Hubby mostly leaves the vacation planning up to me because he knows I like to research the mother lovin’ heck out of the places we visit in order to make a decision and his style of “planning” is more of just a [last minute] pick-pack-and-go. And left up to me, I’ll choose Hawaii over and over again. There are just so many reasons I love Hawaii:
- Incredible terrain/scenery that provides a nice balance of being able to relax on the beach some days, but also be able to do exciting adventures like hiking and sight-seeing in nature
- Many affordable and cute Airbnbs to choose from, even if booked last minute
- Relatively safe and we don’t have to be overly concerned about crime
- Trustworthy food preparation standards (for the most part), so we don’t have to worry about suffering from food poisoning during/after our trip
- Plenty of restaurants and grocery stores to choose from with cuisine/food that isn’t too adventurous for non-adventurous eaters
- No language barrier, so we don’t have to worry about insulting the locals or getting taken advantage of
- No obnoxious locals/vendors pestering us everywhere we go to buy junk that we don’t need/want (I’m talking to you Mexico!)
- Smaller threat of a hurricane or bad weather during the summer months when we usually take our trip
I promise you though that, this year, I really tried to branch out to a different vacation spot other than Hawaii and I researched and suggested visiting Florida, California, Mexico, Jamaica, the Caribbean islands… you name it, but Hawaii just seemed to check all the boxes for a beachy vacation that fit our style. I know, I know, I take this way too seriously… because how could any vacation have “cons”… but nobody wants a vacay that leaves them hugging the toilet or stuck in a hurricane, or worse, dead.
Long story not short, we decided to go to Hawaii again over our six-year wedding anniversary in August, but we would at least try a different island, the Big Island, even though it was hard to pass up the two islands we had already visited and loved, Kauai and Maui.
The Big Island is known for having a lush/tropical side and a dry side. We found Airbnbs on each side of the island and decided to split our time between them. I’m ashamed to admit that ever after we found the cutest Airbnbs on each side — one by the ocean in Kona and one in a lush jungle in the small town of Volcano — I still kept longingly thinking of Kauai and Maui and wondered if we were making a “mistake” by choosing the Big Island.
After hours of researching activities, the Big Island didn’t seem like it would offer the same level of exciting adventures and sights we had been able to enjoy on Kauai and Maui. Even the beaches (or lack there of) on the Big Island didn’t seem like they were going to be something to write home about, since most of them had lots of obnoxious lava rock or were difficult to get to. Not to mention, we had also missed the incredible and grand spectacle of the lava flow that occurred in 2018.
But… halfway into my research of Big Island activities, I found one adventure that suddenly [and finally] had me very excited about our trip. It was a backpacking adventure on the north side of the island that would lead to a jaw-dropping multi-tier waterfall in a lush valley. This backpacking adventure would be long and difficult and the logistics to include it in our trip would be complicated, but it only took one photo to convince me that we had to add this arduous adventure to our itinerary!
With our Airbnbs booked [and backpacking tent purchased], Hawaii just needed to get here already… but we weren’t going to sit idle until August! All winter, spring, and summer we kept ultra-busy! At least one of us was very motivated to get bikini-ready for Hawaii and achieved that goal with just about every activity possible: biking, climbing, hiking, running, skiing, snowboarding, you name it! Luckily, hubby did tag along for many of those activities, which was the perfect reminder that I truly have the best partner in life, just in time for our sixth wedding anniversary and the crazy backpacking trip we were about to do!
Next up: We head to Kona, Hawaii! Stay tuned!