The End

My last day in Hawaii, I ended with a bang!

However, this bang was not planned.

I ended up flying home on a 14 hour plane ride with a mild concussion.

Not the most ideal situation.

Our last night in Hawaii, my roommate and I went to bed early after a long peaceful stroll through campus as we reminisced about the unforgettable memories.

I fell asleep with a huge smile on my face knowing that I took advantage of the island, made friends, and had the time of my life.

It was suppose to be a peaceful relaxing sleep…

At 4am I woke up to a girl screaming at the top of her lungs!

The worst sounding screams I have ever heard in my life. The screams were worse than horror movies! This girl was getting attacked!!

With my hands shaking and heart pounding I was in panic mode. I controlled my shaking hands to dial the campus police’s phone number that was posted on the back of our door. Before the officer could say hello I quickly blurted out, “I’m in room 322 and I hear this girl screaming, please help, I’m too scared to go help her.”

I tried to make out what the girl was screaming. I swore I heard her say, “Help, I’m getting attacked!”

My heart felt like it was going to burst out of my chest. The next thing I know, I’m on the ground.

I woke up to my roommate crying, police officers around me, and extreme chaos outside. The police thought I was the one who got attacked. My sister had to point the police in the other direction to save the girl.

The medical assistants put me in the ambulance and rushed me to the hospital.

Finally, my roommate told me what happened; I passed out, hit my head on the dresser, and fell to the floor.

That explained the pounding headache.

Still in the ER, I had only four hours until I had to be at the airport.

The doctor highly recommended that I shouldn’t fly.

This plane ticket was over $1,000 dollars, I had to go!!!!!

Two hours later I made it back to campus with my fancy new hospital bracelet and ice pack. I asked my neighbors about the girl who was attacked. They said she wasn’t attacked. Confused and angry I quickly asked, “What do you mean?”

As it turned out the girl was not screaming, “help, I’m getting attacked,” but instead, she was screaming, “Help, I’m trapped.”

The girl was trapped in her bathroom with no light, no phone, and all alone, since her roommates left for winter break. The bathroom doors would randomly lock if it was shut. There’s a precise way to shake the door or even use a bobby pin to unlock yourself. I understood her situation to be quite scary but I was still mad that I misunderstood her screams  incorrectly.

Due to my misunderstanding I got nervous, passed out, and had to fly home with a concussion.

I sure went out with a bang, ouch.


Kona Community


Like I have mentioned before, Kona is a fun and exciting place for tourists! So many activities! During my time in Kona I have been on a submarine, I parasailed, learned how to paddle board, saw dolphins swim next to our boat, visited the most beautiful beaches, shopped, stayed at the Royal Kona Hotel, experienced my first Hawaiian Lau at the Kona Marriott, dined at the nicest restaurants, walked the strip (Ali`i Drive) at sunset, and more! All of these experiences were such fascinating eye openers. The most eye opening experience was one I cannot list. It was not an activity, but a way of life. Kona has pride in getting their community together, staying strong, having a positive vibe, and helping one another.

What’s so wonderful about Kona, that I  wish I knew before, is that they have a calendar online providing activities for the public. Kona’s goal is to gather the community to come together for fun, eventful, family and friend bonding activities.  I hope these activities and resources help you make the best of your Kona trip!!

Although Kona does not get snow, the town still takes advantage of winter-like activities! Kona has a lot going on for the month of December for the community! Let’s check it out!

On December 13th
Get Ready for the 30
Annual Kailua-Kona Community Christmas Parade!!!! The parade will begin at 5:00pm at the Kekuaokalani Gym, located down Ali’I Drive past Coconut Grove Marketplace. There is a theme every year! And This year it’s “Na Mele O Kalikimaka,” meaning; The Songs of Christmas. Go on down to Ali’I Drive and experience the 75 floats of local businesses, non-profit organizations, musicians, schools’ teams/clubs, children, dancers, and of course Santa and his reindeer! All donations go towards the Menehune Holiday Food Drive. Royal Hawaiian Movers company tells us how volunteering at the past Kailua-Kona Community Christmas Parade was such a successful community effort. Watch how the community comes together for such a wonderful cause at past Kailua-Kona Community Christmas Parade!

