From wild weather to aggressive drivers in traffic, if you move from Hawaii to the Mainland without doing some basic research, you’re definitely in for a culture shock. Here are our top tips to help you make the move and transition smooth. Plus, what you should expect once you’re here.
Furnishings: A move can be challenging and you might need to leave some things behind if you find that it’s too expensive to bring all of your furniture with you. One great thing about living on the Mainland is you can find a lot of great furniture at discount furniture stores and thrift stores, so it’s not always necessary to spend an arm and a leg replacing what you left behind in Hawaii.
Selling your belongings: Don’t sell everything right away because there are some people who get state side and eventually want to move back, especially if you’re not sure if it will be a permanent move from Hawaii to the Mainland. Some find peace of mind knowing they have something to come back to.
Check shipping rates: Also be sure that you price your move well before you plan to move from Hawaii to the Mainland. There are some shipping services that are very affordable. Moving households to the Mainland does take expertise with shipping and packing, so make sure you choose a mover with lots of experience.
Finding a job: If you’re not being transferred to the Mainland with your current job, try to find one ahead of time. Employment websites are good references to explore what’s available. While you might have a lot of great leads, it can put added pressure on you if nothing pans out. Of course, many accept jobs at less money until finding something else. Also, any job can help you to get acclimated with your new city and meet new people.
Finding your way around: Roads and streets have names and don’t go by mile markers. You may want to look into the state where you are moving to so you can be ready for this. Also try to learn highways, freeways, east, west, etc. when traveling and about the state, the counties and cities. The Mainland is big and getting lost here isn’t like it is on Hawaiian Islands.
Tech and clothing: Depending on where you move to, you may be in for a culture shock. From dress codes to high tech gadgets, life on the Mainland is sometimes fast-paced and frenzied compared to island time.
Traffic and smog: On the islands, life was easy, you got to drive slow and breathe in all that fresh air. Depending on where you move to though, you may have to deal with everyday traffic jams, disgruntled and angry drivers with road rage, and the smell of smog in the air.
Tips to help you acclimate: Be patient with fast drivers. Let them speed past. You’ll catch up to them at the next light anyway. If you’re unsure about traffic, try to stay in the slow lane, which is usually to the right.
With the air quality, don’t be surprised if you experience some sinus problems. A lot of pollen, ragweed and other irritants cause sinus problems in the states and with smog and city soot. Over the counter allergy medication anyone?
Language: If you find people don’t understand you or you don’t understand them, just give it time. Aloha is probably the most term known on the Mainland. The goal is to have fun in your new environment and learn a few words, too. You may also find that you miss a lot of your favorite snacks like loco mocos, mochi, sun juices, or li hing mui.
Tips to help you get acclimated: Give yourself time and carry a little note pad to write down anything you don’t understand and what it means.
While you might find really great food Mainland, you might need to bring your favorite foods with you, or have them imported! Friends and family back in Hawaii won’t mind shipping you a few of your favorites, right?
Make sure you research the area you want to move to thoroughly, especially the weather year round. Some states get hit with a lot of snow. And while you’re used to wearing slippers and enjoying balmy days and nights, you might not be prepared for harsh winters or severe thunderstorms and tornadoes.
Tips to help: Start online, like you did finding this article, and research the city and state. You can also check out Fodors.com. Next, do a search by the city and state and look at the first few entries, which should have tourist information.
While moving to the Mainland sounds like a lot to handle, it is a lot easier with some advance knowledge. Perhaps the most annoying thing you’ll have to deal with is people asking you whey you moved from Hawaii to the Mainland in the first place. It’s only because we dream of visiting your home state.