Believe it or not, but Hawai’i is not all rainbows, beaches, and cocktails. Many believe that people who live in Hawai’i do nothing, but go to the beach, surf, tan, hike, and drink cocktails out of coconuts every day. Well, let me tell you this – that is not quite what life in Hawai’i looks like. Living in Hawai’i isn’t easy and requires one to either have well paid and stable employment or to work several jobs.
I already mentioned that I am an ESL teacher and a preschool enrichment program director. So yes, you guessed right – I have two jobs. Unlike in Germany, teachers in the US are not very well paid and even though I love teaching and I enjoy working for my school, having a second job is necessary to pay the bills and to have some money left over for some fun stuff. Rent and cost of living in Hawai’i are high. If you know how much an apartment and groceries in a medium-sized city in Germany cost – then triple the amount. Everything here costs about three times as much as things did in my hometown Bremen in Germany. I am talking rent, food, gym memberships, phone plans, and even haircuts. The minimum wage, however, is even lower than it is in Germany. Don’t get me wrong – it’s not like my jobs are paying me minimum wage. I am grateful for my jobs and happy to be able to afford to live here. Things aren’t just as easy anymore as they used to be while living in Germany. Sometimes it takes moving far away from your home country to appreciate things about it that you always took for granted.