Getting connected: a topic not covered in some relocation guides. You need social connections to make your relocation last. If your company in Nebraska has a position open for you in Waikiki, and you would have a beautiful office overlooking Ala Moana, with Diamond Head in the distance with a salary that would increase enough to offset the higher expenses, private schooling...
After 6 months of planning, you and your family arrive in Honolulu, buy a nice Hawaii home, and go off to work, leaving your wife at home with the kids. After she takes the kids to school for the day, she gets home and finds she has nothing to do. She knows no one, and she is lonely. After months of this loneliness, she wants to move back home to the mainland. She thinks it's "island fever" but actually, she's just lonely. Understandably, she misses parents, her friends, her social network, and can't explain exactly why she hates Hawaii.
After less than 2 years, many people sell their Hawaii home and leave Oahu to go back to the mainland. This happens in Hawaii over and over all the time. Thousands of people move to Honolulu thinking that Hawaii is going to be paradise, but after a short time, a good percentage people who relocate to Hawaii end up going back because they haven't made enough new friends. They haven't had any genuine connection.
Here is a lesson for all you relocating to Hawaii: Make friends here. The more friends you have who live in Hawaii, the better chances that you will love it here. Yes it's simple and not new information, but here's some ideas for you so you can actually do it.
How to make friends in Hawaii:
Go to church. Yes I'm biased here, as a deacon in my church, I'm convinced that church is a great place to make good friends, and of course find spiritual fulfillment and nourishment. There are hundreds of churches on Oahu, so Google "find a church in Hawaii" and start going to some. Come to mine. It's at http://www.harborhawaii.org/ We will welcome you!
Or join a parents and kids group, like Baby Hui, Tiny Tots, or MOPS (mothers of pre schoolers). Getting involved in some kind of group for parents and kids is a great way to meet lots of great people. Baby Hui groups are all over Oahu and they are cheap. Play a team sport, coach something, do anything you can to make friends, or you probably won't last anywhere you go.
If your kids are in school, get involved in the PTA or volunteer to be a teacher's aide. The Hawaii elementary schools scored very low on parent involvement, so that means there is plenty of room for you to help out teachers. Any teacher should be happy to let you help out. The other parents will love you for it. You will meet a lot kids and their families, and of course, the teachers.
Join a club. In Hawaii, rowing is a huge social event. I'm talking outrigger canoeing here, not lake paddling. Join a hiking or biking club, a kayaking or diving group. There are hundreds of outdoor activities to enjoy in Hawaii, and if you're in Honolulu, there are thousands of clubs that do these activities together. Waikiki has surfing clubs, running, walking, paddling, swimming, fishing, kite surfing, wind surfing, you name it, we got it. Get with people who like to do what you like to do.
Coach a sport. Even if you kids are not in them coaching AYSO soccer or kids basketball is not a huge commitment, and you'll meet plenty of families. I have probably met 100 families through coaching soccer.
If you're getting a raise when moving here, then set aside some money at the beginning of the year so you can either fly home twice a year or bring your friends out.
The move to Oahu or especially one of the neighbor islands can feel a little isolating, so it makes things much easier to know that you will still see your family a few times a year. If you've built into your salary some air fare for you and your family, you can at least know that you will see your family often. What I've found is that living in Hawaii doesn't mean I have to have less total time with family, but the time with them is concentrated into a couple weeks a year. Besides, you may even find you like having them away3;
Finally, if you get here and you just can't seem to make any friends, call me. You can go out for dinner with my family. But you're buying.