We just moved into our new place here on Naxos, our home for the next month. As I sit in this little beach bar doing a couple hours of work, I thought I’d
SQUIRREL! take a few moments to inventory and see how this place compares to my home back on Kauai.
How Naxos and Kauai are similar
- much sun, much water
- warm and welcoming to visitors
- lots of casual beach culture
- mountains, all over the place
- It’s Five ‘o’clock somewhere. All. The. Time. Mai Tais, anyone?
- great local food – poke, organic rum, and poi on Kauai; tzatziki, uzo, and honey-yogurt on Naxos
- public wifi is very common; widespread access to the laptop lifestyle if you look
- amazing, profound local culture with roots going back a long way
- traffic rules are pretty chill
- most evertywhere feels very safe
- both have an off-season, where it’s still beautiful but ( even ) more affordable and ( even ) less crowded
- kinda diverse visitor base
- there’s always a chance you’ll see someone famous
great things about Naxos
- most places open late, including car rentals and street grocers
- most everything is very inexpensive
- soooooo many beach bars/cafes, right on the beach
- no American points of stress – guns, politics, religion – are nonexistent here
- quads are street-legal
- freakishly clear water
- very self-sustaining; serious food production and export happening here
- way cheap inter-island transport
- ruins. Who doesn’t like ancient culture?
- freebie after dinner
- more arid – less humidity, less allergies, and less rain
- traffic rules are more like guidelines
- many mom & pop hotel/stay options, as well as independent food options
- stray animal kindness – cats are fed leftovers, given special dishes outside people’s homes, and mingle freely in the outdoor spaces. Dogs are treated well, but are much less common
-  no centipedes or roaches!
- also, if it’s your thing…
- european beer – lots of variety, and inexpensive
- less conservative – more bare skin on the beach
- smoking in bars, cafes, and restaurants
- more dudes in Speedos
great things about Kauai
- it’s tropical – lush – wet and green all the time
- there’s English everywhere, all the time
- for Americans, it’s easy to get to, relatively speaking
- there’s surfing, in many varieties
- everything is kept up – very little graffiti or crumbling infrastructure, no abandoned structures ( except for CoCo Palms, of course! )
- more choices for American beer ( and other products )
- spirit of aloha prevelent
- no smoking in bars, cafes, or restaurants
- it’s all in dollars – not cheap, but you already have them in your wallet ( if you’re American, that is )
- shipping things to the mainland US is a sure thing, and not a roll of the dice
- everything closes down early – a pretty sleepy place
- you can flush the toilet paper. You don’t know how great this is until you can’t do it.
- a very organized rescue and response infrastructure, just in case
- traffic – the streets, signs, traffic laws and enforcement you’re used to
- because it’s in the US – language, military, border restrictions, symbols – although different, Kauai is probably tucked more snugly inside American visitors’ comfort zones
- easier to stay connected to American sportzing via sports bars
- intentional culture – very little littering, premium on organic goods and processes
- less speedos
Is there a winner to this throwdown?
Kauai is home, so I won’t be moving there too soon. But so far there doesn’t seem to be a clear “winner” for me.