This note is from a rather young man, 23, that is currently living in Texas and considering moving to Hawaii. He’d like some advice on different topics. If you also would like personal advice about moving to or living in Hawaii – drop me a note and I’ll post it here and answer it as best I can. I know it would take hours of your time, but, the best thing you could do is spend a few nights reading the more than 200 articles I’ve written about living in Hawaii here. The next best thing would be to read the $4.99 book I created all about moving to Hawaii here.
I’ll answer below within the body of “Ryan’s” note to me.
Ryan: I just finished your book, and really enjoyed it. Very informative.
Vern: Thanks! You should check out the videos at Youtube here, and read the Hawaii articles at the link above too.
Ryan: I wanted to ask your advice on my personal ‘Moving to Hawaii’ situation.
I am a 23 year old civil engineer with a couple years of experience in construction, and recently I’ve become interested in a move to Hawaii. Though most people here in Austin, Texas think I’m crazy when I tell them my ideas, your book and several people I’ve talked to with experience in Hawaii give me confidence that it’s possible. Plus its just too damn hot here and I’m over it. I’m really just looking for something new and exciting where I can experience something different. I’ve been to Maui before and absolutely loved it, so I figure why not try and live on the islands for a few years?
I have some money saved up, and have calculated (based on your expense estimates for rent, food and other costs) that I should be able to survive for about 5 months if I didn’t make a dime the whole time I was there. I’m planning on making a dime or two though, so hopefully this experiment doesn’t end in my joining the rising population of homeless you were discussing in your book.
Vern: Ha! Yeah, you wouldn’t want to become homeless at 23 yrs old. Wait a while for that, keep it as a last resort. You are quite a young man for making the move – and don’t get me wrong, I’m ALL for that. I was 18 when I moved to Hawaii, as part of the Air Force’s forced relocation program. I had no idea if I would like it. I was ambivalent. However, all that changed the day I arrived. Paradise doesn’t begin to describe the islands for a young guy at 18, or 23 for that matter.
Seems like you have plenty of money saved. That’s more than half the battle I think sometimes. I am not up on civil engineering, but I think your job is probably going to come from the state or other government organization – yes? Best to hit all those now online because it can take months to come through and have interviews for government positions. If you can land one, you’ll be set with something steady for years. Would be a nice way to make the move to Hawaii.
Ryan: My plan right now is to start in Honolulu. I believe I will have the best chance of finding a good job quickly there. Initially I plan on staying in a hostel (I’ve found a couple online) while I search for an apartment. Then once I have the apartment I’ll start the job search. The first couple of weeks might be kind of intense but I’m sure it’ll be fine.
Vern: Sounds like a reasonable plan, there are a number of cheap hostels in Waikiki that are livable. At least from what I’ve seen online.
Ryan: Do you have any advice on a few good locations for me to look for apartments? Because… I am not taking a car or any sort of transportation. This is one of my largest concerns, and I guess I’m going to need an apartment close to my work or have to buy a moped or something. Any ideas here?
Vern: Get an apartment / room in Waikiki. There are plenty of buses around to help you get from here to there. Walking is easy. Get a mountain bike and invest in impossible to break locks. Sure, get a moped – I would. I had one back in 1985 and had a blast running around the island on it. Motorists driving in Hawaii are not good at noticing mopeds or bikes – so, do be careful!
Ryan: Should I get a job first before finding an apartment so I can make sure the two are close together? This seems like it would be better in the long run but miserable at the start (especially if I couldn’t find a job for a long time).
Vern: Yeah, seems like that – I think that is the better way to go though. There will be some miserableness here and there, it’s part of the joy of living in Hawaii. A simple room will run you $500. An apartment – $700-800 minimum. You wouldn’t want to get an apartment in Waikiki and have jobs in Pearl City every day.
Ryan: Any additional advice/suggestions/reservations would be greatly appreciated, especially any information regarding the construction and engineering fields.
Vern: Two things I wouldn’t really have a clue about. I would comb Craigslist for jobs if you’re just looking for an outdoor construction type job. Start Googling construction companies in Hawaii and see what they’re looking for in employees. Go to the Hawaii State employment office once you arrive on Oahu – it’s on South Beretania, if my memory is correct. Find websites for county, state, and federal jobs online before you go and see what types of positions you might qualify for. Maybe best to start applying immediately.
Ryan: Thanks a lot for your time, and thanks for the book. Maybe see you in Hawaii sometime.
Vern: Sure, no problem. I think you’ll have to just go and see how it all works out. You seem to be going about everything in a well-thought out way, I’m sure you’ll not have any major problems. I’d love to hear how you’re doing after you move – feel free to drop a note anytime.