Digital Nomad Life: Month Forty Five and Month Forty SixFast travel got me behind on my monthly recaps so this is for Month Forty Five and Forty Six.

Month Forty Five I was on the road again, traveling around three Hawaiian Islands, firstly with Toby and my Dad, then solo on Maui.

Waimea Bay on the North Shore of Oahu

Month Forty Six saw me return to the mainland – focusing my time between three great cities – San Diego, Phoenix and Washington D.C. – with short stints in Denver, Indio and New York City in between.

The first three days of month forty five were the last at our Help Exchange in South Kona, and we topped it off with a farewell breakfast with our hosts and fellow Helpers at Ho’okena Beach.

From our Help Exchange we moved to a very cute tiny house in the artist village of Holualoa, not far from Kailua-Kona. We spent six nights there, although Toby and I did camp one of those nights in the remote Waimanu Valley while Dad held down the fort.

During our last week on the Big Island we did a lot of exploring, including visiting more beaches, going to an Avocado Festival, hiking in Volcanoes National Park, roadtripping to Hilo, as well as the two day hike in and out of Waimanu Valley from the beautiful Waipio Valley.

Hawaii Volcanoes National Park on the Big Island

It was sad to say goodbye to the Big Island, our home for seven weeks, but it was also exciting to go back to one of my other favorite places in Hawaii: The North Shore of Oahu!

We had five nights based on the North Shore in Waialua, and then Dad and I had two nights together in Waikiki, once Toby flew home for work. It was fantastic to revisit all my favorites on the North Shore including walking the bike path between Three Tables Beach and Sunset Beach, spending time at beautiful Waimea Bay, and exploring peaceful Waimea Valley.

Waimea Falls on the North Shore of Oahu

I also loved the Toa Luau in Waimea Valley, the Bishop Museum in Honolulu, the Byodo-In Temple in Kaneohe, the stunning white sand beaches of the East Coast, the rugged beauty of the West Coast and the short hikes that we did.

From Oahu I flew to Maui for two weeks of housesitting and caring for a very skittish dog and a big fluff ball kitty in the cute town of Makawao on Maui.

After a couple of weeks of trying to balance travel and work when my Dad was visiting, I kicked back a lot in Maui – catching up on work and relaxing, but also getting out and exploring the island. I felt like my time on Maui was nicely balanced, and it was just what I needed, although I did feel lonely at times.

Hiking the Pipiwai Trail on Maui

My housesit was originally meant to be for 19 days but I had to leave a few days early, to fly back to Denver for my Green Card interview!

Despite feeling jet-lagged, we got through the interview fine and I was told that I was approved – I can’t tell you how relieved that made me feel! As soon as the interview was over, we hit the road for the two day drive to Indio, to drop Toby off to work Coachella Festival.

After spending one night with him in the hotel he was being put up in for his first few nights, I drove to Phoenix to visit my friend Sarah for five days. We hit up some delicious restaurants, did a couple of South Mountain wildflower hikes, visited three museums including an excellent Mummies of the World Exhibition, and visited Mesa’s downtown for the first time. I enjoyed my time there a lot.

Hiking South Mountain in Phoenix

From Phoenix it was back to Indio for one night to see Toby and check out Palm Springs, then onto San Diego for six wonderful nights. I loved my time in sunny San Diego – the gorgeous beaches, cool neighborhoods, and the beautiful coastal scenery absolutely charmed me, as did the hostel I stayed in at Point Loma, where I felt so at home and met some great people. It was very hard to leave!

After leaving San Diego I was meant to have one night back in Indio before flying to Denver for five nights but with a late season snow storm coming in, I ended up spending three nights in Indio instead – I spent this catching up on work, trying to get our van fixed and soaking up the desert sun at the pool and on walks around the gated community.

My now three days in Denver were action packed with family activities – my Mother-in-law was getting married – and WAY too much drinking. It was fun, but my hangover lasted for days.

