This blog strives to show you how to enjoy nerd-dom in everyday life – it’s what we do on a regular basis. With that in mind, I wanted to start a feature where we can share geeky travel stories and ideas. All of us here at My Fangirl Life love to travel, so I’m sure this will be a solid recurring feature for us. The next time you visit somewhere new, see if we’ve been there or posted about it already to help make your vacation the nerdiest yet.
This is the first installment in the “My Fangirl Life on Quest” series – and it’s all about adventure on the Big Island of Hawaii! I am just returning from 10 days spent there, but about three years ago I went over to the Big Island for a few months to live with an aunt, uncle, and cousins that live in Waikoloa. Because of this, I am quite familiar with the island and have done many of the things on this list, either this trip or previously. I hope I can help you to bring out your inner nerd on your tropical vacation!
Because the Big Island is not a nerd destination per se, a healthy dose of imagination is needed to turn this vacation geeky. That being said, rather than just seeing places things were filmed, or visiting nerd-dedicated museums, this destination allows you to actually take part in adventure activities. Not that I’m complaining about the other types of fangirl fun, but I have not yet left the Big Island without experiencing something crazy and new.
Here are some suggestions for your next nerd-venture!
Big Island Adventure #1 – Search for Sunken Treasure
Almost everyone loves to snorkel, but this can be kicked up a notch by pretending that you are on a search for lost treasure in the ocean. Sure, seeing all the fish and wildlife is cool in itself, but if you put yourself in the shoes of your favourite treasure-hunter, you can see just how much of a needle in a haystack it would be to find anything!
Snorkel gear is easy to purchase or rent on the Big Island, and you can do it almost anywhere. This is one of the most accessible activities you could take part in.
Big Island Adventure #2 – Go on a Game of Thrones Journey by Horseback
Or really, whatever fandom-themed journey you like (Lord of the Rings, Song of the Lioness, etc.). This point was actually the inspiration for this post. Just two days ago, I spent a morning exploring the beautiful Waipi’o Valley by horseback, but since I am currently reading Game of Thrones, I was of course thinking about how difficult journeying for hours and hours every day that way would be.
We went on a tour through Na’alapa Stables and it was awesome. The guides were friendly and informative, and the horses were easy to ride. Even if you’ve never really ridden much before, I would totally recommend this activity.
Big Island Adventure #3 – Pretend You’re On Another Planet
The Kona side of the Big Island has a landscape mostly made up of volcanic rock, especially as you travel up with Kohala Coast. What better way to nerd out than to go on a hike somewhere and pretend you’re exploring another planet? You could pretend you were Neil Armstrong, or your favourite character from Star Wars or Star Trek. The possibilities are endless!
Big Island Adventure #4 – Be Tarzan, King of the Jungle
While the Kona side of the island is very dry and the landscape made of rock, the Hilo side of the island is tropical, and rainforest-like. Visit the Hamakua Coast to go ziplining through the rainforest at Akaka Falls, and find out how Tarzan would have felt.
Bonus nerd points: This area is apparently where Jillian Harris’s final proposal on the Bachelorette took place.
There are other ziplines on the Big Island, but I went to the one at Akaka Falls and I would recommend it.
Big Island Adventure #5 – Channel Your Inner Pirate
Hook, Blackbeard, Jack Sparrow – I don’t care. Get out on the water any way you can and get a feeling for what life is like on the open sea.
There are many ways you can do this. I am lucky enough to have an uncle with a boat, so he took me out last time I was there. That being said, this time I did night swimming with the manta rays and that included a night ride on the boat out to the location. Highly recommended! I cannot say enough good things about the company that took us, Sunlight on Water.
Big Island Adventure #6 – Pretend You’re in a Post-Apocalyptic World
What better way to do this than by visiting a volcano? This will certainly bring out the adventurer in you, as Kilauea actually has real lava flow, depending on when you go.
Visit Hawaii Volcanoes National Park to experience this for yourself.
Big Island Adventure #7 – Climb a Mountain
Ok, maybe this isn’t so much “climb” as “drive up”, but I still think you’ll feel like your favourite adventurer while taking this on. Mauna Kea is an amazing place to visit. The stars are clear, and there is typically snow on the ground – in Hawaii! Not to mention, it’s kind of hard to breathe up there, so that is an experience in itself.
There are tours that will take you up here, though I did it separately from that. If you’re going to do the same, make sure you have all the information you need! You can see the visitor information site here.
I hope this all helps to make your Big Island trip awesome – any fun and nerdy activities I missed? Let me know!