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                                                 So You Want to Live in Hawaii        
 "So You Want to Live in Hawaii"





A Guide to Settling and Succeeding in the Islands
by Toni Polancy, Barefoot Publishing, Kihei, 1998

Lots of people visit Hawai`i every year - 3.7 million of them! Many of these folks soon think, "I wonder if I could live here somehowÖ?" The question is pretty simple but the answers arenít! If you are thinking about moving here, you need to ask yourself a whole lot of questions, and Polancyís book can be a really big help.

The image that most visitors have of Hawai`i is unrealistic; itís been created by schoolbooks, Hollywood, airlines and marketing wizards. Day-to-day life in Hawai`i is usually quite different from the life that you are living as a mainlander. Hawaiian residents see 40,000 people move to the islands every year, but they also see about the same number leave. A friend of mine did that. He didnít do his homework and he didnít have realistic expectationsÖ and he didnít stay. To "make it" in the islands, you really have to leave mainland attitudes, ideas and expectations on the other side of the Pacific. A social worker from O`ahu states, "The culture, the traditions are very different here. Itís America, but itís not the Mainland. You need to know that."

In contrast to what you usually see as a visitor, there are problems in paradise. There are a lot of very rich and a lot of very poor people here. There is racial tension and prejudice against newcomers. The cost of living can be up to 40% higher than the mainland and many people work 2 or 3 jobs just to survive. But the "spirit of Aloha" is real and people in Hawai`i give a lot to their communities. If you let yourself do it, you can slow down and relax and learn to "talk story." Hawaiians enjoy life. People smile a lot and it seems like every day is a celebration of something . (And it might only take you a year to get used to the constant rainbows.)

This excellent guide to moving to Hawai`i is very well researched and organized. Polancy covers many aspects of moving and living here; the people and the culture, health issues, politics, schools, housing, jobs, retirement, raising children, romance, special problems, the move itself and even which island to move to. Each chapter has a collection of special "tips," plus there are good lists of additional resources. A lot of details arenít covered of course ("little" things like Vog on the Big Island), but this book will get you thinking about what else you need to know and help you begin to understand how to make a successful move to Hawai`i. "Donít even think about it" without this book.
                                
                                                                                  


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