Raised in the midwest, I moved to Hawaii sight unseen. For me, living in Hawaii was never on my radar, but when I found out my ideal job was located in the middle of the Pacific, I finally decided to take a closer look. Having weighed the pros and cons of making such a life-changing move, I finally took the plunge, accepted the job, and I haven’t looked back since. Okay, I’ve only been working here for two months so far, but I have found that this place has so many more pros than I could have imagined, and even the cons have a way of turning positive. So here it is, my “Pros and (not so) Cons List” of working as a Jaco physical therapist in Hawaii:
PRO: You get to to say you live in Hawaii! Who doesn’t want that on
their life resumé?
CON: The cost of living is much higher in Hawaii than most mainland
locations. However, a lot of activities in Hawaii are free (the beach,
hiking, surfing, etc.), which cuts down on added costs. And even though gas is expensive, you live on an island. Nothing is really that far away.
PRO: The culture is unlike any place I have ever been. People live here
from all over the world, and everyone is laid back and friendly. The
casual atmosphere makes you feel like you belong immediately.
CON: Hawaii is far away from friends and family (most likely). Yes,
this part can be a hard adjustment if you are not accustomed to being
away from home. But you will find that the Jaco team has an
immediate family feel. You will never lack a beach buddy or hiking
partner, not to mention that your patients will do everything they can
to make sure you feel welcome to the island. From food suggestions
and recipes, to invitations to spend Thanksgiving with their family
(keep in mind it’s currently October), everyone is eager to make
you feel at home.
PRO: Patients bring you the best goodies. You thought Avocados from
Mexico were exciting? Wait until you see the size of what grows in many backyards here in Hawaii.
CON: The sporting events you grew up watching are at a new, and
sometimes inconvenient time. This was the hardest thing for me as
an avid sports fan. But I have found that the change in viewing time
has actually freed up my evenings to go to the beach or hang out with
friends. And watching football during brunch has not been a difficult
PRO: You thought you liked snow cones. Wait until you have shave ice
(and no, it is not called “shaved ice”).
PRO: It is summer all year round! No more stress about driving
through ice and snow. Leave those winter clothes at home and pack
your swimsuits and shades.
CON: It is summer all year round! This is for those of you who, like
me, enjoy the four seasons. I am learning quickly, though, that I
really don’t mind this perpetual summer. When you realize all the
things you want to do are outside and are ideal in warm weather, you
get pretty excited about the fact that you don’t have to plan around
seasonal time frames.
PRO: Working at Jaco, your patients are your best resource for the
island. Don’t worry about those travel guides or touristy suggestions.
As a therapist treating local residents, you have the best information
about hikes, restaurants, shopping, hair stylists, dentists, etc., right
at your fingertips, literally.
CON: (I’ve honestly run out of cons)
PRO: Sea turtles. Enough said.
I could probably continue writing for days, but I personally don’t want to
be cooped up inside when I can be out on the beach or hiking. Yes, a
move like this requires planning and adjustment, but in the end, it’s
totally worth it.
Laura Knowles, PT, DPT at Jaco Rehabilitation