PCS’ING TO HAWAII…ARE YOU JUMPING FOR JOY OR NERVOUS TO DEATH?!?!
This could quite possibly be the best thing that has ever happened to you. I know one of my personal dreams is to live in the Hawaiian Islands, but is something that probably will not happen. Consider yourself lucky that you have the opportunity to experience locally one of the most beautiful places on the earth – enjoy ever minute of it!
The best way to get over your jitters is to be informed about your new duty station. Basically, you need to pick the brain of someone who has been there done that and can give you the inside scoop on the nitty gritty!
Meet JD, the owner of A Semi-Delicate Balance,and on her amazing website you will find that she writes about all her experiences as a military wife and so much more as she has them in hopes that you can learn and grow from her experiences.
HER PCS’ING GUIDE TO HAWAII IS ONE OF THE BEST OUT THERE, SO IF YOU ARE HEADING FOR THE LAND OF ALOHA CHECK IT OUT – YOU JUST MAY LEARN A FEW THINGS!
Here is a sneak peek into her guide, check out her website to learn more of the Frequently Asked Questions about Hawaii and her insider guide to making an easy transition.
Decide whether or not you want living in military housing. Generally speaking, getting a decent house might take a while. If it’s PCS season, prepare to camp out in a hotel room. It’s hit or miss with housing, some houses are really nice and renovated. Others… not so much. Some are right on base. Others can be a drive. If you decide to live in housing, remember that you pay for utilities now (since 2013). If you decide to live off base, remember that some (aka most) places don’t accept pets. Neither on-base or off-base is safer than the other. Don’t let anyone fool you, there are crimes in housing too. If you decide to live off base, keep in mind the traffic. Generally speaking, there’s the windward side (east), the leeward side (west), town (Honolulu and surround areas), Central (Pearl City, Mililani, and surrounding areas), and the North Shore. Each area has its pros and cons.
Local tip: economy permitting… you might want to look into buying. BAH is ridiculously high. If you sacrifice a little living space or time in traffic, you could find something somewhat affordable and pocket some BAH money with the VA loan all while building some equity.
Forget what you heard. “Locals hate the military”, “They’re unfriendly” yada yada yada. No. Locals hate people who are close-minded and complain about everything but don’t make any attempt to make the best out of a situation. Indeed you may be far from family. But think about it this way. Millions of people save up their whole lives just to be able to visit Hawaii. You and your family are able to move and live there on the government’s dime. You’ll hear “aloha” more times that you can count but embrace it. No, and I mean no one, is in a rush to do anything, so you shouldn’t be either. Show aloha and you will receive aloha. It’s easy as that. Also, Hawaii is the only place you’ll see military officials with leis on their necks.You pretty much receive a lei for any special occasion.
Local tip: Leave your shoes outside or by the door when you go to someone’s home. It’s a respect thing. Don’t worry, they will not get stolen. You’ll probably be living in flip-flops (“slippahs”) anyway so it won’t make too much of a difference.
Plane tickets home can be expensive. It helps to fly home during the off-season. On the plus side, airfare to the other islands or to Asia and Australia are cheaper as opposed to coming from the mainland. So if you’ve got the travel bug, here is your chance! If you’re driving a lot, gas on base is usually cheaper. Costco is a great choice as well. Traffic is horrendous. Anyone will tell you that. If Oahu ever finishes that rail, it might get better. Even with the construction, it will always be a nightmare. The lanes downtown are also teeny tiny as are the parking garages. If you have a big truck, you might have to be that jerk that takes up two spots. Speaking of trucks, Since the speed limit is no higher than 60 anyway, people can ride in the bed of a truck legally.
Local tip: 99% of the time, if there’s no sign, feel free to make your own parking spot anywhere. Lawns, beaches, parks, dirt. If it fits, it’s good.