Ever wonder if Maui residents suffer from “Island Fever”? That feeling of being stuck on a volcano in one of the most isolated parts of Earth. While feeling claustrophobic or suffocated by this realization undoubtedly does occur, here is the way I see it.
After moving to Maui in 2006 from Cincinnati, Ohio, I find that I experience the opposite of this “island fever” mentality. While this concept could be broadened to the entire state of Hawaii, I cannot speak to how I might feel having lived on a different island. I could have a much different perspective if I lived on the Big Island (substantially larger), Moloka’i (less developed), Lana’i (significantly smaller) or any other Hawaiian Island.
Maui is Unique and Diverse
I live in Kihei, and I love it. If you want to read more about this beachy town in South Maui, check out Pros and Cons of Living in Kihei. There have been weeks when I have not left this 10 square mile patch of desert land. Between the beaches, scenery, warm weather, and amenities, there’s hardly a reason to leave.
However, there are times where I may get “Kihei Fever.” Every couple of weeks, my wife and I like to get out of this town and spend the day on another part of the island. This is one thing that makes Maui so great. Within two hours or less, we can experience a completely different environment. Did you know that Maui has a Redwood Forest where you can feel as though you’re hiking in Northern California? Whenever you want a change of scene, go swim under a waterfall, drive to the top of Haleakala to feel as though you’re on the moon or ride a horse in the cowboy town of Makawao.
From hippie surfer towns to world-class golf communities, lush rain forests to pristine beaches and sleepy towns to bustling shopping areas, Maui has it all. No matter where you live, a short drive can leave you feeling a world away.
Interisland Flights are Too Easy
Living in what has been called the best island in the world, Maui residents can easily forget that in less than an hour on three airlines were offering these interisland flights. While this competition created some bargain deals, like $19 one-way trips, Hawaiian Airlines eventually became the sole player… until now.
As of 2019, Southwest Airlines has started offering these interisland routes. The competition is back, and we once again see plenty of options to island-hop at attractive prices. So, if you’re on Maui and want to get away for a day or two, take advantage! It’s true, you’re still going from one island to another, but the fact that you can be on a completely different island in such a short time certainly helps alleviate this feeling of island fever.
How is Maui Different from Anywhere Else?
If you’re reading this and believe that you could not live in Hawaii because you would get island fever, I ask you this. How often do you drive more than an hour away from your hometown? Once a week? Once a month? A few times a year?
True, if you’re planning a road trip on Maui, it’s either going to be short-lived, or you’ll be driving around in circles. So how is living on Maui any different from living anywhere else? It’s surrounded by water rather than land.
What’s the Verdict?
I’ve spoken to some people who have lived on Maui who admit that they experience a feeling of isolation or disconnectedness with the rest of the world. Whether this comes from being surrounded by the ocean or lifestyle choices is up for debate. I, for one, do not experience island fever living on Maui. I love being able to see the ocean every day and have unique areas or other islands I can easily visit.
I experience the opposite of island fever and have personally felt more stir-crazy living in places away from the ocean. However, one of my favorite things in the world is traveling! Hawaii is my favorite place in the world, and Maui is my favorite island. With that said, I make it a priority to leave the state once or twice a year.
I have found that Maui can be most appreciated through getting on a plane and seeing somewhere new. If you are curious as to where Hawaii residents go on vacation, read Top 10 Vacation Destinations for Hawaii Residents. It’s wonderful seeing new places and having experiences that are not available on Maui. But what’s impressive is that after about a week, I remember how truly great Maui is. Ending any vacation is bittersweet, but when you’re returning home to Maui, it’s mostly sweet.
Do you think you would experience island fever living on Maui? Feel free to leave a comment below. If you are interested in learning more about life on the Valley Isle, give me a call or send me an email. I would love to hear from you. And who knows, you may just find yourself searching for a new home here on the best island in the world. Aloha!