Feeling like crap, I flew to New York City where I stayed with my friend Dani in Brooklyn for a couple of nights. Despite feeling shitty, I did check out the neighborhoods of Crown Heights and Prospect Heights, as well as enjoying the spring flowers in Prospect Park.

Cherry blossoms in Washington D.C.

My last stop was Washington D.C, and it was perhaps my favorite stop of the past two months, which completely surprised me. The city is so beautiful, with so many parks and green spaces, stunning buildings, vibrant neighborhoods and so much history.

There is so much to do here that despite running myself ragged trying to see everything, there will definitely be lots of things that I will have to save till next time.

Now onto the Stats!

Countries Visited: USA

Places Visited:

  • Hawaii:
  • Big Island – Kailua-Kona, South Kona, Hilo, Volcano, Honokaa
  • Oahu – Honolulu, Haliewa, Kailua, Waianae
  • Maui – Makawao, Paia, Kaanapali, Kihei, Hana
  • Colorado: Denver, Idaho Springs
  • Utah: Salina
  • California: Indio, Palm Springs, San Diego, Carlsbad, Oceanside, Julian
  • Arizona: Phoenix
  • New York: New York City
  • District of Columbia: Washington
  • Maryland: Bethseda
  • Virginia: Arlington

National Parks and Monuments Visited: Hawaii Volcanoes National Park on the Big Island, Haleakala National Park in Maui, Cabrillos National Monument in San Diego, National Mall in Washington D.C.

Islands Visited: Big Island, Oahu and Maui in Hawaii, Coronado Island in California, Theodore Roosevelt Island and East Potomac Park in Washington D.C.

Best Meal: I ate out a lot more in month forty five than the previous month and had some deliciously memorable meals. Highlights included the Masala Dosa from a Indian food truck that I can’t remember the name of that was at the Avocado Festival in Kailua-Kona; the spread at Ally’s Farewell Dinner – so many amazing cheeses, dips, fruit platters etc; Garlic shrimp with plantains and roast vegetables from the Jamaican Jerk Truck in Kailua-Kona; decadent malasadas from Tex Drive-In in Honokaa; our buffet vegetarian Hare Krishna lunch at Govinda’s in Honolulu; the original garlic shrimp from Giovanni Shrimp Truck in Haliewa; the famous chocolate haupia pie from Ted’s Bakery on the North Shore of Oahu; Spinach and ricotta ravioli with a sage cream sauce from Casanova’s in Makawao; and the coconut crusted Mahi with Papaya Salad from a Thai food truck in Hana.

Giovanni Shrimp Truck on the North Shore of Oahu

Month forty six was also a great eating month – especially for pizza. Highlights included the Prairie Hipster pizza from iconic Colorado pizza place Beau Jo’s in Idaho Springs; one of the best Margarita pizzas I have had from Myke’s Pizza at Cider Corps in Mesa, Arizona; the perfect apple pie from Julian Pie Company in the sweet mountain town of Julian in California; more pie – this time Apple Blackberry and French Chocolate – from Daly Pie in Prospect Heights in Brooklyn; and the Neapolitan pizza from Barboncina in Crown Heights, Brooklyn.

Worst Meal: A couple of bad meals the past two months including the pesto pasta I made for our backcountry trip in Hawaii – I think it was the type of pasta I got, and the crispy chicken lunch I had at the Country Cafe in Waianae – I really can’t stand chicken fat and unfortunately a lot of the pieces were very fatty. I was also disappointed by my donut from The Donut Bar in San Diego – it wasn’t horrible but the soy cream was weird and the donut wasn’t the best quality, and although I loved the kitschy vibe at Tastee Diner in Bethesda, their crab cakes gave me a VERY upset stomach.

And one thing I learnt, crawfish are much more enjoyable when you don’t have to de-shell them yourself – I had all sorts of gross looking muck on my fingers after that experience.

