-The many "locals" I've met are people that came to Maui on a vacation and somehow found themselves extending their vacation to a permanent one. Lots of mainland transplants. If you haole then you'll fit in just fine.
-Employment. Maui and like the rest of the other islands is service driven. The majority of employment will be in the tourism industry. However, there are a lot of healthcare jobs as well. If you're an entrepreneur, you might get away with finding something that this island needs.
I'm fortunate enough to have experience in healthcare and found a temporary job working at health clinics. A few weeks ago, I attended a birthday dinner for my brother in-law's brother. Damien, who has a bachelor's degree in Business told us his struggles of finding employment here in Maui. Although, he is a firefighter he also works valet at a restaurant. I'm going to go off the tangent for a second on the perception of working in the service industry. Why do people make assumption that if you work in the service industry, you're uneducated? Damien told this story about a tourist tipping him and told him to get a college degree. He bit his tongue and politely said thanks. What he really wanted to say was, "You see these guys here…all have college degrees, you ignorant fuck!" Well, minus the ignorant fuck…that's something I would say. Hawaii is a place where the majority of the world can only imagine sprawling on its beautiful sandy beach with a cocktail in hand. So, it's obviously natural to have jobs that revolve around showcasing its natural beauty.
If you're interested in moving here and don't have healthcare or customer oriented experiences, do some research on the types of jobs available because this place might just be a place to visit not to establish residency.
-Cost of Living. Fortunate enough to travel the world a little bit I've learned is that it is all relative. Everyone says, Hawaii is expensive but I don't think it is…not necessarily.
- Yes, Hawaii is in the middle of the Pacific Ocean and the majority of things/food gets here by boat or plane. I live in Laguna Beach and I've paid $29.99/lb for grass-fed "organic" beef! If you want to save money in the islands, especially food-buy LOCAL! It's cheaper, fresher, & sustainable.
You'll find a lot of free fruits or find fruits/vegetables growing wildly
- If you don't mind roommates again that will be your cheapest route in terms of finding a place to live. If you're here temporarily for a month or so, you won't have a problem finding housing. Do expect to pay at least $1000 for a studio/1 bedroom if you decide to forgo having roommates.
-Where to Live. Depends where you work I guess. I'm currently staying in Kula and it took me an hour to get to Lahaina for work.
- Lahaina, Kaanapali, Kapalua, and Wailea are where the majority of the hotels are located.
- Kihei- which I believe is most central and where most people live. Also, there are a lot of bars/dancing that closes after midnight.
- Paia, Haiku, & Makawao- country living. It rains a lot in Haiku and kinda expect to not have phone reception. It's very hippish town especially Paia.
- Wailuku & Kahului- If you decide to attend college here, you would want to live here. Also, if you work at the hospital. I personally, like Wailuku. It has an old plantation town charm.
- Kula- Also known as "upcountry" It's so beautiful! I get to walk out and see the sun rise on Haleakala and catch the sun setting. The weather is so much cooler too.
Afternoon walk in Kula. Me picking wild fennel!
Beautiful sunset I get to witness pretty much everyday