Life in Hawaii – what its like living on Oahu

8 reasons why you should study abroad

I was lucky enough to call Hawaii home for 4 months. When choosing a destination to travel to for a semester abroad, Hawaii was an obvious choice.  I studied at Hawaii Pacific University and lived in the lovely little town of Kailua. During my time on the Hawaiian Islands, I uncovered a few truths about life in Hawaii. This blog will tell you all about my experience living in Hawaii. From the good to the bad to the ugly, I will touch on it all.

The good

The beach is never far away!

No matter where you are on the island, you can be sure that the beach isn’t far. Hawaii has some of the most beautiful beaches and best waves in the world.

See more on Oahu’s Best Beaches.

There are endless hikes to choose from

Every time I talk to someone about hiking I hear of more and more trails. I have been on the island for 4 months hiking every week and still have a long list of hikes I am yet to do. There are some great blogs such as Unreal Hawaii and Best of Oahu that provide information on more hikes than you can possibly do. Some of my favourite hikes include Koko Head, Olomana Three Peaks and Lanikai Pillboxes.

Shop my hiking essentials

Taking a weekend trip to another Island is a reality

Being able to fly to another island in 40 minutes and for less than $100 makes weekend trips a great option. Talk about living the dream. I visited Maui and Kauai during my time in Hawaii- both amazing. I would love to visit the big island. 

I booked my inter-island flights with Island Air as they have the cheapest flights.

Laid back Lifestyle

Those living in Hawaii like it laid back and want to keep it that way. There is no rush, most people are friendly and everyone loves to enjoy their free time.

Perfect weather

Get ready to be blessed with tropical sunny weather. Sudden spurts of rainfall aren’t uncommon, but they don’t last long.

There is so much to do

When people say they have done everything on Oahu, I am certain that they haven’t looked into it hard enough. The number of hikes, beaches and snorkelling spots are endless. The problem for me isn’t finding something to do, it is choosing what to do as there is just so much to choose from. I’m an outdoors enthusiast if you are too – you’ll probably never ask yourself what there is to do, you’ll just be doing it.

The bad

The weather can change is a second – I have learnt to always carry an umbrella.

Despite saying you will be blessed with tropical sunny weather, you should also expect sudden weather changes. You could leave the house to a perfect sunny do without a cloud in the sky then 2 hours later it will be raining. Followed by a sunny afternoon. Always carry an umbrella.

Island Fever

I have never experienced Hawaiian island fever but I have heard people complain about it. Hawaii is literally in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, thousands of miles from any major country. Say goodbye to long road trips, you can circle the island in one day! Flights to the mainland or other countries aren’t cheap, however, you can fly to another Hawaiian island for the weekend so you aren’t totally restricted.


If you’re working far from where you live on Oahu then traffic is going to be an issue. A 20-minute bus ride can take up to an hour during peak hour, but why stress, you’re living the laid-back island life. Just avoid peak hour and you will be fine.

The crazy people

I have never seen so many crazy people in one place. After some of the things I have seen on Oahu, I will never be surprised again.

The ugly

Hawaii is EXPENSIVE! I thought living in Australia was expensive, but living in Hawaii is even more expensive. I don’t quite understand how people can afford the high rent, expensive groceries and other expenses on top of that such as bills, phone and running a car, but people do it, so you can too. Just be prepared to cut down on the luxuries and live on the basics.

The good clearly outweighs the bad.  They say a picture says 1000 words so let’s see what these photos tell you.

Life in Hawaii, what it's like living on Oahu Life in Hawaii, what it's like living on Oahu Life in Hawaii, what it's like living on Oahu Life in Hawaii, what it's like living on Oahu

Comment below if you would like to know where any of these photos were taken, and if you loved this post, share it 🙂

See more from Maui and Kauai

Backpackers Guide to Maui

Top Stop on the Road to Hana – Maui

Backpackers Guide to Kauai

Top 5 free activities on Kauai

Disclosure: This post on life in Hawaii contains affiliate links.

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