The very first time I visited the Hawaiian Islands, I was a broke 20-year-old backpacker who could barely afford the round-trip plane ticket from California. With my travel buddy, I camped my way around Maui, spending my days hiking in cloud forests, atop volcanoes and along deserted beaches on ancient Hawaiian footpaths. We ate guava straight from the tree, and though we had ambitions to do our own spearfishing, we settled for plate lunches and poi from island markets.
Not only was this one of the best trips I ever took, it was also one of the cheapest and most eco-conscious. That's what keeps drawing me back to the islands time and again, to live, work, volunteer and most of all, hike.
If you want to learn more about hiking, backpacking and camping all across the Hawaiian Islands, join me when I take my eco-travel slideshow talk on the road in the San Francisco Bay Area at REI stores in June and July. All events are free, open to the public (advance sign-ups online recommended; just click the links below) and start at 7:00 p.m. Hope to see everyone there!
June 15: REI San Francisco
June 16: REI Mountain View
June 28: REI Berkeley
June 29: REI Corte Madera
July 25: REI Saratoga
July 26: REI Marina
Photo: Haleakala National Park (Michael Connolly, Jr.)