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Staff travels :: HAWAII

After a crazy semester full of school and work, I was lucky enough to follow my Fernweh to Hawaii for winter break. This was my first time ever being there, and I now understand why so so many people choose to travel there every year! It has a perfect balance of relaxation and adventure which makes for a really great vacation.

We started off on the island of Oahu by spending the first couple of days enjoying the beaches. I really just wanted a little time to do absolutely nothing but lie in the sun and listen to the ocean. We asked around to discover the locals' favorite beaches because Waikiki was a little too crowded for me. We were pointed to Makaha Beach Park where it was quiet and full of stunning white sand beaches. I rented some gear and snorkeled the crystal clear waters exploring the colorful reefs and caverns full of fish and sea turtles.

Once I got my fair share of beaches, we went furthur inland to camp on my friend's farm that overlooked all of Honolulu. I spend a week working on the farm in exchange for a free place to lay my head at night, which really helped a college girl traveling on a budget! I spent my days planting in the garden, hiking in the Waianae Mountains, and hanging out with all the animals that lived on the farm.

On Christmas day, I flew to Maui to start the next leg of my adventure. I stopped in a little beach town named Paia. It was full of old hippies, surfers, delicious vegetarian food, and flawless beaches. There was a rainbow in every direction I looked. I could of stayed forever! But in order to save some money, I stayed in the high country in Maui where there was less tourists. Still, it was equally as beautiful as the beaches because it is right next to Haleakala National Park. We spent our days inside the park hiking around the amazing volcanoe that has species that cannot be found anywhere else in the world. Amazing!

With only a few days left, I flew back to Honolulu to wrap up my trip. I booked a hostel only a block away from the beach because I wanted to enjoy the sun as much as possbile before I had to return to single degree temperatures in Colorado. I liked Honolulu becaues it was full of people from all over the world. I made some new friends and we made a day out of visiting the Kona Brewery because I was missing tasty craft beer. I would definately recommend stopping in if you ever are in Hawaii!

All good things must come to an end, right? Hawaii was incredible and definitely provided the adventure I needed to unwind from a busy semester. There wasn't a moment where I didn't feel comfortable and completley overwhelmed by beauty. Until next time! Aloha!

XO Steph


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