Best Craft Beer: We returned to Kona Brewing Company again in month forty five but also hit up a couple of new spots – Big Island Brewhaus in Waimea and Ola Brewing in Kona. I enjoyed pretty much everything I tried at Ola Brewing, but particularly the Kiawe and Vanilla Porter which was velvety smooth and vanillary.

Back on the mainland, my beer highlight was the flight I had at Kilowatt Brewing in Ocean Beach, San Diego. I particularly liked the Strawberry Berliner Weisse, along with the psychedelic art adorning the walls that was painted by a guy who claims to have learnt to paint them by aliens who abducted him.

Hikes:

  • Muliwai Trail on the Big Island, HI 18 miles/29km return over two days
  • Sulphur Banks and Pu’uloa Petroglyphs Trails, Hawaii Volcanoes National Park on the Big Island, HI 2.4 miles/3.8km total
  • Three Tables Beach to Sunset Beach Bike Trail, North Shore of Oahu, HI 5 miles/8km return
  • Makapu’u Point Lighthouse Trail on East Coast of Oahu, HI 1.5 miles/2.5km return
  • Koko Crater Rail Trail on Oahu, HI 2 miles/3km return
  • Waihou Springs Trail on Maui, HI 2 miles/3km return
  • Section of Sliding Sands Trail in Haleakala National Park on Maui, HI 6.2 miles/10km return
  • Pipiwai Trail near Hana on Maui, HI 3.8 miles/6km return
  • Waihee Ridge Trail on Maui, HI 4 miles/6.4km return
  • Hidden Valley Trail on South Mountain in Phoenix, AZ 3.6 miles/5.8km loop
  • Holbert Trail to Dobbins Lookout on South Mountain in Phoenix, AZ 3.8 miles/6km return
  • Mission Beach to Pacific Beach Bike Trail in San Diego, CA 4.2 miles/6.8km return
  • Razor Point Trail in Torrey Pines State Natural Reserve, CA 1.5 miles/2.5km return
  • Bayside Trail in Cabrillos National Monument in San Diego, CA 1.8 miles/3km return
  • East Potomac Park to Hains Point in Washington D.C., 4 miles/6.4km loop
  • Swamp Trail on Theodore Roosevelt Island in Washington D.C.1.5 miles/2.5km loop

I love how many hikes I did the past two months, including one backcountry hike in Hawaii. I’ll be ramping it up even more once I’m back in Colorado for summer.

Hiking the Muliwai Trail on the Big Island of Hawaii

Reading: Not much reading these past two months. The only book I finished was Dark Star Safari by Paul Theroux and although I enjoyed this non-fiction account of Paul’s overland journey through Africa, it’s quite a heavy read so I was only dipping into it sporadically.

Watching: I binge-watched a fair amount of Netflix during month forty five and forty six, including the first season of Killing Eve and the first season of You – both of which I loved.

They are both pretty dark but that’s part of why I loved them. Killing Eve is a US/UK production that stars Sandra Oh (who slays this part). Sandra Oh’s character Eve is on the hunt for an elusive hit woman, who has an obsession with Eve. It is a very cleverly done and smart thriller that has you on the edge of your seat much of the time. Highly recommended!

You is about a dangerously obsessed stalker who manages to charm and start dating the girl he is obsessed with. Penn Badgley manages to pull off hot and creepy at the same time, and the way things unfold really makes this exciting show a chair gripper.

Tulips in Washington D.C.

Highlights

Farewell Dinner in Ocean View

A friend of mine that I made through working the markets, Aly, had a farewell party as she was leaving her remote Help Exchange in Ocean View to move to our farm and take over the markets when I left.

Her hosts were amazing and put on such a beautiful spread of food and drinks at their Dragonfruit farm, and we had a lovely night, catching up with the other volunteers that we knew as well as meeting new people, drinking Dragonfruit cocktails, hanging by the bonfire, and enjoying an awesome fire poi performance from a couple of the other volunteers.

