White sandy beaches, lush tropical forests, endless sunny days…they’re calling your name. Whether you’re relocating for work, moving back home, or simply want a change of pace, foraging your transition to Hawaiian living is unlike any other relocation destination. Below are some tips for when you’re moving to Hawaii:
1. Get to Know Groceries
Foodland versus Foodland Farms, Costco Versus Sam’s Club, Whole Foods versus Down to Earth, Chef Zone, there are so many grocery stores to choose from, and trust me, don’t pick just one. Soon enough you’ll be driving across town to get your favorite butter from Chef Zone, your organic gluten free buckwheat flour from Down to Earth, a sushi burrito from Foodland Farms, your favorite wine from Costco or your reef-safe sunscreen from Whole Foods. You may even start to notice the difference between Costcos in different parts of the Island. Groceries and other household goods can be expensive on Oahu, but if you do your research you will find your own tricks to saving money.
2. Pack Your “Go Kit”
You never know when the mood may strike to go jump in the ocean. I have a permanent go-kit in the trunk of my car for moments just like this. My go-kit includes a pair of slippers, a pareo to lie on the sand or to use as a cover up, an extra bathing suit, and a cooler bag (my husband always keeps his fins, body board, and fishing pole in his car). The cooler bag is for the poke that you picked up on the way to your spontaneous beach break. In addition, that same cooler bag will come in handy when you find yourself across town and stopping by Nico’s Pier 38 for some fresh fish for dinner that you need to keep cool on your drive home. Nico’s is great because if you ask, they will even give you a bag of ice to keep your fish cold (Whole Foods will also do this for you).
3. Drive Like There’s a Cop Behind You
There is. Don’t question it. The speed limits may seem arbitrary but the minute you deem them unnecessary, the invisible cop that’s driving behind you will pull you over. Oahu has a lot of “undercover” cops as I like to call them. They look like normal cars but they are actually police in disguise!
4. The DMV Takes Appointments
Do not be one of those poor souls who stand in line at the DMV for 5 hours. We’ve all done it. Don’t do it. The DMV takes appointments for certain common requirements such as registering your car in the State of Hawaii. You can make the appointment either online at Aloha Q or at the DMV location itself.
5. Invest in a Good Reusable Water Bottle
For the first couple of weeks, you are going to feel dehydrated as you adjust to drinking more water. A consistently warmer and more humid climate guarantees that you are going to need to drink more water. I carry my water bottle with me everywhere I go to combat dehydration (as you can see below, I have more than one water bottle…A few popular brands are Hydro Flask and Klean Kanteen. These companies also have bottles specific for wine and beer!
6. Two Words: Big. Fridge.
Because it is so much more humid here, a lot of food items that can normally be kept on the pantry shelf need to be stored in a cooler area. Take special care to put anything that has been previously opened in the fridge, even if you typically would leave it out. Ants, cockroaches, and other little critters will find your food!
7. Collect Airline Miles
As hard as it may be to believe, sometimes you are going to get a little Island fever. Maybe you just want to take a drive, or maybe you can’t live without your Trader Joe’s essentials any longer, and a trip to the mainland is necessary. Hawaiian Miles is a great program that can allow you to save some money on flights.
It can be easy to get caught up in the daily routine of work, but don’t forget to get outside and explore the Island. Be sure to check out one of my favorite hikes in Kailua, the Lanikai Pillboxes. We are so fortunate to be living in such a special place. The more you get to know Oahu, the more at home you will feel.