e mare]