Travel Influencer Leaves Hawaii and Reveals the True Reality About Living in the “Paradise”

By: Lauren | Last updated: Nov 04, 2023

Social media travel influencer Lexi Matejeck moved to the Big Island in Hawaii and realized that her presence, and the presence of other non-Hawaii visitors, was actually doing quite a bit of damage to the beautiful culture there.

When she left, she decided to tell her story to warn people about the harm that moving to Hawaii can cause.

The Life of Lexi Matejeck

Lexi spends her time traveling around the world and sharing her adventures on social media platforms, such as Instagram.

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Source: @lexi.matejeck/Instagram

She claims her life is “full time travel,” and is quite vocal about the fact that living nomadically is not running away from the real world, but a legitimate lifestyle choice.

Why Did Lexi Move to Hawaii?

Several years ago, the Florida native decided to move to Hawaii, as she felt like the famously beautiful state of islands was a “step up” from beach life in her home state.

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Source: @lexi.matejeck/Instagram

So Lexi saved up $5,000 and headed to the Big Island in hopes of making a new life for herself. Lexi claims that she watched documentaries about life in Hawaii in order to ensure she understood the culture and lifestyle before moving there.

Lexi’s Life & Experience on the Big Island

When Lexi first arrived, she started working on a fruit farm, caring for the land and animals. She received free accommodation and food for her work. A few months later, she got another job offer as a nanny, where she would live with the family for free and receive a weekly stipend.

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Source: @lexi.matejeck/Instagram

According to Lexi, while she did love living on the Big Island, it only took six months before she realized the negative effects of her presence.

“It’s Not Just a Trendy Place to Show Off Your Glamorous Beach Life – it’s Someone’s Land”

It’s important to understand that Lexi’s reports that people from outside Hawaii negatively impact the islands are not based on tourists, but permanent visitors that plan to live in Hawaii full time.

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Source: @lexi.matejeck/Instagram

Although all tourists should be aware of their impact on the culture, nature, and people of Hawaii, it’s the influx of those who want to work and rent in Hawaii that’s really affecting the natives.

How Are Permanent Visitors Negatively Impacting the Big Island?

Lexi states that permanent visitors are most important, increasing the price of rent and the cost of living on the Big Island and throughout Hawaii. In fact, many island natives are being pushed out of their ancestral home, forced to live on the US “mainland” to find more affordable housing.

Source: Wikipedia

But it’s also important to understand that the increase in non-native residents is adding to the slow decline of traditional Hawaiian culture.

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What About Hawaiian Tourism?

While Lexi’s main point is that it’s permanent visitors that cause the most problems, there are still issues to be aware of within the Hawaiian tourism industry.

Source: @lexi.matejeck/Instagram

Hawaii’s revenue is powered by tourism, but the 9.2 million people who visit the state of islands every year are driving up the cost of living and wreaking havoc on the natural landscape.

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Ethical Travel: How to Do it Right According to Lexi

Even though Lexi continues to travel the world, she says that she is doing so with a more ethical mindset.

Source: @lexi.matejeck/Instagram

Traveling ethically to Lexi means consciously shopping and eating locally and spending time volunteering. But even more than that, it’s really a state of mind and how travelers respect and honor the reality of those from wherever they’re going.

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