Monday, March 22, 2010

DIFFERENCES BETWEEN LIVING IN KONA AND HILO

We are getting lots of emails asking us what our reasons were for moving from Hilo to Kona. Our immediate motivation to move was to get away from the increasingly boisterous students from the UHH campus near our rental house in Hilo. Once we started looking, we discovered that Kona rental prices had dropped since we looked two years ago. This meant that it was affordable for us to rent in a new condo complex across from a beach and walking distance to Kailua Pier. We assumed living in Kona would be much like Hilo with more sunlight and more places to swim. We are surprised at how different living in Kona is from Hilo.

In our Hilo neighborhood most of our neighbors were elderly, retired, and lived life at a slow pace. In Kona everyone in our neighborhood is on the move, jogging, walking, swimming, bicycling, and cheerfully greeting each other; it is a constant blur of activity. In Hilo folks take time to talk story and enjoy lots of celebrations and pot lucks. In Kona people advise us on where to go for daily walks, the best routes to swim, and share their favorite workout schedules. Folks in Hilo are pretty laid back with a high tolerance for clamorous college students and aggressive pan handlers downtown. In Kona there is little tolerance for loud parties, aggressive pan handlers, and Kona has numerous organizations working to make it a less rowdy place.

We moved to Hilo to recover from 10 years in Silicon Valley and restore ourselves physically and emotionally. We loved the laid back Hilo lifestyle and we doubt if we could have relaxed and recovered as much if we had moved to Kona two years ago.

Now, we are rejuvenated, ready for a new challenge, and want to make progress on our physical fitness. Our Kona neighbors are professional athletes, fishing charter owners, and work in the tourist trade. We hear them rise at 5:30 AM and head out to their boats, jobs and workouts. We watch athletes push themselves physcially and fight their fatigue. At a recent KVBID meeting, Kailua-Kona business owners presented their progress on beautifying Ali’i Drive, improving security, and increasing the local businesses' revenue. We find the vibrancy and energy of Kona to be invigorating and inspiring.

We have met many people in Kona that spent two or more years in Hilo before making Kona their home. We share our rich experiences of living in Hilo and count the benefits and blessings of the time we had there to better understand and appreciate the island of Hawaii.

15 comments:

Nancy Cook Lauer said...

So will you be changing the name of your blog?
:)
N

damontucker said...

Let me know if you do change the name of your blog.

Hope your enjoying the sunshine over there.

If I wasn't so tied down to this side of the island, I might also move to that side.

P.S. I heard the Big Island Internet Society that Larry Czerwonka has started will be doing some Kona side meet ups soon.

Blake said...

Very interesting guys. Your move comes as we also prepare to make out long anticipated move and now that we have decided to rent for a year or two we are torn between Hilo and Kona. We have found that there are many more rental options in Kona and we absolutely love Alii Drive. One motivation we have for thinking of Kona is also the active lifestyle and we love seeing joggers when there. As always great post and mahalo!

damontucker said...

Blake,

FWIW -

There is more of an active "Openly Gay" community in Puna then there is in Kona.

I think all folks are cool, and I'm just a bit jealous that some folks get an option at times.

I've always said that if you like sun and touristy things... move to Kona side if you can afford it.

Blake said...

Yo Damon. I assume you read my post about this post on my blog. It's all good.

We have made many many gay contacts and have has a wonderful reception on the East side for sure. But that is not our primary objective. Just keeping options open I guess.

larry said...

the beauty of the big island is the diversity of options. we could never live in kona: not enough rain and too many people rushing around in a hurry (feels like san diego to us). which is why we are in hilo, plenty of rain and a much slower pace to life.

Karrie in Kona said...

That's good to hear!
We lived in Hilo for 13 years. We moved to Tucson, Arizona for six, and are just returning back to the Big Island. But this time we thought we would try the Kona side. After having lived on the Mainland for a little while, we were excited to see a new Target and Lowes in Kona. In addition to the convenience of Costco, we felt it would just make life a lot easier.

It's also good to hear about the improvements being make in Kona Village!

Victoria Hokulani said...

I have always wished to have a condo in Kona! Although, I appreciate the cooler, wetter climate of the East side, I do love hanging out in Kona. But it does feel way more like Southern California than Hawaii.
I have a feeling there is far more opportunities for a creative business on that side as well. Best of luck to you both, and I hope I run into you someday when I do a Costco run.

noel said...

aloha ,

thats a great read on your thoughts on the different areas, i look forward to seeing more interesting things happening on the west side of the island...thanks for sharing

The Lack said...

I have lived in Kona for thirty five years. Moved to the Puna side six years ago and wish that I did it twenty years ago.
Kona was great in the early seventys but has changed into little L.A. in the last ten years or so. I remember Kona whenit was a small village I thought that there just wasn't any other better place to live and I was right. Now I see Puna headed in that same direction, oh well we can't live forever anyway.

The Lack

Anonymous said...

Yeah a little too californicated on the Kona side for me, which is why I think you probably like it. Anyway, to each their own...whatever suits you. I do like the duality nature of the big island compared to say Kaua'i.

margaret said...

Lots to brag about in Hilo and Kona,but neither compare to the beauty and climate in Waimea. Too much heat and humidity along the coast for me.

What a great place, the Big Island, with such diversity of climates, people, and places of beauty.

Since the first time I came here in 1971, until I moved here in 2002, I thought about how lucky are all the people who call this island their home. Margaret (margaretwille.com)

Blake said...

We are moving from Hilo to Kona and are looking for a truck rental company (with little luck). What did you guys do when you moved? You can contact me at blakeyboy1@gmail.com. Mahalo!

-Blake

http://theboyshawaiianlife.blogspot.com/

Catherine Dunn said...

My boyfriend and I will be moving to Hilo from Texas at the end of the year. We are nervous, but anxious to begin the next chapter of our lives. Any helpful tips or suggestions anyone can offer?

Mahalo!

-Catherine

Hilo Living said...

Hi Catherine,
Check out http://hiloliving.com/ for information about moving to Hilo and living in the town. Your Ideal Hawaii Move book also has helpful information about moving and getting set up in Hilo. Best of luck.
Chris