As the most isolated population center on the entire planet, the Hawaiian Islands are incredibly unique in everything from our scenery and land formations to our culture and common quirks. And while not everyone is the same, there are a few habits most Hawaii locals share that we will defend endlessly — because backing into your parking stall is just easier, okay? Without further ado, here are 11 things people who call the Hawaiian Islands home do that might make other states tilt their heads and ask, “why?”
1. People from Hawaii struggle to decide which beach to visit.
There are just too many breathtaking beaches to choose from! We can’t simply just go to the closest beach, because we’re never very far from any particular beach. We will also spend a great deal of time checking current surf conditions at any beach we are actually considering.
2. We pay very little attention to weather forecasts. After all, the weather never changes too much.
Oh, it might rain today? Yeah, that’s every day, but it will only rain for ten minutes, and then become perfectly sunny again. Alternatively, you will experience sideways rain that only gets water on half of your vehicle while it appears as though there isn’t a single cloud in the sky.
3. People from Hawaii put on a sweater when the weather drops below 75 degrees.
Whether you were born in Hawaii or have lived here for only a year or two, you quickly get used to beautiful weather and anytime the temperature dips below 75 degrees, you’ll pull out a sweater or blanket.
4. People from Hawaii have distinct preferences when it comes to sweets.
We prefer shave ice over ice cream, and malasadas over traditional doughnuts. And you can’t forget about the ice cream mochi… Mhmm, Bubbie’s.
5. People from Hawaii don’t use traditional words when giving directions — we use “mauka,” or toward the mountains and “makai,” meaning towards the sea.
We also have alternative names for many roads, and we give directions based on landmarks rather than addresses. I remember driving to a hike once and the Yelp reviews told us to “turn right, and park on the side of the road next to the 11th light pole.” Sure enough, there was the entrance to the hike.
6. Hawaii locals will rave about the deliciousness that is spam musubi, Portuguese sausage, and the loco moco while mainlanders have no idea what we’re talking about.
I’ll admit that I was a little hesitant the first time my co-worker brought me a loco moco for lunch, but the moment I tried it, I was hooked. It’s too indulgent to eat too often, but it is absolutely amazing.
7. We call the 48 contiguous states the mainland. And we’ll get weird looks from those who live, well, on the mainland.
8. Many people from Hawaii are excited about Nov. 1 for one reason: Daylight Savings Time, which means that we are only two hours behind the west coast, rather than three.
Anyone who has family on the mainland, or who does business with those on the mainland, or even those who love television and sports, is pretty excited. We know it’s silly, but the less time difference, the better — am I right?
9. For those who live on Oahu, we plan all of our afternoon activities around rush hour so we won’t have to be on H-1 headed west between 3 and 7 p.m.
Did you know that Honolulu is consistently ranked as one of the worst cities in America when it comes to traffic?
10. We also talk about distance not in miles — but in the time it takes to get to our destination.
Because my GPS tells me that it is only 20 miles to my favorite beach, but I know that it will take 55 minutes to get there.
11. There’s this thing called sun guilt, and it sucks.
Sometimes, you need to recharge by binge-watching Netflix all day, but that can be hard when you feel guilty for not enjoying the weather and taking advantage of Hawaii’s beautiful landscape.
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