- Lexi Matejeck is a journey influencer who moved to Hawaii and regretted her determination.
- She realized that with the inflow of foreigners in Hawaii, Natives cannot afford housing.
- She says Hawaii is not only a romantic, fashionable getaway — it is somebody’s homeland.
This as-told-to essay relies on a dialog with Lexi Matejeck, a journey influencer. It has been edited for size and readability.
I lived in Florida my entire life and all the time beloved being on the seaside. Transferring to Hawaii felt like a step up.
It is lovely, talked about rather a lot, and appeared like a dream place to stay. I watched totally different TikTok influencers and folks transfer there, and their movies about Hawaii’s nature, seashores and tradition drew me in — I knew I needed to maneuver there, too.
Earlier than shifting, I heard folks mentioning that guests ought to respect the locals, the land, and the seashores. I additionally heard “the island is gorgeous, do not destroy it.” So I attempted to teach myself on Hawaiian tradition by watching YouTube movies and documentaries.
Studying about Hawaii was an enormous precedence to me and I attempted to soak in as a lot as I might earlier than shifting there. On the time, I assumed I educated myself. However I did not understand how rather more there was to study till I lived there for six months.
Whereas I am completely happy to share what I’ve realized to hopefully cease others from making the error I made, I imagine that the voices we must be listening to are these which might be native to Hawaii.
Hawaii is seen as a classy place however it’s greater than that — it is somebody’s homeland
I lived on the Massive Island of Hawaii and volunteered on a fruit farm the place I took care of the land and the animals.
In change for my volunteer work, I lived there without cost and received to eat without cost: I ate fruit and greens grown on the land, together with fundamental dry meals comparable to rice, beans, oats and honey.
I paid for my very own automotive, fuel, and a few outdoors meals, too. I had saved up about $5,000 earlier than shifting and was in a position to pay for these items with that cash — I used to be actually finances touring.
Throughout my final three months in Hawaii, I discovered a nanny job on-line. In change for taking good care of their children, the household let me stay of their apartment. So I used to be getting free meals and lodging and was given roughly $185 per week. I primarily supported myself by work change.
I ultimately realized that with foreigners like myself residing in Hawaii, housing costs had been going up for the locals. I noticed how few Natives had been in a position to afford to stay on their homeland and what number of of them had been being pushed out to the contiguous 48 states, or the “Mainland.” I noticed the homelessness firsthand.
My authentic ideas had been that I wasn’t a part of the issue. “I am probably not going to be renting.” However realistically, I used to be nonetheless very a lot part of the issue. My presence in Hawaii did not really feel proper after I noticed how a lot the Natives had been struggling.
It was additionally tough to see how vacationers and non-Natives handled Hawaii. It isn’t only a fashionable place to point out off your glamorous seaside life, however it’s somebody’s land.
Hawaii is gorgeous, however my issues did not magically disappear
Personally, I additionally realized that the issues I had again in Florida did not magically disappear after I moved. My psychological well being and my monetary issues did not immediately get higher by shifting to Hawaii.
I’ve realized that nobody place goes to make me completely happy, even whether it is Hawaii. If I am not completely happy on the within, no metropolis or state will change that for me.
So despite the fact that I attempted exhausting to teach myself, volunteer, and provides again, I knew it was greatest for me to depart. And I now know I solely need to be in locations the place my presence is useful.
After residing in Hawaii, I’ve been specializing in moral and sustainable journey
The expertise taught me rather a lot about myself, and I’ve realized the significance of being an moral traveler.
I now spend much more time volunteering. I am acutely aware of procuring and consuming regionally as a substitute of at chain eating places.
When touring, I feel it is vital to all the time maintain ethics on the forefront of your thoughts. Earlier than I journey anyplace now, I take into account if my presence will make a constructive or detrimental impression.
You probably have a journey remorse and wish to share your story, e mail Alyshia Hull at [email protected].