Recent College Graduates Moving to Hawaii?

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Hawaii Mountain

Here is a note I received this morning from a mother concerned that her son is being unrealistic about moving to Hawaii. For the time being I am able to create posts here to reply quickly. Jump on this opportunity, because when I get bogged down again it sometimes takes weeks, sometimes months.

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Dear Vern,

I found your website as I was looking for pros/cons about moving to Hawaii.

My son, 23 college graduate with a BA in Criminal Justice and his girlfriend 22, HS graduate-and a nurses aide are moving in March 2013.

They have limited resources- a couple thousand $ at best in savings… they are house sitting for 6 weeks and need to pay the utilities while they are staying there… they have use of a car while house sitting. (no car afterwards)

My question is that is any of this reasonable? They only have a one way ticket… and with the limited $ resources will their adventure be anywhere in reality?

I am sure you understand my concerns. Ms. P has been there before and has always wanted to return… understandably.

I do think they are going into this with rose colored glasses on. I have done some research on the cost of living, homelessness, jobs, etc.

Do you have any concrete information to help me think this is a good idea, given the limited $ resources and limited education (for her) and little job experience for him?

I would appreciate a response.


Sarah H.

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Hi Sarah,

If I understand you correctly, your son and g/f intend to move to Hawaii and are using the house-sitting idea to get in there and find jobs and work everything out in the six weeks time they have. Wow. Yeah, it sounds pretty far fetched, but, who knows what people are capable of? There are probably security jobs available somewhere. He might get that. There are lots of entry-level jobs on Oahu. You didn’t mention which island, and that matters a LOT. Oahu – they’d have the best chance. Other islands, I think not much chance unless they both took any job possible and were very frugal – living in a very cheap place and taking public transportation, or getting bicycles. Mopeds are cheap once they get jobs.

Success is not likely, but, not knowing them personally I’d never say they’re going to fail at it. I say, let ’em have a shot at it and see what happens. They either want to live there bad enough to make it work, or they don’t. Who knows which it is until they are there and living the dream, so to speak? Lol.

If you haven’t already found it – this page has links to most of my articles about Hawaii:

Articles about Hawaii ->

Also, did they see my video series covering the chapters of the book I did in 2011?

Or, buy the book for $5 – the 2012 version on the right side of this page.


Peter Kay

[Amazing photo by Paul Bica at}

About the Author:

I’ve lived Hawaii since the mid ‘80s when I moved here at the age of 21. I arrived site-unseen in Honolulu with zero contacts and about $5k in savings. I worked from nearly zero and today Hawaii has given me the greatest gifts in the world in all aspects: spiritually, financially, romantically (married since early ‘90s w/ 2 children), and most important, peace. My goal with this site is to share the magic of this Land of Aloha and help others who are on a similar quest.


  1. Harrison Saito 06/16/2016 at 10:12 am - Reply

    Nice blog, I recently started a meetup for post grads that moved to Oahu. If you’re keen it would be great to meet you and it would be an awesome way to promote your blog.


    • Peter Kay 06/16/2016 at 5:44 pm - Reply

      Harrison I’d love to support you folks here. Pls link to this page (for now) from your meetup page and I’ll reciprocate here for starters.

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