The stars were incredible, the company was great and it made me sad that we were leaving soon, just when we found a community on the island.

Exploring the Volcanic Wonders of Hawaii Volcanoes National Park

We spent a great half day exploring Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. Unfortunately we didn’t get to see any lava because the activity there has died right down, but we did some short hikes to the smelly sulphur banks and to see the steam rising from the gigantic Kilauea crater, as well as driving the scenic Chain of Craters Road to a natural sea arch and to see ancient Hawaiian Petroglyphs.

Sulphur Banks in Hawaii Volcanoes National Park

Soaking in a Mermaid Pool

Our tiny house Airbnb in Holualoa came with a Mermaid pool, and we definitely made good use of it! You may be thinking ‘What is a Mermaid pool?’ – well, in this instance it’s a large jacuzzi pool with a waterfall that is backed by ferns and trees. It was a great place to decompress after a day of exploring or hiking, and the star-watching from there was spectacular.

Surviving the Muliwai Trail

Wow, the Muliwai Trail from Waipio Valley to Waimanu Valley on the Big Island turned out to be a lot tougher than I imagined it would be, but I’m still really glad we did it. The trail is not maintained and it was muddy, slippery, steep in parts, and a real slog a lot of the time.

I wish we could have had a full day to spend in the valley but we only had time for one night, before turning back the next day and doing the tough trail in reverse. Both valleys are incredibly beautiful and I was wowed by the waterfalls in the Waimanu Valley in particular, and it was pretty special to know that it can only be reached by a tough hike or by helicopter – the beauty of the valley did make the hike to get there worth it.

Remote Waimanu Valley on the Big Island of Hawaii

Loving Oahu’s Beaches

Usually my time on Oahu is spent either up on the North Shore, or around Waikiki so I had never made it to a lot of the beaches that are famous for their beauty on the East Coast of the island. On this visit we went to two beaches that I absolutely fell for, and they made me admit that although Oahu would never be my favorite island – it’s too build up and touristy for my liking – it does have the most beautiful beaches.

Lanikai Beach and Sandy Beach were the stunners I fell for. The water was the most turquoise I have seen in Hawaii and the sand was so soft and very white. Just picture perfect postcard beaches.

Lanikai Beach on the East Coast of Oahu

Revisiting Waimea Valley and Loving the Toa Luau

I absolutely adored the beautiful Waimea Valley when I visited back in 2009, and when I found out that they now do a luau there, I knew that we had to go.

You get free entry to the natural attractions in the valley on the same day that you have the luau booked, so Toby, Dad and I went there in the morning to explore. The Waimea Valley is a sacred place to the native Hawaiians from this part of Oahu and there is a very peaceful vibe that permeates the valley. We wandered slowly along the pathways, reading all the information panels along the way, and Toby and I swam in Waimea falls. It was a wonderful way to start the day.

Later on we returned for the award-winning Toa Luau and I was so happy we chose it. The setting is magical, we got to participate in some hands-on cultural experiences like braiding headbands from flax, and learning how the traditional way to make coconut milk, then we were treated to a buffet dinner and a show, with a focus on different islands around Polynesia, not just Hawaii.

The host was funny and gregarious, the show was very impressive and we left with big smiles on our faces.

Toa Luau on the North Shore of Oahu

Hiking on Oahu and Maui

It felt great to do so much hiking during my last month in Hawaii. On the Big Island, Toby and I tackled the tough two day hike, in and out of the remote Waimanu Valley which was challenging but wildly beautiful, as well as a couple of short but rewarding hikes in Volcanoes National Park.

On Oahu we did a few short hikes that offered sweeping coastal views and on Maui I really felt like I got to know the island better by hiking a few trails on different parts of the island, that offered different landscapes. Hiking the Sliding Sands trail in Haleakala National Park was like being on Mars, while the Pipiwai Trail on the east side of the island was the opposite, with so much lush greenery, towering bamboo forest and a spectacular waterfall.

