Where do I live on Hawaii?

I have to smile every time I’m asked which island I call home in Hawaii. The funny thing is I don’t live in Hawaii and I never have. I’m just a frequent visitor who fell in love with Hawaii on my first vacation to Maui in 2003. Since then, I’ve been fortunate to have vacationed on all the islands and returned many times. We’ve actually lost count of the number of times we’ve been to the Aloha State. Along the way, I have picked up many tips and tricks for travel to Hawaii that I love to share here.

So where do I live? Most people would guess on the West Coast since it’s quicker and easier to get to Hawaii from there, but I actually live on the East Coast – just about as far from Hawaii as you can get from the US Mainland. I live “on the island” of North Carolina in the beautiful capital city of Raleigh. So, hopefully you’ll forgive me from time to time if I accidentally say “Aloha, y’all!” 🙂

Sometimes I’m asked if I’d like to move to Hawaii. While I love Hawaii dearly, I’m very happy to call North Carolina home. Hawaii is where I love to visit. North Carolina is where I love to live.

Some may perceive that it is a weakness that I write about Hawaii travel and I don’t even live there. I believe it’s actually a big benefit to Go Visit Hawaii readers that I’m a visitor just you are. I understand all the challenges and confusion that come along with planning Hawaii vacations. I know what visitors like and what they don’t like. My articles are designed to be honest and practical advice for visiting Hawaii.

So now that you know what “island” I live on 😉 please tell me where you call home. I’d love to know where Go Visit Hawaii readers live. Please let me know in the comments.

  1. I heard that the Hawaii Visitor’s and Convention Bureau relies on Go Visit Hawaii so much, they’ve petition the President to have North Carolina named the ninth island of Hawaii. 🙂

  2. Oakdale, California, located about 90 miles east of San Francisco in California’s fertile central valley. Oakdale is farming and cattle country. When I’m not working at my day job in the IT department of a local manufacturing company, we’re cattle ranchers. (So now you know why I was so interested in those invisible cows you wrote about a while back)

    Our interest in Hawaii got started with a trip to the islands in 1985 and we’ve been back more times than I can remember. Maui is usually our destination. It’s not too fast and not too slow and we really enjoy the whale watching.

    I completely agree with you that a visitor to the islands has a better perspective when writing a how-to for other visitors.

    Keep up the good work and more cow articles please 😉


  3. @ David – Yeah we Hawaii addicts…um I mean visitors understand each other, don’t we!? Ah and that explains the cow comments. 🙂 Thanks for sharing where you live.

    @ Scott – Cool – a Mainlander who actually does live on an island! 🙂

  4. I live on the island of Oahu. I moved here from Denver about 10 years ago and I still feel like I’m on vacation.

    Friends, family & business antecedences from the mainland ask me all the time for advice on planning a trip to Hawaii and I tell everyone to read this blog.

    I agree that not being a resident actually benefits your writing and helps you connect with your audience better than if you were a local.

    That’s why I also recommend this blog to all of my friends in the local travel industry. I believe it helps to pay attention to what our actual visitors have to say, versus the usual industry insiders who may or may not be reading too many of their own press releases.

  5. The funny thing is that visitors try to soak up as much information as they can, along with the sun, and end up knowing more than the people who live here! I can say that because I have live on Oahu and have lived on Oahu all my life.

    As much as I hate to admit it, we (or rather, I) take things for granted. It was not until I started blogging that I realized just how important my home is to me and how devastating it would be to ever leave it. I continue to learn more about my home all the time. 🙂

    This blog, GoVisitHawaii.com, really is a great resource for travelers! Nice going Sheila! I appreciate your love of our home, your diligence, and your honest statements and opinions. Big hugs!

  6. I am a born again Mauian also. I reside in Richmond Va., but I live in Maui daily in my heart and mind. I know all the people commenting here wish they could just move there. I can not talk my wife into it. As for the travel industry and Hawaii visitor center they do a wonderful job of advertising and getting us to get interested but I feel they also are advertisement backed to the point that most people will only see 10% of what the Islands offer. It is a shame. I believe the islands offer so much more than what is easily found on the internet and the best parts are as usual buried by the overwhelming amount of ads by the big boys. I have a sight that tries to show people that Maui and Hawaii is getting lost in the normal resort areas and you have to go elsewhere to find the true Aloha. One more thought for all visitors please be aware you are the guest to all who live here please respect the privacy, right and land use of the residence of Hawaii as if you would like your respected should thousands of people come through your neighborhood a month. MA HALO and have safe and fun travels

  7. Hi Sheila. Maybe Andy’s comment is not a joke. You have done a great job of promoting Hawaii. It does not matter where you live these days. As long as you have a broadband connection to the internet, you can do a great job from almost anyplace on the planet. The real deal is having a true “passion” for your work. It is obvious that this is what you have. I am a long term Big Island resident and the truth is that you have done your homework and simply “get it”. Keep up the great work and maybe our government tourist promotion agencies should have you on the payroll…jerry

  8. @ Dave – What a blessed life you live to feel like you’ve been on vacation for 10 years. That’s tremendous! Mahalo for recommending GVH to your friends, family and colleagues. I’m honored!

