1. Assume we spend all of our time at the beach.
As much as we wish that every day could be spent at the beach, we still have jobs and lives that prevent us from always enjoying the waves.
2. Treat us like we’re all voluntary tour guides.
While we are more than willing to share our beautiful islands with you, we are not tour guides. We can’t just take time off to show you around the island, especially since the cost of living in Hawaii is so high compared to our average wages - some people need to work two or three jobs just to make ends meet, and we don’t have time to play tour guide for you.
3. Ask us if you need a passport to visit Hawaii.
Like, really? Last time I checked, Hawaii became a state more than 60 years ago.
4. Assume that everyone from Hawaii is a Hawaiian.
Being Hawaiian isn’t the same as being a Californian - Hawaiians are a race, and only those who can trace their roots back to the islands’ original Polynesian settlers. In fact, only about 10 percent of Hawaii’s population are native Hawaiians; everyone else is a Hawaii resident, or local.
5. Tell us that we pronounce “Hawaii” funny.
I’m sorry, but anyone who is from Hawaii knows how to pronounce it correctly. You’re the one who can’t pronounce it correctly, but we don't blame you for that.
6. Make a mockery of Hawaiian culture.
The Hawaiian Islands are as unique in culture as they are in landscape, and we treasure our islands’ cultural traditions and history. So, please, don’t make a mockery of what is so important to so many locals.
7. Drive like an idiot, or use your car horn.
Tourists have this nasty habit of slowing down to take photographs while they are driving, and they often like to use their car horn, which is just something you aren’t supposed to do - unless a local is angry at said tourist for stopping in the middle of the road, obviously.
8. Try to speak pidgin.
You’ll just end up sounding even more like a haole, trust us.
9. Disturbing sea life.
Touching an endangered green sea turtle could result in up to 30 days in jail or a fine of up to $2,000. Just give the sea turtles and monk seals some space, please.
10. Wearing shoes inside your host’s home.
This is a major cultural faux pas, so just don’t do it.
11. Leave a mountain of trash wherever you go.
There is a reason Hawaii is home to some of the cleanest beaches in the country - because we view littering as an extremely awful offense. Please respect Mother Nature, and our mission to keep Hawaii beautiful.
12. Steal waves from a local.
Now, it probably won’t matter if you accidentally steal a wave or two, but if you are constantly trying to move in on local surfers - and not giving them the respect they deserve - you might end up in a fight.
13. Console us with “but you live in Hawaii” whenever we have problems, or just need to complain.
Just because we live in a tropical island setting that so many tourists visit each year, doesn’t mean we get to live like we’re on a constant, never-ending vacation. We are not immune from the stresses and problems of modern-day life just because we live in “paradise.”