Hawaii may not have the stark grandeur of the Rocky Mountains that I love so much, but it does have some fantastic hiking trails nonetheless.

Koko Head Rail trail on Oahu

Meeting up with a Fellow Traveler in Kaanapali

I love meeting up with like-minded people, and whenever I am traveling solo I try to meet up with some fellow travel ladies through one of the female travel Facebook groups I am part of. During my two weeks in Maui I met up with the lovely Noelle, who was staying with her family in beautiful Kaanapali.

I drove out there for a morning, and we met for coffee followed by a walk along the beach to see penguins (there are some living at a hotel there!), followed by a swim in the fabulous pool of her hotel. I also met her family who were so friendly and welcoming. It was a great day.

Pool time in Kaanapali, Maui

Wonderment at Haleakala National Park

I really enjoyed my afternoon at Haleakala National Park on Maui – the landscape is so stark and moon-like, making the National Park such an interesting place to visit.

The Sliding Sands trail really interested me but I wasn’t able to leave the dog I was sitting for more than six hours so I settled on doing a portion of it, which gave me a very good overview of the beauty of the crater. Once I got past the first couple of miles, I only saw a couple of other people, and it was one of the most quiet places I have ever been – the silence was deafening.

I also got to see some crazy looking silver plants that can only be found in the National Park and look very alien. Next time I want to do the whole hike.

Hiking in Haleakala National Park on Maui

Much Needed Chill Time in Maui

After a full on two weeks traveling around the Big Island and Oahu, it was a massive relief to get to Maui where I could just kick back at my two week housesit. I balanced my time with exploring different spots on the island, and spending days watching movies and working at the house. It was exactly what I needed and my stress levels dropped back down to normal.

A Full Day Exploring Maui’s Natural Wonders

One of my favorite days in Maui was the only full day that I got to explore, as my host’s regular paid sitter came to feed the dog and cat in the afternoon for me. I drove the iconic Road to Hana, had a delicious fish lunch at a food truck in Hana, hiked to a spectacular waterfall and through a bamboo forest on the Pipiwai Trail, and, best of all, I did a short hike to a stunning red sand beach for a swim – the only red sand beach I have ever seen.

I drove back on the rugged road that goes around the south coast of the island, and saw whales offshore, rugged landscapes and hardly any other cars. It was perfect.

Red sand beach in Hana, Maui

Getting my Green Card Approved

It’s hard to describe the feeling when I found out my Green Card hd been approved – relief was definitely part of it but it felt like more than that. All my hard work doing the multiple visa applications, paying so much money in visa fees and for supporting documentation, worrying that I had done something wrong or that I wouldn’t qualify for some reason – all the stress and worries caused by the process just melted away.

I have a Green Card and it feels amazing!

Loving all the Spring Flowers

I may have missed the bulk of the cherry blossoms in D.C. (see lowlights below) but I did manage to still catch a lot of spring flowers, in Phoenix, San Diego, NYC and Washington D.C.

There was a super bloom occurring in California while I was there and I absolutely loved all the wildflowers blooming along the coast there, and while hiking South Mountain in Phoenix there were a lot of wildflowers too. In New York, the cherry blossoms were in peak bloom as were the beautiful daffodils – one of my favorite flowers.

Wildflowers in La Jolla, San Diego

In Washington D.C. there were still a few cherry blossom trees in bloom, and I found a great patch of them down in East Potomac Park, and there were also so many Dogwood and Redbush trees in bloom, along with all the tulips that have been planted – so pretty!

I am a sucker for beautiful flowers and the past month has been full of them.

Me with dogwood tree in Washington D.C.

Everything I did in San Diego

Wow, did I ever fall for San Diego! I had visited once before, nearly ten years ago, but even though I did like it then, I only had a couple of nights there so hadn’t really formed a proper opinion. This time around I spent almost a week there and packed so much into my short stay – and I loved all of it.