The great part about these activities is that they are free and open to the public. Kona abides by Hawaii’s rule; living the HI life. Hawaiians want you to enjoy the sun, company, and feel the love and support from one another! Everyone who has ever visited can happily say that they were part a beautiful and heartwarming ohana (family).

Moving on to December 14th,
Kokua Kailua Hulihe’e Palace free concert is featuring exciting talent such as Merrie Monarchs men’s glee club, Kumu Hula Etua Lopes and his halau Na Pua U’I O Hawai’o. Be at the Palace’s South Lawn with your own beach chair or mat at 4:00pm to enjoy a magical evening.

December 24,
Mokuaikaua Church’s Christmas Eve Candlelight Service. Dive into the history at this heartwarming event takes place at Hawaii’s first Christian church that was established in the 1820’s. The event begins at 7:00pm starting with caroling and then the candlelight service will begin. All are welcome to the event where they will celebrate the holidays with hula and Christmas hymns. It really is a beautiful thing to be a part of! When I visited the Mokuaikaua Church I was lucky enough to feel how special and see how beautiful the old church was! See how the Hawaiian’s celebrate this holiday season! I recommend to spend your holidays in peace and visit the Mokuaikaua Church!

December 28th,
After Christmas you will still be part of the culture and feel the community spirit with the Ladies of Waiku’I and Konabob performing at the talk story at the Sheraton Kona. This event provides an unique experience that you cannot get anywhere else but Hawaii. The event includes a free talk story presentation featuring music, chant, and dance.

Kona still impresses me even after leaving the gorgeous town on the Big Island. Other blogs will agree that it is an unforgettable place. It’s unforgettable because of the setting, beauty, scenery, people, but now, also; the activities it provides to the public. Kona opens its doors to anyone and everyone to feel the love and support within the community. You will forever feel like family.

Life Lesson


TIn Hawaii it’s easy to tell who is a local. Their roots make them who they are, such beautiful kind souls. I loved how they admire every piece of their culture.

They all know how to hula dance and what each move meant. Every hula dance has a story and the way they told those stories were breath-taking. It was difficult for them to teach others how to move as fluently and as graceful as they did because it was just in their blood. It’s hard to teach a natural given talent that you’re born with.

The locals also know every single story, including all the myths and history about their island that they’re so proud to be part of. Most Hawaiians see the beach as a way of life. This was my favorite lesson I took back with me.

They would say, “Life is like the ocean. Sometimes the ocean is calm and is the home to the most beautiful and gentle animals. Then other times the ocean can have treacherous waves, deadly currents, and home to dangerous animals such as sharks.”

The Hawaiians taught me that if you stick to your roots and know you’ll always have a place to call home then the storm will always pass.

Hilo Fun

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Instead of writing about my unique stories about how I rode in strangers’ trucks to get places, how I nearly survived the plane ride, etc; I need to focus on why I created this blog. The HI Life is mainly to help others when traveling to the Big Island and make their experience as smooth as possible while saving money, and knowing where to go.

My top views for other posts have been the ones that involves some sort of adventure! What many people don’t know is that there’s so much adventure right in Hilo! When studying at UHH you may feel that it’s hard to get out of town. But, hey, that’s a good thing! You do not need to go to Kona to find adventure, there’s plenty to do right in Hilo!

1) Kaumana caves
Climb inside the caves and if you have a flash light be a risk taker and crawl through the tubes! Make sure to wear a rain jacket as water drips from the top.
2) Rainbow falls
Take a short hike to the back side of the stunning waterfall where you can cross streams of water, jump off rocks, and have an even better view of Rainbow Falls, rather than taking pictures up front like most tourists.
3) Black sands beach
Turtles! Huge turtles will be there waiting for you as you’ll be floating in the water all day soaking up the sun.
4) Paddle boarding
Thanks to UHH Edventure Club you will be able to paddle board for free in Hilo! It is harder than it looks!
5) Sailing
Another incredible adventure brought to you by UHH Edventure club! Learn how to sail with the best instructors as you and a partner have a chance to pair up and be put to the test! Good luck!

