Saturday, January 21, 2017

10 Things Most People Don't Realize about Hawaii

Before I moved to Hawaii, I heard lots of "information" about life here from people who had vacationed here for a week, never been here, lived here for years, or watched a movie set in Hawaii. With all that information (most of it being false) coming in, it is difficult to figure out what is right and what is just plain lies.

Today, I thought it would be fun to teach you the things I've learned about actual life here, and what things I've learned about Hawaii that I found interesting.

1. Winter lasts half the year.
I've heard others say that Hawaii's only season is summer. True, it may have summer weather, but winter here lasts 6 months long! Winter weather in Hawaii usually means rain, big waves, and a chilly 70-80 degree temperature. Winter goes from November to April, and Summer goes from May to October.

2. The time difference is a bigger inconvenience than you realize.
You check the clock, and think, "yay! This is the perfect time to call so-and-so!" Then, you add 5 hours to your time to figure out what time it is at their house, realizing they are probably eating dinner at the moment. Oh, well.
Sometimes I write a blog post on the computer and publish it after dinner. A couple hours later, I'll check back wondering why no one has read it yet, and realize it's the middle of the night for most people on the mainland.

3. Island time is the real deal.
BTW, your mozzarella sticks will be ready in two hours.

4. Bumps, scrapes, & bruises
I have a cut on my foot from being smashed against the reef by a big wave. Sometimes I'll exit the water, looking down and realizing blood is dripping down my leg from getting cut multiple times by the large, rocky reef. Living here, it is impossible to not have cuts and bruises from the ocean.

5. Living here is way different than vacationing here.
When vacationing here, you stay in a nice hotel, have fantastic WiFi connection, have fancy dinners,  go to a beach with perfectly white sand with perfectly clear water, going to perfectly planned out tourist traps.
Living here, however, is staying in a small house filled with ants, geckos, centipedes, and who-knows-what. The WiFi stops working 3-4 times a day, and for a treat, locals here go to a nearby food truck (but trust me, the food is amazing, and the guys that work there are so nice!!). Even though life here isn't as luxurious, I wouldn't trade it for anything. I love it just the way it is! :)

6. Living here is like living in a bubble.
Imagine this: you mostly just watch Hawaii news on T.V., so the only stuff you really hear about is high surf, winds, volcanoes erupting, and the occasional stolen wallet. Shows are on at weird times, so you mostly just go without. As for listening to the radio, the stations consist of two Christian music stations, about three old Hawaiian music stations, and two old (and I mean old) pop music stations. Radio stations only come in about half the time, anyway. In other words, I don't hear about all the drama surrounding the presidential election, I have absolutely no idea what is going on with reality TV stars on the mainland, and I am clueless about new music. But, I do know the ocean conditions for today, enjoy watching KITV 4 (the news channel), and love the relaxed Hawaii ukelele music.

7. It is super easy to spot tourists.
Hint: they're usually the ones that are in huge groups of people on the shore, taking pictures, while wearing ginormous sunhats and sunglasses.
Or the girls lying in the sand wearing super-skimpy bikinis that would fall off the first time a big wave came their way. Yup.

8. We live off smoothies, fresh fruit, shave ice, and acai bowls.
No explanation necessary.

9. The ocean is pretty safe, if you know what you're doing.
The most common thing I've heard is "what about the sharks?" Something you need to know is that if you are still touching the ground, you have no real reason to be paranoid. If you listen to the lifeguard's instructions and obey them, don't paddle out too far, know what to do if the rip current pulls you out (swim to the side, then swim back), never go to beaches where there is no one is there (that might mean the ocean is filled with box jellyfish), always swim with a friend, and NEVER swim in murky waters (sharks love doing their hunting in murky waters, as fish can't see them, but the sharks can see the fish), you should be perfectly safe. Be smart in the ocean!

10. You develop a love for watching surfing.
Most places have football or soccer, but in Hawaii, we have surfing. I love watching amazing surfers like Kelly Slater and Bethany Hamilton. People cheer on the mainland when someone scores a touchdown, but here, everyone cheers when someone gets barreled or gets air time.

So, did you learn anything new about Hawaii? What is the most common thing you've heard about Hawaii? Also, if you have any questions, feel free to type them in a comment! I will do my best to respond. :)

Mahalo for reading!


  1. Bugs, creepy and crawling all over the house-- YES. In the Philippines, lizards and cockroaches are often neighbors accompanying you in the bathroom and you sometimes don't know (and because I don't live there I kind of screamed and may have thrown the water pail).

    This post made me laugh really hard, because so many people tend to make assumptions about Alaska that are completely off. For instance, we are composed of many islands on our coastline but unlike Hawaii, the entire state isn't all islands-- we have an actual solid place we live. Our spring is almost nonexistent, jumping from winter to summer, although I'll admit the snow accumulation is really. It's snowed over two feet in the past twenty-four hours and guess what? It's still snowing right now.

    xoxo Morning
    Ups & Downs

    1. Yikes!
      Do you life on the main part of Alaska or an island? Alaska sounds pretty cool, I've always heard it was a great place to live. WOW!! That is a TON of snow!!! Do you get a ton of snow days? Thanks for commenting, morning!

    2. I live on the main part of Alaska, although it's a dream of mine to go and visit the Aleutians or somewhere near the likes of Sitka before I leave for college. And it is a ton of snow, yes! For the past several years, though, our winters haven't been that great, and the temperature has been varying... it snowed about a yard high although the weather warmed up, so there's a chance we'll have freezing rain and slippery roads tomorrow. (Kind of hoping for a snow day then... xD)

  2. This was a fun post to read. I enjoyed learning something new about Hawaii. :)
    I know it's part of the U.S. but is their currency the same? Also, could you give a house tour? I'd be interested in knowing what the houses look like. And do you watch the utters on tv or out on he ocean?


    1. Thanks, Ashley! Yeah, our currency is the same. :) I've never seen any famous surfers out on the ocean, but I probably will. :)

  3. Great post, abi! I often forget about the time difference too! Thank you for teaching us some new things about Hawaii! :) *hugs*