If you've been following me on Instagram you probably already know that I just returned home from 10 days of epic adventures on Oahu! I've been especially excited for this trip for quite a while now because not only was I going to Hawaii for the first time, but I also signed up for a 4 day workshop with Heather Goodman (aka HBGoodie) and Lauren Beeston. Not to be a fangirl, but part of me still can't believe I got hang out with these two!
When I arrived in Honolulu on Friday it was raining and pretty gloomy. Heather had warned us that they hadn't seen much sun recently, and I'm not going to lie, I was feeling pretty down. So completely exhausted from 13 hours of traveling, I spent my first half-day recouping in my Airbnb and ordering takeout via Uber Eats. Sounds like paradise, right?! After my little pity-party, I woke up the next morning refreshed and what do you know... there was SUN!
Having only 10 days to enjoy the island, I tried to pack as much as possible into each day. I met up with a couple of girls who were also going to the workshop later in the week, and we started our day off with some delicious food from a local farmers market. When visiting Oahu, eat the Acai bowls...all of them...just do it. And that's pretty much the only advice you really need. Kidding! But seriously, the food in Oahu is amazing. I highly recommend talking with locals and finding some hole-in-the-wall joints because I promise you, those will be the best meals you eat! If you travel up to the North Shore, make sure to stop by the local food trucks too...you will be in food heaven!
I know, so far you are wondering if I did anything besides eat for 10 days. :D In addition to the food, Oahu is jam packed with amazing hikes and outdoor activities. I seriously think I would need at least a year, if not more, to do everything I wanted to do. That being said I had to turn down a ton of amazing opportunities due to lack of time, but the things I did get to do were freaking awesome! My first hike on Oahu was to Lulumahu Falls. Remember earlier when I said Oahu hadn't seen the sun in a while? Well those days had been filled with lots and lots of rain, and that was very obvious during this hike! When we weren't knee deep in a creek, we were ankle deep in very thick mud. Let's just say our Uber driver was probably thrilled to pick us up. The good thing about all the rain was that the waterfall was really flowing and we were even able to swim in the water hole beneath the fall.
Jumping forward a few days to the workshop, I found myself adventuring through the jungle with 21 other girls who shared my passion for travel and photography. We summited a small mountain to Crouching Lion where we had the most gorgeous setting to learn. We also got to see a small piece of Kualoa Ranch (thanks to a wonderful local who shared her backyard with us), snorkeled/free-dived in crystal clear water, shot with an amazing model for Rhythm Swimwear, and kayaked out to Chinaman's Hat where we did a quick hike to the top. If I could give any creative one piece of advice, it would be to invest in yourself and seek out mentors and peers who share your passion. Prior to this workshop I was in a bit of a creative rut. I felt uninspired and lacked direction in what I wanted to do with my photography. Spending time with Heather and Lauren helped me discover what truly drives me to wake up in the morning. Sometimes we just need a little inspiration to push us in the right direction. In just 4 days I found a new love of underwater photography and was inspired to push myself creatively with my lifestyle shoots.
I wrapped up my busy trip exploring with my boyfriend, Drew for the last 4 days. It's so nice having someone who goes along with all of my crazy travel ideas. :) We spent a lot of time on the beautiful Lanikai beach. If you visit Oahu, you must make time for it! You won't find anywhere else on the island with as crystal clear water or beautiful white sand. We also did a couple of the Pill Box hikes you can find around the island, which offer stunning views of Oahu! Seriously guys, there is no bad hike on the island!
I was sad to go, but I left feeling inspired and ready for my next adventure.
Where to next....?