The United States is a diverse country. Each state has its own unique aspects, and it’s hard to say that one is better than another. Different climates, regional cuisines and outdoor activities all contribute to a state’s ranking.

While most people have an opinion on which U.S. state is the best, it’s a good bet that many consider Hawaii among the top of the list. With its tropical climate, beautiful beaches and laid-back atmosphere, Hawaii can seem like a dream come true. However, for most people, the dream of Hawaii might be relegated to a yearly vacation or a number of Pinterest boards.

Aloha, Hawaii

However, some eager island-lovers have made Hawaii their home. Each year, many people from areas across the mainland United States make the long journey across the ocean with families, pets and possessions in tow to start a new life in the islands. This migration is not limited to the super rich, and people from all walks of life are more than able to start the beach bum life of their dreams, right now.

Let’s take a look at some of the ins and outs of a move to Hawaii and debunk a few of the myths about living in the Aloha State.

Choose Your Island

Hawaii consists of seven islands, but the majority of the population lives on just one, Oahu. This is where the capital city of Honolulu is located, and the island offers some of the best choices for housing, employment and nightlife.

The neighboring islands offer up their own unique lifestyles, and more and more people are choosing these islands as an alternative to the big city lifestyle of Oahu. The Big Island boasts volcanic rainforests on the east side and white, sandy beaches on the west side. Maui combines an idyllic rural landscape with a plethora of five star resorts.

Are you more suited to glitzy nightlife or the grass shack lifestyle? While it may be hard to choose, keep in mind that none of the other islands will ever be more than an hour away, at most.

Spend Wisely

It’s true that some goods are expensive in Hawaii, but that doesn’t mean everything is. Gasoline in Hawaii is typically the most expensive in the United States, as is electricity, but there are ways to budget these necessities.

Those that live on the islands know how to minimize some costs in order to maximize their experience. For instance, you can do all of your shopping at the local farmers markets. Hawaii has a year-round growing season and delicious fruits and vegetables are always available. The produce found at the farmers markets is cheaper and much fresher than anything sold at the grocery chains.

Keep your utility bills low by taking advantage of Hawaii’s great weather. Shun the clothes dryer in favor of an outdoor clothes line. Most homes do not have air conditioning, but if yours does, refrain from turning it on. Open your windows and use fans to take advantage of the islands’ cool trade winds, and save money in the process.

Be Creative

Life in Hawaii isn’t always easy, and it’s certainly not for everyone. However, those who succeed at island life have learned how to be creative in several different aspects of Hawaiian style.

Employment can be a bit more difficult to secure in Hawaii — especially if you can’t be flexible in your position — so if you haven’t secured work before you move, try to think outside of the box. Work exchanges tend to be successful here, and you might find that marketing performing design for a local mechanic is a good exchange foryour car’s repairs.

Additionally, consider a job that you might never have before. Many people who held an executive position on the mainland have found themselves tending bar at an island resort or consulting for local businesses. A high-powered corporate job doesn’t necessarily mean the same thing in the islands, and those who have made the switch might find themselves much happier.

Learn to Relax

The old talk about island time is true. Things don’t happen on the same schedule or within the same time frame that those from the mainland might be used to. This can be a source of great frustration, but the key is to relax and accept it.

Locals in Hawaii have learned that time is relative, and long lines at the bank or in the grocery store are simply a chance to catch up with friends, as you’ll always run in to someone you know. If you find yourself waiting in a traffic jam, just look out the window and realize that you’re in paradise. Time in Hawaii is rarely time wasted.

If you think that you’re ready to move to Hawaii, remember to keep things simple. Choose the right area for you and your family, learn to manage your money, and take things as they come, and your transition to one of the best states in the Union will be as smooth as Hawaii’s sandy beaches.

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