If you don’t want to leave campus than enjoy the huge Olympic size swimming pool, basketball court, tennis courts, and volleyball courts (inside and out)! Don’t forget to stop at the gym and take some of the free classes they offer!

Enjoy Hilo, I know I did!

South Point

me10What’s South Point? It’s a cliff. Yes, a cliff. But I promise you it was the scariest and most thrilling adventure of my life jumping off of that cliff!

Located on the Big Island of Hawaii, South Point is a place for adventure seekers and risk takers. South Point is famous for being the southernmost point in the United States. If you can jump off South Point you might as well be famous too. Take a look on YouTube to see the jaw dropping videos of tricks and crazy jumps done by people! A 40 foot jump into the beautiful Hawaiian waters. Welcome to South Point.

I’m not one to be scared, but standing over the edge looking down at the long view ahead created chills creeping up my spine. With ten girls, I’m proud to say eight of us were able to commit to the jump.

I took a solid ten minutes of alone time to pray, and talk myself into jumping. I knew if I didn’t jump I would regret it because I don’t know if I will get anther chance to go back to Hawaii.

Two of my friends agreed to jump with me as the rest counted to three. This is it. The jump. With a three second count, I realize I forgot how to breathe.

Three! We take a running start to the cliff and jump with nervous looks on our faces.

How was the jump? Let me tell you .. SCARY! It did not go by fast. It felt like I was in the air forever, falling forever. When I landed I hurt my left leg so bad. I landed incorrectly and advise any jumper to focus on the landing.

After the jump we stayed in the water. I was almost in tears from the bad landing but the others were screaming with joy! The current was strong. In the water we had a different view of the cave inside the cliff. I would have never seen that view if I didn’t jump. The current was too strong as it stopped us from swimming into the cave. The jump was enough thrill for me. Laying in the water all you could see was ocean. It was such a calming and peaceful site even though I found myself drifting away with the current.

We then had to climb up the ladder back onto the cliff which was just as scary as the jump. Fighting against the current, swimming to the ladder, it felt like a full on workout. Huffing and puffing I used all my muscles to get myself to that ladder. The only way out. I recommend not to look down.

With one jump down and an instant bruise, I did not jump again. Once was enough. One and done. I’m so happy I jumped, even though it was extremely painful, I knew I would have regretted it if I didn’t!

Eventually the bruise went away, but the memory will last forever.


Yes, I Studied

Throughout my blog I’ve been talking about all the adventures during my time in Hawaii. What I haven’t mentioned yet is studying, the most important part. First of all, to study abroad your GPA must be a 3.0 or above just to apply. Browsing through other blogs I cam across one of my favorites, the ISA Study Abroad Student Blog who talks about the importance of the “study” in study abroad. This blog is so useful because it reminds us that studying is important no matter where you go.

When people come back from their study abroad trip most people will ask how was it, where’d you go, what’d you see, what kinds of food did you eat, and so fourth. Rarely do people ask about the school work. The myth about studying abroad is that we don’t do any work. This is extremely false. Speaking for myself; It’s just that school work wasn’t the highlight of my time in Hawaii, but it was still a major part. During my time in Hawaii I wrote a 25 page history paper on Alexander Hamilton, memorized 30 different kinds of rocks for my geology class, and wrote many essays for my Asian philosophy class. Work was done.

We can’t always be getting our tan on, we actually have to study. In “Don’t Forget the Study in Study Abroad” post from the blog ISA Study Abroad Student Blog; she talks about how midterms were stressful and that she was always in the library. My point is, yes have fun and take advantage of every adventure, but don’t forget that the classes can also be a rewarding experience. In my geology class I was able to go on field trips to lava lakes … how cool!!! So, go to class and make the best of it! Classes are short, there’s time for adventure after, I promise! Thank you to ISA Study Aboard Student Blog for reminding me of the importance of studying!

