1. Vog is miserable.
Vog, or the volcanic smog, that wafts over from the Big Island when the trade winds die down, is absolutely killer. We’re talking itchy eyes, sinus headaches, and more. Plus, it’s unpredictable and you never know when it will come your way.
2. The traffic is pretty terrible.
Oahu is home to the worst traffic in the country — second only to Los Angeles. With streets crumbling with potholes and seemingly endless road closures, the average Honolulu resident sits in more traffic than anyone on the mainland – except for L.A. residents. The state is also ranked dead last in highway conditions and cost-effectiveness.
3. And the tourists make it worse.
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.
4. You’ve probably lived on a street name no one from the mainland can pronounce.
Not only will your mainland friends not be able to pronounce your street, some online data entry forms won’t accept your address as it is because it’s too weird.
5. Even online shopping is difficult.
When you’re online shopping and fall in love with something only to put it in your shopping cart and realize that it won’t ship to Hawaii. Or — equally as frustrating — that the shipping will cost more than the item you want to buy. Amazon Prime is almost a necessity for anyone who lives in Hawaii, though I’ll be honest, even Prime shipping times have gotten insane lately.
6. You can’t escape from people.
When you live on a small island, there’s no avoiding that annoying friend from college who you want nothing to do with, or your clingy ex you never want to see again.
7. On the flip side, Hawaii is a revolving door.
Many people move to the islands for a grand adventure, and then head back to their mainland reality. While this means that you can constantly make new friends, there will always be people who are leaving.
8. The cost of living is astronomical.
Most of Hawaii’s food is imported from the mainland, translating to overwhelming grocery bills; Hawaii residents pay almost double the national average for a gallon of milk. Don’t even get us started with the outrageous cost of housing here.
9. The salaries don’t make up for it, either.
Hawaii salaries are no higher than many places on the mainland. For example, the average computer programmer living in Hawaii had an annual salary of $63,570 in 2013, less than California, Massachusetts, New York and Washington, where individuals with similar careers made between $82,750 and $111,320 annually. Same goes for teachers, police officers, and pediatricians.
10. You want to slap anyone who uses the term "Hawaiian" incorrectly
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.
11. You won’t find quality Mexican food anywhere.
Unfortunately, good Mexican food is hard to come by in Hawaii. At least the Japanese, Korean and Hawaiian food is absolutely to die for.
12. Casual attire gets old after a while.
While no one expects you to get more dressed up than a sundress and your "fancy" slippahs, you might grow to miss your days of wearing high heels, blazers, and ties.
13. Being a tour guide isn’t necessarily fun.
While it is fun to play tour guide for your closest friends and family members on occasion, when you’re hiking Diamond Head for the zillionth time this year, you’ll wish you could ditch that guest bedroom so no one would come visit. At least the real tour guides get paid.
14. You miss out on all the best contests and promotions.
Forget your favorite $5 footlongs, and signing up for all of those amazing all-expense paid trips to — you guessed it — Hawaii. Cue eye rolls.
15. Two words sun guilt.
Yes, sun guilt is a real thing, and it sucks. Sometimes, all you want to do is stay inside and binge watch Netflix. But enjoying a lazy day at home can be hard when you feel guilty about not enjoying the weather and taking advantage of exploring Hawaii’s magnificent landscapes whenever you get the chance.
16. Island fever is real.
It’s easy to go stir crazy when you live on a small island, especially when the only road trip you can take is the drive around the island, and your weekend getaways consist of visiting a neighboring island.
17. And the worst part You aren’t allowed to complain.
You definitely won’t be getting any sympathy for your problems when your friends have just been caught in a blizzard. I can’t even count the number of times I’ve tried to vent about something only to be told, "Relax. You live in Hawaii. Life is good."