Life in Hawaii is a little different than the rest of the country, and that’s the way we like it. Across the Hawaiian Islands, life is a little slower, and we choose to embody the Aloha Spirit in everything we do. Hawaii is a magical place to live or visit, and an even better place to grow up. Whether you’ve lived in Hawaii your entire life, or have recently moved to the islands, there are a few unwritten rules everyone in the Aloha State follows.
1. You can solve anything with a little vitamin sea.
Let me let you in on a little secret: Hawaii is consistently rated as the healthiest state in America because we live outside. We are not only active, but we also recognize that the best cure for depression — or just a bad day — is a little vitamin sea.
2. Less is more.
From the clothes you own and the gear you bring to the beach to drama and even friend with negative attitudes, less is more. Simplifying your life and clearing out the unnecessary clutter will free you — in more ways than one.
3. Ohana is everything.
Whether we’re talking about your blood relatives you see at dinner every Sunday or the friends you’ve made who are like family, there is nothing more important in this life than our ohana.
4. Shave ice beats ice cream any day.
Ah, Shave Ice: the quintessential Hawaiian treat, the perfect snack for a quick sugar rush after a day spent in the ocean. Is there really any better dessert on a hot Hawaiian afternoon? Not unless that shave ice is placed gently upon a bed of vanilla ice cream and drizzled with sweetened condensed milk.
5. Don’t worry about the little things.
Whether you live in a small Hawaiian community or Los Angeles, it is important to take time every day to simply relax, whether that means watching the sun sink into the horizon or taking 20 minutes to drink your morning cup of coffee without checking your work email. Stress will slowly kill you if you don’t make time for yourself.
6. Risks are a part of life.
Adventure surrounds you in Hawaii, but if you never take risks, you might never discover that you love the adrenaline spike you get while cliff jumping. The islands lend themselves to a life full of risks and pushing yourself to do incredible things.
7. Any meal is better with rice.
Spam Musubi, Loco Moco, a Hawaiian plate lunch, even a breakfast platter from McDonald’s. All meals and foods are made better with rice. And are you even a Hawaii local if you don’t own a rice cooker?
8. Gym memberships are overrated.
With no need for a gym membership, easy access to fresh and local produce, near-perfect weather year-round, and a plethora of outdoor activities at our fingertips, it’s easy to lead a healthy lifestyle in Hawaii. Bring on the acai bowls and hiking trails!
9. Live in the moment.
While in Hawaii, you’ve got to let loose, go with the flow, and truly live in the moment. There’s no need to photograph every single thing you do, and releasing expectations — even about how your day will progress — is the key to happiness.
10. Respect the aina.
Locals spend a lot of time outdoors and are taught from an early age to respect the land. As the delicate source of all life, Mother Nature should be protected, and respected as much as possible. From the ban on plastic bags to carrying out other people’s trash on your hiking trips, it is crucial that we care for our beautiful planet.
11. Expectations are joy-killers.
Having goals is great, don’t get me wrong, but sometimes you have to push those worries aside and just, live. Allow your life to unfold as it will, and you will be much happier.
12. Appreciate the little things.
Whether it’s a gorgeous sunrise during your morning commute, a rainbow after the storm, or a delicate flower that has fallen on the sidewalk, we acknowledge that it’s the little things that make life truly wonderful.
13. You must plan your day around traffic.
Everyone knows that going West-bound on H1 between 2 and 7 p.m. is a death wish — or will at least make you hate your life just a little bit, even if the views aren’t half bad. After all, Honolulu’s traffic battles Los Angeles to the death year after year for the title of the worst traffic in America.
14. The ocean is in charge — always.
Don’t for a second think that you’re in control while in the beautiful Pacific. Let the ocean take control, and let the waves take you where they may.
15. Life is better when lived slowly.
From alarm-free mornings to relaxed schedules, life is slower in Hawaii, and that’s the way we like it. There’s no need to rush through anything in Hawaii — including that important work project, or a coffee date with a good friend. You’ll be much happier when you slow down and truly live in the moment.
16. Spread Aloha everywhere you go.
Those who call Hawaii home believe in the Aloha Spirit — in welcoming everyone with open arms, and being friendly anyone they encounter. Not only is it good karma, but it makes the world a better place to live.