What I’ve Learned From Living on Maui for 5 Years

Happy July! This is a special time for my family as it marks the start of our sixth year here on Maui. As I look back on the incredible five years we’ve had, I wanted to share what we’ve learned from our first 5 years on Maui.

A beautiful rainbow over the Golf Course in Ka'anapali

A beautiful rainbow over the Golf Course in Ka’anapali

1. Slow Down

We moved here for the slower pace of life and appreciate all that it offers, including lots of quality family time with the kids. Island time is real, and once you learn to embrace it, you realize it’s a wonderful way to live. Stop and smell the plumeria, take in the frequent rainbows that grace our skies and most importantly, be thankful to live in such a beautiful place!

2. Less is More

This can be a tough lesson for someone (like me) who loves home goods! Homes here are generally smaller than the mainland and we quickly realized we are ok with way less “stuff” than we used to have. By letting go of excess clutter, you make room for so much more – good friends, new experiences and an adventure to last a lifetime.  Added benefit: smaller homes = less to clean!

My 4 kids on a fun hike in Makena!

My 4 kids on a fun hike in Makena!

3. Get Out and Explore

Living on an island has lots of health benefits, and exploring the outdoors is just one of them! Nothing will cure boredom quicker than a beach day, cliff jump or fun hike. This is especially true for families like mine who moved here from a cold climate. It’s so refreshing to have sunny weather all year long and makes it easy to grab our pickleball racquets and head to the park!

My son enjoying the day at Ka'anapali Beach!

My son enjoying the day at Ka’anapali Beach!

4. Respect the Land and Hawaiian Culture

Everyone living here shares the island and that often includes scarce resources. Visitors and locals alike need to show respect for the land and the Hawaiian culture and community. We take part in frequent beach clean-ups, educate our children and visitors about ocean conservation, and I lead the PTSA at my children’s public school in Lahaina. We are incredibly thankful to be part of this small island community that we love so much! What you give to the island is what you’ll get back, so always be kind and respectful to those around you!  *A great lesson for everyone no matter where you live.

Beach Clean-up Day!

Beach Clean-up Day!

ptsa hoodiesThankful to coordinate new hooded sweatshirts for all 400 Lahaina Intermediate Students this past year!

5. Find Something to be Grateful for Every Single Day

There is something almost spiritual about living amongst so much beauty. The ocean is restorative to the soul. We’ve become acutely aware of the power of gratitude in our lives and how that plays a role in our daily living.

maui sunset

Gorgeous Maui Sunset

Our move to Maui, while years in the making, was prompted after my Dad suffered a medical emergency that would bring the fragility of life into focus. This move meant more than just seeking than a slower pace of life or tropical island adventures for the kids. It meant that we would be living the kind of life we dreamed of – one of intention, one of fulfillment and one of JOY. We are thankful everyday for our Maui life and will always look back on these past 5 years with love and gratitude.

If you are planning a move to Maui, please reach out. I know how much I searched for someone to connect with prior to moving here and I’d love to be a resource for you! I’ll walk you through everything, including helping you find your own special place to call home. Contact me if you have questions on Maui real estate, moving to Maui or raising your kids here. I’d be happy to meet you and share my experiences!



About the Author

Stefanie Hegrenes

Stefanie Hegrenes is a REALTOR Salesperson with Hawai'i Life. Born and raised in Minnesota, Stefanie and her husband decided to make Maui home after years of dreaming of an island life for them and their four young children. She enjoys helping others realize their dreams and is grateful to call the beautiful island of Maui home. You can email me at or via phone at (808) 214-8114.

Comments (0) Show CommentsHide Comments (Remember)

Cool. Add your comment...

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Leave your opinion here. Please be nice. Your Email address will be kept private, this form is secure and we never spam you.

More Articles from Hawaii Life