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Hawaii Is Offering Free Flights for Remote Workers Looking to Temporarily Relocate

How’s that for a change of scenery?

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For months, many of us have been finding ways to do our jobs, regardless of what they are, from the comfort of our homes. We’ve been stuck at uncomfortable or makeshift desks within the same four walls since around March. Let’s be honest: the views are getting old, but there’s not much anyone can do about it. 

Unless, of course, you’d like to temporarily relocate to Hawaii. We know, it’s a big ask. Beautiful beaches, perfect weather, nice people, good food. All that could be your life, at least for a little while, thanks to Hawaii’s new Movers and Shakas Temporary Resident Program. The aim of the program is to recruit remote workers—whether they’re former Hawaii residents, or people from the mainland—to pack up their work and everything else they own and give island life a try for a while, according to a press release.

“Working from Hawaii can provide a much needed respite from the isolation and burnout caused by remote work,” said Jason Higa, CEO of FCH Enterprises, parent company of Zippy's and one of the driving forces behind Movers & Shakas. “With the lowest rate per capita of COVID infections in the country, and an abundance of social distancing activities and dining experiences, Hawaii is ideal for those seeking a safe place to work and play.”

Hawaii’s Movers and Shakas Program has a “give and get” approach. Those who wish to apply should be passionate about Hawaiian values and be willing to give back to the community they’ll be calling their own for a time. Applicants will be asked to take a “Pledge to Our Keiki,” in which they’ll commit to respecting the culture and natural resources of Hawaii while they’re there if they’re selected.

Interested potential part-time-Hawaiians can fill out an application online from now until December 15. Of those who apply, only 50 will be selected for the first cohort. The program includes a skill match element in which participants who get picked agree to commit to working a few hours a week with a nonprofit doing whatever it is they do, or something like it, during their stay. That’s the give.

So now let’s talk about what you’ll get if you’re picked. The first group will receive a free round-trip ticket to Oahu. They’ll also have access to promotions, special program benefits, and the opportunity to interact with the local community in unique ways. Those who get to be in the first cohort of temporary Hawaiians will get discounts on month-to-month accommodations, flights, restaurants, attractions, and other services they’ll probably need while they’re living in Hawaii. 

“As part of a Hawaii-based non-profit that is focused on getting people working, I am very excited about this program. IT encourages people to come back to Hawaii, not as spectators but actively supporting the growth of values rooted in the aloha spirit and making our state and communities stronger,” John Leong, chief executive officer of KUPU, said in a statement. “By engaging with local non-profits, individuals gain a unique understanding of Hawaii’s values, while also adding their skills to positively impact people. Hawaii is a place where those committed to sharing aloha and who have a vision for a better tomorrow can find fertile ground to plant seeds of hope that will make healthier communities and inspire our world in the process.”

Sounds like a dream. Maybe you’ll find a way to make the move permanent some day.

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Caitlyn Hitt is Daria IRL. Don't take our word for it -- find her on Twitter @nyltiaccc.
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