Living the Island Life: A Story About Hawaii & the British Virgin Islands

Living on Oahu is amazing. The culture, the family dynamic, the surf, and of course the food make it home to me. And every time I leave, I realize more and more that the Hawaiian islands are my home. There is so much to do here on Oahu that it rarely gets old; however, we all need to get off the “rock” sometimes and the island life is not for everyone.


Are you ready to experience island living?

Before jet-setting to Puerto Rico and the British Virgin Islands last week, many of my friends and family asked me why in the world I would travel to yet another island destination? They could not understand why I would venture to a place that has a lot of similarities to Hawaii. Yes, they are both 75-degree paradises, but oh so different. Plus, once you’ve been living on an island for a while, your interest in cold travel destinations starts to fade away (unless it’s a ski trip).

What Makes Island Living So Special?

My first island experience growing up was sailing to Martha’s Vineyard off the coast of Cape Cod, Massachusetts. Every summer we would sail over and stay with my aunt in Oak Bluffs, in the famous “gingerbread” cottages. This sparked my interest in island living. I recently sailed to Tahiti and visited three of the islands there.


Ocean views, the sound of waves crashing, fresh air – just some of the perks of island living

In my experience, people who live on islands have a different mindset that is very attractive. Islands have a very strong sense of community. People know each other and value respect. People “hui” up and take care of one another. They do the best they can with what they have. They also know how to relax, have patience, and be happy. Taking the time to sit around and have a conversation is important. Watching the sunset and getting in the ocean at least once a day is a ritual for most.


Watching the sunset and getting in the ocean at least once a day is a ritual for most islanders

“Island time” is a very real thing. And even more of a real thing down in the British Virgin Islands. I would say that Hawaii moves slow, but that place is slow as molasses…and I loved every minute of it!


“Island time” – when everything moves nice and slow

Beautiful pristine water – and the white sand beaches are just incredible. The BVI’s are named the “yachting mecca of the world,” and the status is well deserved. We sailed to almost every single island in the BVI chain and it was glorious. Perfect winds, flat water, and interesting anchorages. You can go just about anywhere by boat. Jost Van Dyke’s White Bay really stood out to me.


Enjoying the ocean and the great outdoors is part of what makes island living so appealing

Another island commonality: great food. That place is heaven on earth. The island has amazing Pina Coladas and is home to the famous rum cocktail named the “Pain Killer.” Hawaii’s famous cocktail is the “Mai Tai,” which consists of light and dark rum, pineapple juice, and OJ.

Tortola, Norman Island, Virgin Gorda, and the flat island of Anagada were all spectacular. Cane Garden Bay wins the best “Cracked Conch,” which is a local favorite. It’s deep fried Conch, similar to Hawaii’s tako or calamari. Puerto Rico had amazing seafood and the people were so nice. The architecture and bright colors in Old San Juan were truly fascinating.


Why not live somewhere that makes you truly happy?

Every island on this beautiful planet is so different and so special in its own way. The major similarity is the way of life and how islanders truly enjoy their days to the fullest. I am grateful that I get to call Oahu my home. Traveling is great, but nothing beats coming home to Honolulu and seeing Diamond Head in the distance, grabbing a poke bowl, going for a surf, and watching the sunset.

Want To Know More?

If you have questions about living the island life, reach out to us at companyblog@hawaiilife.com or via phone at (800) 370-3848.

Aloha nui loa!

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