What Is Island Fever?

Island Fever is the phenomena of feeling claustrophobic from the close proximity of each shoreline, and feeling disconnected from the outside world. This is a pretty common thing on the islands, seeing that we’re out in the middle of the biggest ocean in the world. Most people move away after a few months to a few years because of a lack of family and the necessity of having all the amenities of the mainland at their disposal.

Who Generally Gets Island Fever?

Typically, someone who doesn’t use the resources available on the island gets island fever. This means that they don’t appreciate and use the ocean for leisure activities, or take park in the many island communities. People from big cities find it most difficult to adjust to island living because of the lack of resources. There are fewer choices in restaurants, bars, shows, and large events. This coupled with the loss of getting anything you want at the local store can be discouraging for those that aren’t used to driving across the island. City-folk also have trouble because of the slow pace of life here. The heat brings with it a lack of desire to work. It hits everyone. Your own laziness is easier to handle than when you need to deal with someone else’s laziness. When you really need something NOW, you’re probably going to have to wait for it. When on the mainland, you can make it happen NOW. There’s also the expense of everything. From homes to groceries, everything costs more. Well, almost everything.

How Do I Keep From Getting Island Fever?

Those that last on the islands take advantage of all the wonderful free things to do. For example, when you might spend $100 at a bar or club on the mainland, you go to the beach or park with some store bought beers. To last on Maui and on any of the Hawaiian Islands, one must build relationships with those that are living there and you must learn to appreciate all the amazing things that these islands provide. One of the things that turn people off from living here full-time is the clickiness of island residents. In that, I mean that people are less likely to pursue a friendship with someone who’s only been on the island for a short period of time. Most people would think that their being standoffish is a form of snobbery. This is not the case. In fact, the reason people shy away from new arrivals is because most people here have made that mistake before. It’s hard losing a friend after investing a lot of time with them. And because most people that move to the islands move away shortly, this is a regular occurrence until you toughen up and only let certain people in. This is also the case with finding a job here. Why invest a bunch of time training someone to do a job when they’re only going to be there for less than a year? In most industries on the islands, finding someone that’s in need of a job is easy, and at the same time it’s risky to hire someone new to the island. This is one of the few instances where both supply and demand for jobs remains high.

In order to live happily on the Hawaiian Islands and stave off Island Fever, one must put in an effort to meet longer lasting residents, enjoy the many free activities that the islands provide, slow down and anticipate the laziness that EVERYONE has, learn to deal with not having all the regular amenities of the mainland, and it helps to make bi-yearly trips off island.