Why Maui? This is the American paradise. You can revel in the convenience, security and even familiar comforts of home while enjoying life in a place where the sun- drenched days unfold far from the mega- malls and mainland crowds. Find what every island traveler loves: pristine beaches, world-class water sports, awe-inspiring volcanoes and a rich, traditional culture. It's the ease of living in the U.S. mainland while still enjoying a true island experience.
Life of an "Expat" "I'm an active person," says Christine Ellis. "But on the mainland, so many activities are seasonal. I'd always have to take trips to do the things I loved, so I said, 'No better time in my life than now to move to Maui.' "It's been six years since Christine, 28, left her home in Oregon for a simple two-bedroom, one-bath ohana on the island of Maui.
"Now in the morning I can walk out my front door and literally within two minutes be down on one of the most beautiful beaches on the North Shore. It's a wide, white-sand beach with calm water in the morning and a warm breeze in the afternoon. It's the perfect place to take a jog, do yoga, meditate, swim, surf or snorkel -- then enjoy the ocean sports all afternoon in the trade winds." Christine supervises a team of agents for Whaler's Realty, the island's largest independent real-estate agency. "My typical day is much like anyone else's," she says. "I get up and go to work. After work I try to do something -- either go in the water or go for a hike. But then I like to spend my weekends really enjoying what Maui has to offer. Maybe that's taking a day trip to Hana or going to a waterfall for the day -- something to remind me that I live here in paradise." Paradise of course includes the beaches -- "phenomenal, the cleanest I've ever seen any- where in the world" -- and Maui's two volcanoes, Haleakala and Mauna Kahalawai. "They're surreal -- they are so, so beautiful," she says. What's more, since Maui is American, "all the things you look for in your daily lifestyle are here," Christine says. "Maui has everything you need and nothing you don't. You're not left without, but there's not a Starbucks on every corner." Christine says she conceived her move to Maui primarily as a "multiple-year vacation," but as time has passed, she's become increasingly intent on staying. "Between the surf and the sunsets, I am quite content here. I have all the amenities of a world-class resort within a 30-minute drive and no rush-hour traffic. Every time I leave and come back, I get off the plane, feel that balmy air and know I'm back in Maui. It just feels so good. There's nothing like it."
Facts of Life
See how to move or retire to Hawaii in our new Best Islands to Live On: Hawaii Guide.