What is life like when you live in paradise? Is your life a constant vacation? What kind of jobs do people have there? Why would you want to go anywhere else when you live in a place like that?
These are fairly common questions asked of people who live in Hawaii because life here seems like a constant vacation to those from the outside looking in. Just the word “Hawaii” conjures up images of blue skies and seas, warm beaches and tropical cocktails. Paradise.
It is very easy to forget that we live in this amazing place and we often take all there is to offer for granted. We commute to and from work, sometimes leaving home when it is still dark and returning just after dark. We avoid Waikiki like the plague because of traffic and parking, and unless you work in the tourist industry, it becomes easy to forget that our economy so heavily relies on it. We often forget to see what makes Hawaii special and see our home from the point of view of the tourist; we forget to stop and smell the tropical breeze.
It is not uncommon for locals to get a jaded view of the islands- high cost of living, bad traffic, etc.- and we forget about all the reasons that people call this place paradise. We chose to stay here because we cannot imagine living elsewhere by paying more for everything from gas to milk and rent to parking.
Hawaii is paradise and we, the locals, need to remember that. Instead of heading to Las Vegas for a couple days, where you are bound to lose money anyway, go to Waikiki or Ko’olina for a couple of days. Take the time to enjoy Hawaii the way tourists do and remember why we are luck to live Hawaii.
Many of us rarely play tourist and go to Hanauma Bay or hike Diamond Head, unless someone from out of town is visiting. There is a free publication called 101 Things to Do and they have one each for Oahu, Maui, Kauai and the Big Island. It offers a variety of activities to do during a visit to each island from eating shave ice to skydiving. Check it out and see how many you have done. Then make a point to do at least ten of the things this year so when you say, “lucky we live Hawaii” you can really mean it.