The Price of Paradise

West side oahu

With beach-worthy weather year round, crystal clear waters, and some of the best food, it's no surprise that Hawaii is a top destination for tourists from all over the world. But despite what the brochures and guide books would like you to believe, there's a lot more to living in Hawaii than going to the beach and relaxing all day. Honolulu particularly has all of the problems of a big city and then some. It's got some of the worst traffic in the county, and a lot of people aren't very pleased with local government. 

But perhaps hardest of all, living in paradise comes at a cost. And while a lot of people say that it's worth the price, it's becoming more and more difficult for many people to justify. High costs of living make Honolulu one of the most expensive cities in the US to live in, means that we've got the worst homeless problem, and is forcing a lot of locals to look toward the mainland for a more economically viable lifestyle. And it's not getting any better. Yes, there are a number of development projects going on, but a lot of them are luxury apartments that most locals can't afford. They'll be bought by foreigners, drive up property values, and make things even harder for Hawaii's current residents. 

So yeah, Hawaii is great. But its greatness is also its greatest weakness. Because it's so loved, it's expensive. Because it's expensive only those with money can afford to live here. Because people will pay for it, prices go up. And those who hurt the most are the locals.