I am saying this with all the love in the world, but friends of mine: We need to talk.
We found out that we are going to Hawaii after we leave Guam. The moment I posted about it on Facebook, I was inundated with people saying “We’ll come visit you.” More than 50 people sent me messages over the course of two days telling me that they planned to visit me in Hawaii and that they expected to be able to stay at my home.
This was really disappointing to me, and I want to talk a little about why that is.
1. Our home in Guam is really nice. Seriously, we live in a beachfront condo. You just go down the elevator and you are on the beach. It’s RIGHT THERE. We have a Jacuzzi that looks out over the ocean, so you and your travel companion (or just you) can soak in a huge tub with jets bubbling, and watch the sun set over the ocean. The place is nearly 2,000 square feet with a big living room and a master bedroom big enough that you could fit the apartment I lived in when I was in college into it. I frequently post pictures of the view from my desk saying “We will never have a view this nice again.” That is so very, very true.
The reason that I am telling you this is because a beachfront condo in Guam doesn’t cost that much, but a beachfront condo in Hawaii starts at $2 million dollars. We will not live in a beachfront condo in Hawaii. It’s a tourist destination, and as such, it is expensive. We are going to end up in a shack. I was looking at apartments in Hawaii and the ones in our price range are the size of the master bathroom in our current home. I am talking under 400 square feet for the entire place.
So a big part of why you should visit us in Guam is because we live a life of relative luxury that just isn’t possible anywhere else. And that matters, because I don’t really want you to come stay in my 390 square ft apartment. In fact, I don’t even want to share something that small with Rich, and we are married.
2. I don’t have a job on Guam. I have a car and I have time, and I can chauffeur you around to any place you want to see. I can take you hiking to see waterfalls, get you on base for exclusive snorkeling and diving, or take you to empty beaches like Tanguissen and Haputo. I have time to play tour guide and show you around while I am here on Guam.
The reason that I have time to show you around is two-fold.
First, Rich gets two extra living allowances here; one for utilities and one for “sea pay” since he is technically on a ship.
In addition, it is so remote and hard to live here that it is considered a “hardship duty station,” (which comes with extra perks that we won’t get in Hawaii.) A lot of this is because there are no stores for furniture, clothes, and food, and it’s just not an easy place to live. If you visit it’s no problem, but if you were here long enough for your shoes to wear out, you would soon find out that you can’t buy new shoes here. And no, we have no access to Amazon Prime and most places do not ship here.
Anyway, those extra living allowances and perks let me not have a job because they cover our expenses. But when we got to Hawaii, all of that goes away.
Second, there are no jobs here on Guam besides those in restaurants.
I hurt my back about two years ago, and my physical therapist told me that I cannot lift more than 30 pounds anymore unless I want to have disks fused. So, restaurants and the heavy lifting that goes with them are out. Yet all other businesses here will only hire locals, so I haven’t been able to work.
However, I will be working as soon as we get to Hawaii because there are jobs I can do there, and that means I will have no time to play tour guide. If you come stay in our shack in Hawaii, you will be on your own for adventure.
3. And finally, Guam is a better place to visit. It may be hard to live here, but if you are only coming for vacation, it is the superior destination. There are only 170,000 people on Guam, and many of them are military or hiding in a shack in the jungle. That means that very few of them go out to the beaches. I frequently go to the beach and am the only person there. I am not Photoshopping tourists out of my pictures; there just aren’t any.
If you come to Guam, we can walk over to turtle rock, put down a beach blanket, and sit in the shade listening to the waves for hours without a single bird, human, or anything else to bother us. It is peaceful.
If you come to Hawaii, you will be lost in a mob of tourists. There are places that you go snorkel there where you can’t even get into the water until they check your sunscreen to make sure it is coral safe, charge you a “protection fee,” and then make you watch a safety video. There is traffic, noise, and every single beach is crowded. And if you bring food, the birds will take it. (Unlike Guam where we literally don’t have birds. No really. Google it.)
Oh! And don’t forget the coral. Hawaii has rocks. Guam has coral. Hawaii has a few fish and some turtles. We have as much life as the rain forest under water because the equator is like that. And don’t forget that the water here is as warm as a bathtub and calm, while the water in Hawaii is chilly even in the summer and has rip tides.
In conclusion, you are making a bad decision if you think that you want to visit us in Hawaii instead of Guam. I know it’s a longer plane flight to Guam and it costs a little bit more. But if you factor in your level of comfort, taxi and bus fare, and all the other extra expenses you would have visiting us in Hawaii, you’ll see that it’s really not cheaper.
Yes, marketing has told you that Hawaii is this beautiful vacation spot. I get that. I know it’s hard to imagine that it is the inferior vacation destination. However, that is exactly the case. It’s just not as nice of a place to visit as Guam.
Forget the marketing and listen to someone who has spent time on both the island of Oahu and the island of Guam. I have first-hand experience with everything I am talking about here. Guam is not the nicer place to live (because Hawaii has stores where I can buy things and Guam does not,) but Guam is by far the better place to visit. You want to come here before we leave in September of 2018. This is where I can offer you a really great experience.
I cannot promise a really great experience in Hawaii.