My Hawaiian Vacation - The Big Island Part Three: Final Thoughts

Everyone keeps asking me, "How was it?". To quickly sum it up, Hawaii is everything your imagination tells you it will be and more. Words and pictures can't describe the shear beauty of the islands. It was an amazing place to visit and I'm just glad I have the chance to say I've been there. Here are some random observations I made and my final thoughts on the trip:

- Every one there was very friendly. From people on the street, to the restaurants, to places we visited, everyone we came in contact with was very nice.

- The pace of life on the the Big Island was very slow, much like the south. The only difference is in the south (since that's where I live I can say this) folks seem slower because they don't have a choice. It's just the way we're wired. There, people made "slowing down" not only a choice but a priority.

- The Big island is still very unblemished. It's not taken the population or tourism hit that some of the other islands have (Oahu & Maui)

- I was not impressed with Oahu. Honolulu was nothing more then a large filthy city and the surrounding popular beaches reminded me of what Myrtle beach has become: an expensive tourist trap.

- If you're looking for miles of white sand beaches go to another island. If you're into outdoor adventures then the Big Island is the place for you.

- The smells, colors and sounds made me feel what Dorthy might have felt when she stepped out of the black and white farm house into Oz. I have no sense of smell so for me to pick up the scents of the island were a big deal. The colors were has vibrant as I have ever seen, and everywhere you went you either heard the roar of waves crashing on the ocean rocks or thousands of birds constantly singing.

- The myth that it is to expensive to live in Hawaii is simply not true. It really isn't that much more expensive to live there then in some parts of the continental US (Boston, NY, West Coast) A two bed two bath 12oo sqft home goes for around 250K, which is way more then you'd pay in the south but in line if not cheaper then what you'd pay say in Southern California. The cost of gas and eating out was the same as any vacation spot and the only real extreme price mark-ups were at the grocery store ($6 for milk, $8 for cereal) The hardest part I would think of living in Hawaii would be finding a job. There are plenty of retail jobs (it was strange to have a Walmart, Lowes hardware, and Costco overlooking the ocean) and farming jobs, but other then that I'm not sure what people do to make a living.

- After our trip we were left to ponder two questions: 1) Would you live in a much smaller home with less "stuff" on a much smaller income in Hawaii or in a bigger home with more stuff and a fatter paycheck elsewhere? 2) As amazing as Hawaii was, would you grow tired and "use to it" after a few months or years of living there?


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