January 16, 2018
About to board my flight to New Zealand, just my second foray into solo international travel, or actually international travel at all. After months of diligent research and meticulous planning, I’m anxious to discover what I’ve missed and see what best-laid plans will fail due to circumstances beyond my control. No amount of spreadsheets, trail descriptions, and apps could possibly account for all of the unknowns, but that doesn’t mean I didn’t try- in true engineer-type fashion. And thanks to Instagram, I literally just found another side trip I wanna try to squeeze in. Never a dull moment in my world.
I’m also beyond excited to see some breathtaking landscapes and experience a new culture. This is a land that’s world-renowned for its outdoor recreation and extreme sports, a country that has topped my wishlist for over a decade. Ninety days in NZ are sure to pass far too quickly.
I’ve spent the last 24 hours laying over in Hawai’i. It’s my second trip to the island state, and my first trip to Oahu. I rented a car and zipped out to the Olomana (aka the Three Peaks Trail), an epic, exposed 5-mile-ish out and back trek. I was totally scared as I dropped off the second peak and climbed the third. Ufta, y'all. The ridge is narrow, and the trail is easy to follow...if you have the nerve. It’s another iconic Hawaiian trail on par with longer treks like Waimanu Valley on the Big Island and the Kalalau Trail on Kauai, but packed into a smaller package. Boy was it worth the extra time, money, and effort.
And now I’m seated on the plane. (I’ve been typing this brief update as we’ve been boarding.) A middle seat is certainly not what I wanted, but that’s the price I’m paying for not getting to the airport until two hours ago. Oh well, tackling the Olomana was well-worth the tougher accommodations for the nearly 9-hour flight ahead. #noregrets.