The ‘Work From Hawaii’ residencies launching this fall invite NYC techies, writers, artists and entrepreneurs to spend a week being mentored by local ambassadors.
If you think working from home sounds like heaven, picture working from Hawaii.
Hawaii Tourism United States (HTUSA) is inviting six millennials who live and work in and around NYC to spend a week working remotely on one of the state’s six islands to get energized and broaden their professional experience.
“(New Yorkers) are working their tails off because they want to be the best, so we wanted to help them in a way that allows them to be refreshed and come back better,” said Jay Talwar, CMO of HTUSA, ahead of the Work From Hawaii residency program’s launch on Monday.
A 2008 study found that multicultural experiences enhance creativity and generate ideas. And Lin-Manuel Miranda famously came up with the Broadway smash “Hamilton” while vacationing in Mexico. Yet Americans are leaving 662 million vacation days worth $66.4 billion unused each year, according to Project: Time Off.
Talwar told Moneyish how this all-expenses paid work trip works: One person will be picked from each of six general disciplines (including photography/cinematography, graphic design/fashion, tech/video game design, writing/journalism, entrepreneurship/leadership and music/audio production) for one of six residencies tailored to their unique skill sets and aspirations. Each residency is set on a different island with a different cultural ambassador.
“We found a group of people who are rooted deeply in the culture of their island, but also engaged in the contemporary world,” he said. So a frustrated Brooklyn author would hike to a remote waterfall with a Hawaiian storyteller, for example, and exchange ideas.
The application opens online at 10 a.m. EST Monday, and those interested have until June 4, 2018 to enter. Applicants must live and work in the greater NYC metro area; be between the ages of 24 and 36 (which Pew defines as the millennial generation); have and post to a public Instagram account; and be able to work from Hawaii in September 2018. The application includes filling out personal information and pitching why you would get the most out of a particular itinerary. You can only apply to one of the residencies.
But don’t fret if you don’t fit this age-specific criteria, or if you’re not selected. HTUSA will make these same itineraries available to the public this October; you’ll just have to foot the bill. “Even if they’re not selected for the residency, they still have that ability to be enriched by working on vacation, becoming more productive and coming back better,” said Talwar.
But these lucky six will be fully compensated to take this program on a test drive. While Talwar would only say that the costs were coming out of the marketing budget, right now flights from NYC to Hawaii in mid-September are running $656 to $892 on Google. The average 2016 overnight accommodation on Oahu was $88 per person per day, USA Today reported, excluding restaurant meals ($26 per person) and snacks ($8 per person) adding up to $1,098 to $1,220 per person for a nine-day trip. So HTUSA is likely dropping a couple of thousand per traveler.
But the publicity could be priceless. Millennials tend to see Hawaii as “dated” and “resorty,” Talwar said. “They want a place that has unique cuisine, unique culture and authentic soft adventure, and they aren’t aware that Hawaii delivers those,” he said. So this highly publicized marketing campaign could get more millennials to consider Hawaii as a vacation destination.
And considering most New Yorkers (82%) told HTUSA that people work harder in the Big Apple than anywhere else in the country, the tourism group decided to give them first dibs. Depending on how this pilot program runs, Talwar said they want to invite workers from other cities soon.
These are the six co-living/workspaces at stake, and the suggested itineraries will also be made available for public bookings beginning in October 2018. For full details, rules and restrictions on how to apply for one of the six Work From Hawaii residencies, see Work-From-Hawaii.com.
Photographers, cinematographers and content creators will travel around the island by car or catamaran; study traditional lei making with ambassador Madeline Guyett; and explore new vantage points on a Kipu Ranch Adventures ATV ride.
Graphic designers, typographers, stylists and other artists will stoke their creativity by staying at the hip Surfjack Hotel in Honolulu’s arts district. Work on indigenous printmaking with native fashion designer Manaola Yap, and tour the street scene with POW! WOW! Hawaii artists.
Programmers, crypto-miners, app-builders and game-developers will be relieved to know the stunning views at this lab come with wifi. Hike the Haleakala Crater and take a wayfaring lesson with legendary waterman Archie Kalepa, and learn to navigate using the stars. Bye-bye, GPS.
This writing retreat for journalists, novelists and other wordsmiths invites you to find your muse in a trip that includes hiking in Halawa Valley to a remote waterfall with native storyteller and cultural practitioner Greg Solatorio.
Entrepreneurs and aspiring leaders will be whisked by private jet to their suite at the Four Seasons Resort Lanai. Hone business strategy skills by playing the traditional Hawaiian game konane, similar to checkers. And meet with local executive Kurt Matsumoto to exchange ideas.
This secluded island recording studio should be music to the ears of musicians, audio producers and podcasters. Micah Kamohoalii, a kumu hula (hula teacher) and expert in the Hawaiian art of kapa fabric making, will teach you to tap into the sounds of the island before you lay down your own tracks.
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