It was a busy, busy month of May here at Sparkpunk…
This month marked my official "jumping off point" into the world of full-time travel, and after my first press trip to Hawaii and a short-circuited road trip that resulted in my flying from Anchorage to Denver instead of driving, I'm happy to report that my enthusiasm for the great voyage grows daily.
Partnered with GoHawaii's Big Island Visitor Bureau for my first official media visit to Hawaii's Big Island. I spent a week running around Kailua-Kona & Hilo, sampling the best of each side of the island:
World-class stand-up paddleboarder and all-around sweetheart Jenny Kalmbach took time out of her schedule to scuttle me around a pod of spinner dolphins on the Kailua-Kona coast and discuss the impact of plastic waste in the oceans (post to follow!)
Stayed at the exotic Holualoa Inn for two nights and gained an understanding and appreciation for the niche of luxury travel—definitely outside of my usual fare, but exceptional in every way
Spent a few days exploring the Hilo side of the island (including a volcano field tour & a summit tour of Mauna Kea) courtesy of Arnott's Lodge, easily one of the most creative and inviting backpacker lodges I've ever stayed
And of course, I made a huge pile of new friends and lasting connections: special thanks to Noi, Brian, Steve, Jenny, Lily, Kalani, Ha'a, Matt, Winter, Kay, Doug, Glory, Lopaka, and Ken.
Next, I flew down to Denver to re-connect with friends & family
Took a top-notch tour of Estes Park with the park's greatest tour guide (aka Grandma)
Hunted for dinosaur bones with my friend Josh
Drove south to Colorado Springs to find my childhood home and hike around Garden of the Gods
Caught a quick flight to Los Angeles to meet Kim and began planning our route north for the month of June (heads up, Portland!)
I'm still pouring over notes, photos, and interviews, and I will make formal announcements when those pieces are published at outside media sources.
Also, the site will be undergoing a little cosmetic change here in the first week of June. I hope you like what I've come up with.
Thanks for another great month, everyone. Keep checking in over the summer!