Traveling Oahu Like a Local

There’s honestly nothing like running around the island of Oahu with one of your best friends. When you find someone who is just as adventurous & crazy as you- you’re guaranteed to have a good time. This was by far one of my favorite trips. Driving up & down the island, our method of transportation was a van that had a little bed & sink in the back. It was also our home for five day & it. was. awesome.

It made the trip so much better knowing we could go wherever we wanted & then when we were ready for bed we could just park at a little beach campground! There are outdoor showers all around the beaches of Oahu so we would just grab a bar of soap after a morning swim & rinse off. It was SO refreshing not having to worry about how we looked, or wear makeup or even shoes!

We snorkeled at Sharkes Cove, which was truly an incredible experience. The water was so clear & there were so many fish! We went in August so the water was pretty calm (which meant no waves for surfing, but next time for sure!). We hiked everyday & got to see some of the most insane views of the island. We ended each day watching the most beautiful sunsets over the blue water.

The very last day was my birthday & I wanted one thing: to hike the stairway to heaven. I knew it would be hard, but it was INTENSE. We hiked the back way, which is the only legal way. Many locals, such as Mike Karas (@Mike.karas) offer tours of this hike to help you get to the top. If you’re not an avid hiker but want to go to the top, I strongly recommend booking a tour with someone who knows what they’re doing. We were stopped multiple times by people on their way down mumbling “good luck” & “you guys don’t have spikes?! You better be careful!” It’s about a 5-7 hour hike but we got off to a late start. Also our directions weren’t very clear so we ended up losing about 2 hours due to taking the wrong road. We were hoping to get to the top for sunset & then “figure out the rest as it goes” which is my favorite way to do things haha. By the time we got to the top it was pretty dark & we were completely covered in mud. The trail was extremely wet, muddy & slippery. There were times where I was hanging off the side of a mountain by a muddy rope, praying I had a strong enough grip to keep me from sliding. Thankfully when we finally made it to the top we met some friends who were about to head down. One of them was a local which made getting down 100x’s easier. Honestly I’m still not sure what we would have done if we hadn’t have met them. I think Audrey was pretty set on just camping out at the top hahaha. But all in all it was an incredible experience & I’d recommend it to the extremely adventurous.

Looking back it was truly one of my favorite trips I’ve ever taken. There’s vacation, & then there’s traveling. I prefer traveling. Sure we could have stayed at a 5 star resort the entire time, but we wanted to experience the island like a local. We were also fresh out of college & didn’t have all the money in the world. But honestly, if I were to do it again, I wouldn’t change a thing. It was the best experience & the best way to spend a birthday.

Also, I made a little video! Check it out below :)