Day 1 was an interesting one. I flew in with one of my coworkers and we met with the rest of our group on the island. That night, we learned that the next week would be filled with a handful of adventure activities. Over our first dinner as a group, I was asked questions like, “What kind of sports are you into? Have you ever jumped out of a plane? How do you feel about free diving?” which I was slightly confused by. When talking about our past-time sporting choices, I mentioned enjoying kayaking, which lead to the question, “Kayaking in rapids?” and I’m just like… no. Turns out I’m the least sporty of the group!
Long story short, I immediately regretted all the carb-loading and inconsistent exercising since the Christmas holidays after learning about all the activities we would be participating in over the next week. Don’t get me wrong– I am SO excited to have this opportunity and get to join in on this project, but at the same time I wish I could have prepped a bit better physically. My body is not used to a full morning of snorkeling followed by an afternoon of hiking. In any case, it has been awesome so far and I am loving every minute of being here! Aside from the daily hustle of confirming itineraries, getting work done at each location, and then packing up and quickly moving to the next, getting to know 2 other people – who essentially started off as strangers – as well as I have in the last few days has been so much fun! You get to know a lot about a person when traveling in a car together for 12+ hours a day. Who would’ve thought? ;)
Top left: Drive up to Haleakalā Crater. The view from 10,000ft elevation is unlike anything I’ve ever seen before! After dropping the guys off, I had a couple hours to myself before picking them up for our afternoon adventures. I ended up makinga handful of stops on the drive down and admiring the view of the pillow-like clouds from above. Seriously, how cool is that view? I don’t think I’ve ever been able to say I’ve looked at clouds from the top-down when not in a plane.
Top right: Going to take a moment to give a big shout out to the delicious food here! On this particular day, we stopped by a fish house for lunch. I had a spinach salad, topped with salmon, honey, papaya seed dressing, and roasted macadamia nuts. Just looking at this photo again is making me drool…
Bottom left: We drove to the south end of the island to spend the day at Big Beach. Apparently Taylor Swift was here on the same day we were (!!!) but we didn’t see her. I was probably too busy getting washed up in the waves (no joke). This is the day I lost my snorkeling mask and breathing tube thanks to the super harsh waves. This is also the same day my coworkers coined the term “sand-druff” to describe the state of my hair. Getting swept up to shore, literally, results in a ton of sand in the hair. This is one lesson I wish I didn’t have to learn the hard way!
Bottom right: Perched on the side of a cliff at Pe’ahi to watch some extremely talented people surf the biggest breaks on the north shore of the island. It was absolutely incredible!! I don’t even know how else to put this experience in words. Between the view of the clear blue waters, the perched viewing point, and the surfing talent, it’s so hard to pinpoint a favourite part of this whole experience.
Sadly, this adventure is about to end in a few hours and it’ll be back to reality before we know it!