Cabrillos National Monument in San Diego

I walked the seaside path between Pacific Beach and Mission Beach, drunk craft beer in Ocean Beach, hiked in Cabrillos National Monument and Torrey Pines State Natural Reserve, explored the natural attractions and beautiful architecture of Balboa Park, learnt about San Diego’s history at Old Town San Diego, went to the weekly Farmers Market in North Park, strolled the main street and along the beach on Coronado Island, and watched the seals in La Jolla.

I also loved my cosy HI hostel, located in the quiet neighborhood of Point Loma and full of awesome people – particularly my room mate Georgiana, a fellow housesitter who has led a very interesting life.

San Diego will definitely see me again, and who knows, maybe we will even end up living there for a bit if I have my way.

Mission Beach in San Diego

Daffodils and Apple Pie in Charming Julian

I only briefly stopped in the little mountain town of Julian on the way back to Indio from San Diego but it charmed me instantly. Julian is known for it’s apples and there are a lot of places selling apple pie, but I think I went to the best spot. Julian Pie Company had one of the best apple pies I have ever tasted, and their apple cider donuts were amazing too.

After my pie, I strolled around town, loving the daffodils everywhere and checking out some of the local shops. I told Toby it would be the perfect place for a peaceful break and I hope to return one day.

Daffodils in Julia, California

A Big Party for a Family Wedding

My Mother-in-law got married last month in Denver and it turned out to be one hell of a party. I hadn’t seen a lot of the family since Toby and I got back from Hawaii so it was so amazing to catch up with everyone, including meeting my now Step-Father in law’s family the night before the wedding at my Aunty Patsy’s place for a big family dinner.

The wedding itself was fun, with lots of dancing and catching up, but the party really began when a lot of us went back to Aunty Vicky’s and Uncle Lonny’s place after – it’s a bit blurry but I do remember having a really good time, and drinking a lot of shots.

It was such a good time that Toby missed his flight back to work the next morning. He drove us back to Fo and Afor’s place while on the phone to the airline trying to change his flight (luckily, he did) with Fo spewing in a bag in the front, Afor dazed and confused, and me cackling in the back (I was still drunk). Good times.

Completely Falling for Washington D.C.

Like San Diego, I also absolutely adored Washington D.C. – what an amazing city! I had a picture in my head of D.C. being stuffy and maybe even a bit boring but I couldn’t have been more wrong.

Capitol Hill in D.C.

Along with all of the excellent museums and the government buildings that I visited including the State Capitol, Library of Congress and National Archives, there are also vibrant neighborhoods to explore, so many lovely parks, bustling markets full of locals, and a lot of grand architecture that made me feel like I was back in London (as did all the European chain restaurants like Pret a Manger, Paul, and Le Pain Quotidien).

D.C. is another city that I know I will return to as I still have so much to explore.

Capitol Building in Washington D.C.

Lowlights

New Zealand Shooting

The biggest lowlight for me was the New Zealand Mosque shootings. This was one of the darkest days in New Zealand’s history because we are only a small country and we have very little gun violence – which makes this so shocking.

Fifty people – Kiwis and visiting Muslims – were murdered by a racist Australian terrorist while they were praying at two different Mosques in Christchurch in a horrific attack. I was by myself in Maui at the time and I found it really tough, not being back home in New Zealand while my country was going through something so horrible.

What made it worse for me was the amount of Americans that wanted to chime in with their pro-gun bullshit – very upsetting especially because a lot of these people have no idea about my culture and how different it is from theirs. I wish ignorant people would just shut their mouths about things that have no clue about. New Zealand is not America.

One good thing that came out of this terrible tragedy is that all Kiwis came together to support the Muslim community in New Zealand, and our Prime Minister was absolutely incredible with how she reacted to the shootings – the world got to see how lucky we are to have such a compassionate, beautiful and strong leader. I have never been more proud to be a Kiwi.

