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Posted by neoreulwonhae on 01-18-2007 at 12:35
Hello everyone!

I'm on the mainland right now, Oregon to be exact, and my family and I are very interested in moving to Hawaii. Our focus is on Kona.

We've researched a lot and learned a lot, but I wanted to get a local opinion; what locals do, what they think about Kona, etc... We've read a lot about the native Hawaiians not always warming up to Mainlanders or whites, and I just wanted to know if that was a generalization or a stereotype. I have much respect for the natives and their islands. I think Hawaii is amazing and beautiful, no wonder people want to move there!

So I'd appreciate any local insight on the community there, just for some more information and contrast. Mahalo. :D


Helter Stupid.
insecurelobster at 2007-01-19 04:28 (UTC) (Hale)

I live in Hilo, the other side of the Big Island, but I've been to Kona. It's really hot, and the traffic is pretty bad on that side...sorry, I'm biased because I'm not very fond of Kona. Too many people in not enough space, in my opinion. D:

As for the hawaiians not warming up to white people, it really depends person-to-person. Sure, some Hawaiian guys are jerks and will stare at you or make some dumb comment, but most don't really care.

I noticed you're almost the same age as me, (I just turned 16) as for things people our age do, there used to be a small punk music scene but now it's all raves. Eh.

Anyway, good luck with the move! Sorry I sound so terribly negative! :P
neoreulwonhae at 2007-01-19 06:46 (UTC) (Hale)
Thanks for the reply!

How hot are we talking about here? Is it actually hot, or just hotter than Hilo, since Hilo's on the windward side? They get a lot more rain than here, but in the summer probably not so much, right?

I guess I'm wondering if the heat and traffic is worth it, you know? That's kinda what I wanna know. :p

Oh, and if this all works out, I think I might come to you for more questions, since we're about the same age (I'm actually 15, I just put the earlier year on my profile for safety reasons and all that).
thor_leifson at 2007-01-19 11:37 (UTC) (Hale)
There are upsides and downsides to any place one lives. Kona, currently, is overpopulated and there's no Mello-Roos taxes, so vital infrastructure like roads and schools are not being paid for by the influx of new homeowners from off island. It's absolutely beautiful, though.

When Sequin said that Kona is hot, they neglected to mention that the leeward side of the island is mostly desert. I was just over there today and the temperature was moderate and the sky was overcast, but it was still a beautiful day.

Depending on your parents reasons for looking into the move, I would probably discourage a move from Oregon to Kona until and unless they had already spent a year here. I love Hawai'i, and I've lived here for seven years, but if you want culture, museums, modern ameneties, and life in the lap of luxury, this is the wrong place to move. Most people get "island fever" and a desperate desire to leave the tight confines of island life within a month or two of living here.

On the subject of natives vs haolies, for the most part it's a case of learning attitude adjustment. This is their home and we're just visitors. The moment you forget that, you're opening yourself to all sorts of unpleasant action from the locals. I hear it's particularly hard for school-aged kids. You learn deference, or you take a beating.

Again, it all depends on why your parents want to move. But if their only motivation is land prices or "living in paradise" then I would strongly discourage you from moving out to Kona.

I love living here, but it's not a life for everyone.
neoreulwonhae at 2007-01-19 20:02 (UTC) (Hale)
I went to Hawaii last June and Kona didn't seem that hot. And I know that Hilo is on the windward side, so I thought Kona would just be hotter when compared to Hilo.

We've lived in this small town in Eastern Oregon for 3 years, so it's not like we're moving from Portland to a small island town. This town we're in has about 12,000, but there's no stores or anything to do. When I was in Kona last year, there were more stores there than there were here, and this town has a NEGATIVE growth rate. So we're not really worried about getting claustrophobic in a small town.

We've looked at just about every major city West of the Mississippi, and we have found nothing that would work for us and that we have any desire to move to. Lately we've had a "Why not?" attitude, but we know to research all we can and really know what we're getting into. I really appreciate your feedback. :D
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