    @ Evelyn – I think everyone seems to take the great areas of their home state for granted. I have to admit there loads of great places that visitors to NC have seen and enjoyed that I’ve never seen. For example, I’ve never seen Cape Hatteras on the coast or Chimney Rock in the mountains. Heck, I grew up in the “snow ski capital of the South” and didn’t even ski for the first time until I was 20.

    I’m glad my love of Hawaii shows here. You should see me sometime when a new acquaintance mentions Hawaii… I light up like a Christmas tree. 🙂

    @ Tim – Ah, another East coaster! I definitely agree that tourists need to be polite in Hawaii. I cringe to think of visitors trespassing. As often as I can, I try to educate visitors to be polite, respectful, and responsible when they vacation in Hawaii. Thanks for your first time comment here.

    @ Jerry – Oh my goodness! I’m so honored and grateful for your kind words. I’m totally speechless.

  9. Sheila, Having lived in Hawaii for many years, I have the ability to spot folks who are “Hawaiian at Heart” and you definitely fit the description. I have visited North Carolina twice and felt the Smoky Mountains were one of the most beautiful places on earth…and that Southern cookin’ was awesome 🙂 I would take a long road trip just to experience that again!

  10. @ Jan – Your comment about me being Hawaiian at heart brought a smile to my face. Mahalo!

    I’m glad you’ve been to NC. The Smokey Mountains are beautiful. I’m kind of partial to the mountains myself. I grew up very close to the Smokies in the Blue Ridge Mountains. When it was time for me to “move off the mountains” to start college at NC State University in the “flat lands”, my parents joked with me that my eyes would probably be sore for the first week or so because I wouldn’t have any mountains to rest my eyes on. 🙂

  11. I’d vote to include govisithawaii as the 9th island… all the way from Maryland. 🙂

  12. “I believe it’s actually a big benefit to Go Visit Hawaii readers that I’m a visitor…I understand all the challenges and confusion that come along with planning Hawaii vacations”

    This statement alone is what makes Go Visit Hawaii such an amazing resource for travelers heading to Hawaii. Your perspective is honest and no nonsense from a person with Hawaii travel experience, and the most amazing part is that you would never know you weren’t in Hawaii if you hadn’t told us yourself. That just shows how much your love and dedication for the islands is.

    As for me, I’m a transplant from St. Louis, Missouri who came to the beautiful island of Oahu in 1994. My adult life has been here in Hawaii, met many friends, went to college and now proud to call this my HOME!

    Thanks Sheila for the dedication and aloha you show in each and every post.

    Aloha 🙂

  13. @jim – welcome to the island of govisithawaii. 🙂 I was just south of your lovely neck of the woods this weekend in Washington D.C. Thus the delay in responding to the most recent comments.

    @ V Brown – Thank you so much for those very kind words! I’m so glad that my love of Hawaii shows through this site. Mahalo! I’m speechless again.

  14. I have lived on the Big Island for the last 16 years, but was born and raised on Oahu. I love reading GVH because Sheila is game to try new things and goes everywhere and does everything! All of her readers can live vicariously through her while they make plans to see and do some of the things she has written about.

  15. Hi HVG – Thanks for those kind words. I remember when Andy and I moved to the US from England in 2000. It was so fun and interesting to see my country through his British eyes. He pointed out things to me that I had gotten used to. Maybe that’s why I’ve been so blessed to have such fantastic readers who live in Hawaii like yourself….maybe it’s fun to see your backyard through visitors eyes? I so appreciate all the readers who live in Hawaii!

  16. I happen to live in the beautifull Commonwealth of Kentucky. I am a proud Kentuckian that loved his first visit to the Islands and can’t wait till I can go back.
    Your blog is a great read and also a great service to many people. I rotate your photos as my desk top screen saver quite often, keep those shots coming.

  17. Hello Sheila and Andy,

    My wife and I, along with my brother are going to Maui this coming March from March 1st to the 15th. It will be our first trip. I stumbled upon your website and have just begun to read and make notes. I lucked out to find you and such a great site before I leave!

    Any additional pointers are much appreciated!

    Rob from Richmond, VA

  18. We actually live close by in Wendell NC. Weeks after my Mother and Father were married, my Father was to be stationed in Honolulu. Ever since living there, my Mother has wanted to go back. We are trying to do a trip there early next year. Your site has been very helpful so far.

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