10 Things I’ve Learned (So Far) In Hawaii

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It’s my birthday week and in true blogger fashion, I decided to do one of those list posts about learnings and what not, because, well… Why not?

Not gonna lie, initially, I was going to do a whole list of 27 items since I am turning 27 on Saturday. But then I took a step back and realized that oh my gosh, I need to give you guys a break and just give a quick and easy 10-item list.

After all, I’ve only been here for about a week.

So without further ado, here are my 10 Things I’ve Learned (So Far) In Hawaii.

1. The different FB groups of a new PCS location are a lifesaver.

This is something I’ve learned to do every time we move from one place to another. It’s one of the ways we’re able to know more about the command before we actually arrive. I’ve asked questions from what to bring vs. buy in Hawaii to where the affordable and nice salons are. The best part is so many people are willing to help and answer your questions because they too have been in your shoes.

2. Layovers are always best spent at a USO or an AMEX lounge.

You get free food, sockets for charging, and a spot to rest. Really, what more could you ask for? I’ve only been to the San Diego one so far, but from what I’ve heard the San Francisco USO is one of the best ones.

Apply for your Platinum AMEX card here.

3. When PCSing to Hawaii, always try and book the Navy Lodge on Ford Island while you’re on TLA.

It is seriously the nicest Navy Lodge I have ever been to. It’s pet-friendly, it’s on Ford Island — which is close to Pearl Harbor base and the Commissary — and the views, you guys, it’s pretty incredible.

4. On base housing won’t always be the ideal choice.

Sure, the houses may be bigger than the average Hawaii home and it’s awesome that your utilities are basically unlimited when living on base housing. But in our case, we wanted to pocket a bit of the BAH. So we got to Hawaii with an inclination of living off base. Now, there are a few military housing options that don’t take all of the BAH. However, they didn’t look as nice as the ones we found off base.

The only photo I had at the NEX was taken 2 years ago in VA. Oops!

The only photo I had at the NEX was taken 2 years ago in VA. Oops!

5. There will be a few off-base housing options that are up for a non-judicial foreclosure.

This means the lease term will be on a month to month basis, which can often lead to an affordable rental price. Don’t panic. Not all of these houses will lead to an eviction of some sort — some families stay in these places for years even. It all comes down to what you prioritize the most. A more affordable place that runs the risk of you and your family having to leave home in 3 months notice OR a more expensive home that you can call yours throughout your Hawaii stay.

6. The GPS isn’t as reliable as it is on the mainland.

Guess who was told to go straight through a dead end? Like okay, Google Maps, I’m not trying to be a Superhero here or anything.

7. Always do the grocery shopping in the Commissary.

Non-negotiable here more than ever. I’ve heard Costco has great deals too, but to be honest, I’ve never had a Costco membership. So I think, for now, we’ll stick to the Commissary and its tax-free prices.

8. And on that note, never go to the Commissary, NEX, or Autoport on a weekend.

Do yourself a favor and schedule a trip during the weekdays or when it’s not payday instead. In other words, save yourself.

9. Spam musubi is the absolute best.

I honestly don’t even care that it comes with white rice. It’s so good, you guys. We’ve practically had one a day already. They’re less than $2 a piece from 7 Eleven and we’re basically hooked. On a side note, guess who’s making spam musubi soon?

10. Don’t park below trees.

We did and our rental car had a ton of bird poop after one night. It was not a pretty sight at all.

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I don’t know how I feel about ending my 10-item list on bird poop, but I feel like it just had to be said. Because the morning when we saw the state of our rental care, we couldn’t help but feel sorry for ourselves. We’ve never parked our car below a tree ever again. Haha!

In all seriousness, the past few days have been pretty uncomfortable. Uncomfortable in the sense that we’re still getting used to Hawaii life and we’re still settling in in our room in the Navy Lodge. Since we’ve been going out so much running errands and looking at houses, we haven’t really had a chance to explore much of Hawaii and do any of the touristy stuff. Then again, we have 3 years here, so we’re in no rush.

On another note, this lack of a routine is driving me crazy because I feel like getting work done has gotten drastically harder. My mind’s running for what feels like a million miles a minute. I vented a bit over on my Instagram yesterday and had such amazing responses that it just makes me remember how truly amazing social media can be at times.

Anyway, I feel like I’ve rambled on way too long. I’ll probably do more of these lists in the future so watch out for that!

For now, talk to you guys again soon!