Things to Know Before Moving to Maui

Things to Know Before Moving to Maui

  • Amber Lee
  • 06/8/22

The legend of Hawai’iola tells the tale of his discovery of the Hawaiian islands many hundreds of years before its colonization in the 18th century. He named the island after his young son, Maui, who was also named after the demigod, Māui. Folklore and other stories like these continue to be told today due to the traditional practice of oral history in Polynesian culture. Maui is located right in the middle of the Hawaiian islands and has a thriving ecological system, just like her sister islands. Moving to a remote island in the middle of the Pacific Ocean is not a decision to be taken lightly—particularly when it comes to respecting the native people's traditions and protecting their heritage. Here are just a couple of essential things to know before moving to Maui.

Be respectful of cultural traditions and practices

Photo Courtesy of Go Hawaii
While moving to Maui is a super exciting prospect, take a moment to learn more about how to be mindful of the indigenous population that has lived there for centuries. Life on the islands is lived slowly, and you may hear residents from Kauai tell you to “try slow,” which is their way of saying to slow down and relax. Despite what you may think about the slow restaurant service or overall laidback lifestyle, the Hawaiian people work diligently. Most often, they are working the grueling manual labor it takes to run the island daily. Many locals even have multiple jobs in order to afford rent. Major companies and businesses have bought up ancestral land and are actively taking resources away from the local communities in order to keep resorts running.
It is crucial that you are aware of the tensions that can be present between locals and tourists—but know it is not personal to you. It is important to remain empathetic to the working and living conditions of the local population on the islands and to do everything possible not to add to that tension. Always support locally-owned businesses to keep money on the island and give back to the community. Listen attentively when someone is telling you of their heritage, as this is quite literally a living window into their history. Oral history has deep roots in Hawaiian culture, and they are telling you for a reason—so keep an open mind to learn something new. Many native Hawaiians will “talk story” just as their ancestors did, sharing folklore, history, ideas, or personal anecdotes. Be present, as this is a fantastic way to open the doors to friendship with your new neighbors.
Respect “Kapu,” which is an ancient, religious Hawaiian code of conduct of laws and regulations. Kapu essentially means “taboo” or “forbidden,” an offense that was kapu was a capital one, as this was a universal system of laws that was strictly enforced. If you are told an area or specific activity is kapu, be respectful and do not go exploring the said area or engaging in said activity. The idea of mālama “take care” is often paired with the word āina, which means “land.” Hawaiians take pride in caring for their ancestral homeland. Things like not disposing of your trash appropriately or taking a small jar of red sand from the beach—both are kapu. One physically for the island, and the other brings terrible luck.

The cost of living & mainland goods

If you’re moving from a city like New York or Los Angeles, the prices for housing and certain goods may be comparable for you. But if you’re moving from cities like Houston or Pensacola, Florida, you’ll definitely notice the significant price jump for a gallon of milk ($8!). Thankfully, there is a Costco on Maui, so you can rest easier knowing you’ll still have a little bit of that mainland access when you get here. It is no secret that Hawaii is one of the most remote places you can get to in the world. This means that even just getting items over here from the mainland will be vastly different, and some of the things you are used to may be unavailable. This all comes with moving to paradise in the middle of the ocean. Before you ship off your stuff, really decide what you will genuinely need to bring with you. In the land of constant sunshine and rainbows, you’ll be grabbing the tank-top and shorts combo more than you think!

Activities to look forward to

Maui has so many amazing things to partake in, and the views are nothing short of breathtaking. Whether you feel like going for a swim in a secluded alcove, hiking to the summit of a 10,000-foot volcano, or grabbing a board and heading to catch some waves—your options continue to go on. This is the ultimate playground for nature lovers.

Open ocean paddling

This activity is best suited for Maui due to the island’s many flat-water coves and calm beaches, making it ideal for beginners to get the hang of paddling before testing their skill in the open ocean.

Peaceful yoga 

Photo Courtesy of Book Yoga Retreats
Who doesn’t love getting some good mental clarity while saying “thank you” to your body for all the work it does daily? Real estate agent Amber Lee has over 14 years of experience teaching yoga to all levels. And with a backdrop like the beaches of Maui, you’ll undoubtedly love taking classes in your new backyard.

Surfing, scuba diving & snorkeling

What’s not to love? There are places you can sign up for surf lessons, and you can even become a certified scuba diver in Maui!

Ocean sports

Maui is home to a number of fun water sports like kiteboarding, windsurfing, and foiling (riding a surfboard that has a hydrofoil attached to the board instead of a fin, causing it to fly above the water). Getting involved with a group of people who like to have fun in the water is a quick way to make good friends.

More than water sports

Maui offers a plethora of incredible land adventures and hidden waterfalls—if discovering secret spots around the island is something that you're interested in exploring, the Road to Hana is a must-do.  
As you make your journey to Maui, keep in mind the rich history and culture of the Hawaiian people. Continue to read and keep an open heart and mind when learning about your new home. 
Ready to make the move to this oasis? Reach out to experienced agent Amber Lee for guidance.

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