Updated: Feb 16
Many people dream about living in Hawaii, and no wonder. The perfect climate, relaxed lifestyle, safe environment, and beautiful, warm ocean year-round make our state, and especially the Big Island, a true paradise. However, what many people don't think about when moving to Hawaii is that it can be a lonely place. Why is that, you may ask?
One of the first things people notice when they move to Hawaii is they are missing their established social networks. When we move to a new place, we often leave our family, friends, and societal circles behind, and travel is not that easy when you are in the middle of the ocean.
Of course, initially, you will be busy with the move and getting settled in your new place, so you may not even have time for friends or socializing. However, there comes the time when we want to fill that void. Living in Hawaii, it is up to you to find people to meet so you can make new friends.
Meeting your neighbors first is always an obvious choice, but it may not be as easy as it seems here. If you live in the resort areas, you will quickly find that many of the condos and houses around are vacation rentals, and the rotation of people means they are gone in a week or two!
Also, if you live on the acreage, it can be a while before you meet your neighbors, as everybody values their privacy, and your neighbors may not even live on the island full time. That is why I always advise my clients moving here to choose the right community depending on the lifestyle they want to lead.
So how do you make friends and connect with people on the Big Island? I cover it in this blog post.
Get involved in things you enjoy
The absolute best way to make friends in Hawaii is to get involved in things you enjoy and care about. There is a wide range of clubs and groups on the island, making it easy to find and make friends, including canoeing, surfing, diving, snorkeling, hiking, pickleball, softball, yoga, or just social groups. For example, if you happen to be in Puako, a charming residential neighborhood on the Kohala Coast where I live, there are plenty of activities to enjoy and meet like-minded people who like doing the same things as you.
If you are into yoga and fitness, we have a Tuesday morning yoga therapy class led by a yoga therapist Michelle Andrie from Ageless Move More, who also lives in Puako. She is all about movement, and her classes are amazing! They always make you feel good, move freely, and be vibrantly alive. Michelle also offers private lessons, programs, and memberships, and you can learn more about them on her website.
There is also a great yoga and fitness studio Yoga Barre, located in the Queen's Marketplace in Waikoloa Beach Resort. They have great teachers and offer a variety of classes like yoga, barre, HIIT, fitness, and pilates.
If you like to spend time outside and enjoy nature, there is no better place than the Big Island to do so. Consider joining a canoe club if you like water sports and want to be in a team environment. Waikoloa Canoe Club and Kawaihae Canoe Club accept new members and offer programs for all ages and skill levels.
Hiking is also a popular activity on the island. There are so many beautiful places to see and explore, and you can easily find a hiking group or club in your area just by doing Google or Facebook search.
Volunteer at community events
One of the best ways to get to know people is by volunteering to help at community events. There is always something going on somewhere in Hawaii. Our perfect weather makes for great weekends, and people want to be outside doing something. There's always a beach cleanup or trail maintenance thing happening on any given weekend. Find a non-profit group that you like and get involved.
Working at community events are conditions ripe for making new friends. You end up meeting all these people with common interests, you physically work side-by-side on a meaningful project, and together you accomplish a goal. Typically, these events last at least a half-day or more. When you combine the amount of time spent, and the significance of the effort spent together, you get a perfect combination of the elements needed to extend your network of friends.
I like to volunteer and support our local chapter of Project Hawaii, which helps our homeless keiki (kids). It is an amazing organization that is also building homes and an education program to allow these children to go to college!
Talk to Your Realtor
The realtor who sold you your house may also be your best connector. Real estate agents have connections and know a lot of people in different circles. Most of them know their neighborhoods like the back of their hand and always have the inside scoop. So chances are they can introduce you to the type of people you want to meet or refer you to a group or club you will be interested in.
My personal tagline says, "It is a small world on the Big Island. Please, let me introduce you." I love to connect people and help them become part of the community. So many of my clients who bought properties in Puako became my long-time friends and friends of my friends.
There is something on the island called Coconut Wireless, which is, in essence, a word-of-mouth network within our community. If you meet someone you like and have a good vibe with, others will likely hear about it. The word spreads quickly, and before you know it, you will meet more people and make new friends.
Are you ready to make new friends on the Big Island? Please let me introduce you.
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