1. Safety is a personal issue. In Hawaii, you’re pretty much free to do whatever you want, wherever you want. You can hike, swim, climb or jump anywhere. But you’re on your own as far as personal safety is concerned. There are tons of very steep cliffs, huge rocks and strong rip tides.
2. Lava is ugly. When you land at the Kona airport, it looks like you’re landing on the moon. Thankfully, the east side of the island looks more like the Garden of Eden.
3. Cracks abound everywhere, especially on the beach. It seems some Hawaiians interpret “hang loose” quite literally.
4. Always wear your swimsuit. You never know when you’re going to come across a lava-heated pool or hidden lagoon.
5. Hawaii is by far the cleanest state I’ve ever been in. (There’s no trash service – everyone has to take their own trash to the “transfer stations.”) And even those are clean!
6. If you’re on the island for more than a day, you can be sure you’ll run into the same people multiple times. Best to make friends with everyone you see.
7. Create a savings account for groceries. A loaf of bread is $6.
8. If the locals are staring at you, it’s not necessarily because they think you’re hot. It might be because they know something you don’t and they want a front seat to the show.
9. When at a luau on an island in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, beware of getting too rowdy, in case one of the Finance Directors from your work just happens to be at the same luau. (Hey Martin!)
10. It’s official. I want to move to Hawaii.