Saying Goodbye to Lilo

I miss our little Hawaiian kitty Lilo so much, and it was so hard saying goodbye to her – it truly broke my heart. I racked my brain trying to figure out a way that we could take her with us but as we don’t have a home and aren’t planning to any time soon, it was just too hard.

And I also would have felt so guilty taking her to a completely different environment where she would need to be an inside kitty, as there are so many predators that can kill cats in Colorado.

Luckily the Hungarian girls we were doing the help exchange with found her a home – for her and for her kittens, which she had about six weeks after we left. I still miss her though.

Lilo the cross-eyed Hawaiian Kitty

Painful Foot Issues

I managed to cause some damage to my feet during my time in Hawaii, including kicking a rock on the beach that was so incredibly painful and resulted in me limping around for a couple of days and a black toenail. I also got some severe blisters on my feet from hiking in wet sandalls on the Muliwai trail, and there were a couple of days that I could barely walk, let along wear shoes.

Luckily after a couple of days, they were healing nicely and I was still able to do the hikes I wanted to do on Oahu, then Maui.

Stress from Trying to Juggle Work and Travel

I really don’t do well when I am trying to do too much travel and too much work at the same time and that’s what I ended up doing for the two weeks that my Dad was visiting us in Hawaii. I wanted to be out exploring for much of the day and evening so it left little time for work, which in turn stressed me out and kinda took the fun out of it.

Lonely in Maui

As much as I love my alone time, two weeks housesitting in Maui alone was a tad too much, even though I had a cute kitty and a shy but loving dog to keep me company. I did break up my alone time with a couple of meetups – with a fellow traveler and with another blogger, as well as some of my host’s friends who I walked the dog with a few times – but I still felt lonely and missed Toby.

I think what made it worse for me was having the New Zealand shooting happen over this time, when I really wanted to be around loved ones.

Van Issues

Little ole Casper the van was playing up once we got back from Hawaii, making weird noises that had us worried. We managed to get him in to a mechanic and $430 later he is fixed – we ended up needing to get a bearing replaced and we had a couple of lights that had come on on our dash so we got those fixed too.

It won’t be the end of the van costs as we have to get some wiring fixed, a new windscreen, and we need to pay our registration fees for the year in a couple of months time. Owning a vehicle really is a massive expense, even more so in the US than in New Zealand with all the extra taxes you have to pay each year on your vehicle.

Sick for Days

What started as a terrible hangover after my Mother-in-law’s wedding, turned into five days of sickness when I didn’t sleep properly for days due to time zone changes and an early flight from Denver to New York. It really sucks feeling like shit when you are on vacation and visiting a friend who has a whole agenda planned. On top of that, I also had a very upset stomach from my lunch at a diner in Maryland and that was a horrible experience too.

Luckily I am back to normal now, well, apart from a lingering cough.

Missing the Cherry Blossoms in D.C.

We were about a week too late to see the cherry blossoms in D.C., other than a few late flowering trees, and I was pretty gutted about it as that was the whole reason for my visit. At least I managed to be in New York for the peak. I will have to try again for the Washington D.C. bloom another year.

Lincoln Memorial in Washington D.C.

Spending

Total: USD$3331.50

Shit, this is high. I had a few big expenses crop up in the past month, including having to get an expensive flight back to Denver, and having to pay out six months of insurance on our van, among other things. The scary thing is that it would have been a lot more had my Dad not insisted on paying for a lot of expenses during our two weeks traveling with him. I am very lucky to have such a generous Dad – I know not everyone does.

Now that I have a Green Card, I am very much looking forward to being able to get some temping work in Denver this summer, because my savings are dangerously low and we have a big trip to start saving for at the end of the year.

Accommodation $318.50

My paid accommodation this month consisted of one night camping at a backcountry campground on the Big Island, one night in a motel in Utah, six nights at a hostel in San Diego and five nights at a hostel in Washington D.C.

