71 hours!!

Aloha mai kākou!

Sorry for the delay in a blog post, things have been crazy around here! The countdown to our trip is getting real really fast and we are kinda starting to believe that this is actually happening!!! I feel like a catch up blog is long over due… As I think I’ve mentioned before, we have been planning this trip for what seems like an eternity, since about last October/November probably. I have traveled abroad a few times before and Hoapili also has while deployed, but this time is the first we will both are going together on an international trip and also our first time having such a long time before we go waiting in excited anticipation. My two most recent trips were planned pretty suddenly and it all seemed to happen very fast. This time, we had the end of last semester and this whole spring semester of planning off and on while busy with school which seemed to last forever. Not to mention, we have been living van life, which for some reason seems to add to our crazy life.

As far as planning and logistics, pretty much everything was planned before finals finished in early May. I booked our last Airbnb the morning before one of my finals for a weekend in Montreal. For the last couple months at least, we have been investing in all sorts of things we think we’ll need ranging from binoculars, trekking poles, a brand new REI backpacking pack for Hoapili (I’m using mine that I’ve had for awhile but am pretty jealous of how fancy his is), a Yi Action Camera (GoPro off brand) and a Nikon 1 J5, new hiking boots, a camping french press, Hoapili needed a new passport and a nice rain jacket, and I’m borrowing winter gear from friends and my mom (thanks mom for sending that!) for Iceland since we found out it is going to be pretty chilly while we’re there!!! We have a plan for all that gear though; since we will only really need the heavy stuff for our first week in Iceland, we are going to ship it all back to the states (trying not to think about the cost for that…)  so then we have more room in our packs for any souvenirs we get and they’ll be a bit more comfortable to carry around!

Last weekend, we felt that we had most of the gear that we were planning on bringing, so we did a practice back to make sure it all fit in our packs. As you all know however, we live in a van so figuring out where we were gonna do this practice round was fun. In the end, we figured since we had half the stuff in the van still and the other half already in storage (we kept it in there so the van didn’t get crowded) and since the van is too small to spread everything out comfortably to pack the amount of gear we are, we took it all to the storage unit. It ended up being functional for what we needed, but neither of us had all that much fun in the stuffy storage unit dripping sweat for about 2 hours… Who knew it would take that long to pack! OH! The weekend before that, we knew we were going to need a bunch of gear that was packed away in storage, a lot of which was under piles and piles of boxes… We basically tore our whole unit up just trying to get to a couple suitcases and a metal chest. What fun! Anyway, the practice pack was pretty successful. We are mostly confident that it will all fit although we may be wearing and carrying on some of my bigger winter coats/jackets and we’ll be wearing our hiking boots for sure.



This weekend is all about being excited and continuing our count down… Also, Hoapili is going to we working on perfecting his manual driving skills, since the first three countries of our trip we have a rental car booked and manual is the only option there!!! Eeeekkk! I’m confident in him though, he’s awesome. I hope this kinda catches yʻall up. Hoapili has also taken up ʻUkulele and has been practicing a lot, and we’ve decided to take it on our trip. There’s good and bad to that, risking getting it taken but also we will have guaranteed entertainment and it will make sitting and taking in the beautiful sceneries we will encounter that much more joyful. I’ll post again soon about my recent trip to Maui and I’ll also include some of the photos we (mostly Hoapili-he’s really taken to it) have taken with our new camera! We are stoked to have it and I want to give a big mahalo to the people who made that happen for us, you guys rock and we love you!

Until next time,

Na Leilani


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