Go For It!


I would usually recommend people to stay on a strict budget exploring the Big Island of Hawaii. But not today. When it comes to the last week of your vacation, under serious pressure to fit as much adventures in as you can; then I say go for it!! It’s all or nothing at this point. This is the time you bet it all.

My girlfriends and I were in Kona as every store we passed caught our interest! It was between the tattoo shop and going parasailing, I know, pretty reckless! Since we all thought about tattoos we thought it’d be a good idea, the ultimate souvenir! We decided on parasailing because tattoos might get our parents upset. I called my parents explaining how I need one more big adventure and of course some extra money. I used the typical “all my friends are doing it,” line and guilt tripped them to say yes! At nineteen years old, I know I’m too old to beg for money but it was my last week in Hawaii. I was going crazy because I knew how much I wanted to fit in the next seven days.

I wish I could tell you this great story on how I saved money, but at least I’ll always have the wonderful memory soaring through the air with my best friends in the best place in the world, Hawaii!

Malama Kanaloa Festival


When I attended the University of Hawaii at Hilo I was always late to class as the posters located in the middle of campus instantly caught my attention.  I was so eager to see what was happening in the area and gain new experiences!
The Ocean Day Malama Kanaloa Festival is one I highly recommend, especially for new students or new members of the island to engage in Hawaii’s culture. The purpose of Ocean Day is to learn the importance of protecting Hawaii’s coastal and ocean ecosystems.

Not yet sold? Well, it’s FREE! Dive into culture with Hawaiian music, food, hands-on activities, prizes and more. The atmosphere was so welcoming and learning about the ocean ecosystem was so interesting because I could relate to the topic as I spent almost everyday on the beach, just like the locals. Every single face there was smiling and I wish I was able to attend more festivals! Overall the festival was a heart warming experience with people all ages who cared about the enviroment and enjoyed each other’s company!

Rainbow Falls

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Orientation for school started the day after I landed in Hilo. The bus was filled with twelve other international and first time Hawaiians that had smiles from ear to ear. We were ready to explore. The first stop on our adventure was Rainbow Falls.

We get out of the van in awe. The locals can tell we’re tourists due to our behavior. Cameras are in our hands snapping a mile a minute with sound effects coming from our mouths as we “oo and ah” at everything we see.

“This is by far the greatest thing I have ever seen,” is the first thing that came out of my mouth. Being from MA we do not have waterfalls or jungle like environment. I thought it was incredible.

What is so ironic about this story is that my first adventure to rainbow falls was so unbelievable that I did not think anything else could top it. I WAS WRONG. Every single trip I took throughout my time in Hawaii impressed me more than the last one. Hawaii left me speechless. The views I got to see were breath taking; from the sunsets, to the volcanoes, to the lava tubes, to the beaches, to the car rides surrounded by rainforest and ocean. Most of the car rides consisted of us looking for whales in the ocean – by the end of the trip I saw a total of six! I cannot even describe the happiness that these new environments put me in. I was over joyed. Honestly, I could not believe what was happening before my eyes. My time in Hawaii was surreal. It didn’t seem real because everything about it was PERFECT. This is what traveling is all about – appreciating the beauty of a different place!

If you want to be blown away, go to the Big Island of Hawaii.

The adventures are waiting for you.

P.S. What you should know about Rainbow Falls:
1) No fee – IT’S FREE!
2) Big parking lot, don’t worry about it being too busy because there are many places to get great pictures
3) There is a gift shop across the street
4) Can hike up the right side of the site – will see path way
5) After hiking up the right side you can also go into the woods area and cross a little river to play on the rocks that are behind the waterfall, up above – remember to be careful!
6) Do not hike with flip flops – I learned that the hard way
7) WARNING!! DO NOT JUMP IN THE WATER .. you will never be able to get out, plus you’ll probably die from that jump. Harsh but true.