I also spent two nights at our Help Exchange in South Kona, five nights at a tiny house we got on Airbnb with my Dad in Holualoa on the Big Island, five nights in an apartment with my Dad in Waialua on the North Shore of Oahu, two nights with my Dad at a hotel in Waikiki, fourteen nights housesitting in Makawao on Maui, one night in the air – flying from Hawaii to Denver, four nights at my brother and sister in law’s place in Denver, five nights at Toby’s staff accommodation in Indio for Coachella Festival, five nights at my friend’s place in Phoenix, two nights at my friend’s place in Brooklyn and one night in an Airbnb in Washington D.C.

My Dad very kindly paid for the Airbnbs and hotel when we were traveling with him, and Dani used her Airbnb credit to cover our one night in an Airbnb in Washington D.C.

Food and Drink $1156.50

I spent a lot more money the past couple of months on eating out as I was on the road for three quarters of the time, but did manage to cook most of the two weeks I was in Maui – although groceries are expensive there. My Dad also paid for a lot of our dining out when we were traveling with him for the first two weeks of the month.

Clothing $133

  • 6 x Bralets $60
  • Summer Dress $25
  • Singlet top $28
  • 2 x leggings $20

Transport $1110

  • Gas $345
  • Flight from Big Island to Oahu $59
  • Parking in Honolulu $5
  • Flight from Oahu to Maui $65
  • Flight from Maui to Denver $361
  • Parking in San Diego $6.50
  • Lime Scooters $11
  • Flight from Palm Springs to Denver $77
  • Uber and Lyft trips in Denver and New York $78
  • Denver Airport Train $10.50
  • Flight from Denver to New York $90
  • Parking in Washington D.C. $2

Wow, I spent so much on transport costs this month! I had so many flights, including a last minute super expensive one way from Hawaii to Denver to get back to attend my Green Card Interview. I also spent a shit ton on gas this month – gas is so expensive in California at the moment, even worse than Hawaii!

Activities $73.50

  • Bishop Museum $35
  • Buddhist Temple Oahu $4.50
  • Makawao Museum $1
  • Mummies of the World Exhibition at Phoenix Science Museum $24
  • One day bike hire Washington D.C. $8

Other $270

  • Phone Credit $50
  • Cat Food $17
  • Ebooks $11
  • Earrings $10
  • Bag fees for flights $50
  • Toiletries $49.50
  • Tragus earring $15
  • Phone SIM $4
  • Kindle Unlimited $21
  • Stickers $7
  • Gemstone bracelet $5.50
  • Haircut $25
  • Lock for hostel locker $5

Website Costs $41

  • Monthly payment for Keysearch $24
  • One Year Domain Renewal $17

Van Costs $229

  • Six months Van Insurance $229 (my half)

East Coast of Oahu

What’s in Store for Next Month

Month Forty Seven begins in Washington D.C. where I still have a couple of days left to explore, before catching the bus back to New York City.

I will be spending nine nights in Brooklyn with my friend Dani, and have lots of fun things planned, including a visit to Ellis and Liberty Islands, a walking tour of Harlem, an afternoon eating pizza on Arthur Avenue in the Bronx, a day out in Jersey City, and lots more Brooklyn and Manhattan exploration.

From New York I will be flying to LA to reunite with Toby. We have a week to road trip California before he has to be in Vegas for work and we are focusing on driving the Pacific Coast Highway from LA to Monterey, and hitting up some new to us National Parks including Pinnacles, Kings Canyon and Death Valley.

Once I drop Toby in Vegas, I will be spending a week house and kitty sitting a cute ginger named Justin in East Hollywood, where I will be catching up on work as well as doing some hiking, visiting Griffith Park and getting my hipster on in Silver Lake. I also want to check out Downtown LA as I have never been.

The last two days of the month I will either be staying in Vegas with Toby, or staying at a hostel in LA – it depends on who his roommate is – we will see.

To read additional Monthly Round Ups, you can find them here

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