Lets see a run down of our highlights of the week from one of our Hawaii Programs!

Thank you for sharing Hawaii E!

Who is that up there
Is that a dominant manWhat is he doing
Waterfall Gap Year


I got the chance to go skydiving. It was one of the most insane moments of my life and the 60 seconds of free fall felt like 10. It’s something I’m so happy I did, and I can’t wait to try it again.

Sky Dive Gap Year


This evening we went to China Falls and we had quite the experience. We showed up to people drinking and partying. We thought of leaving but we stayed. We went to a different section and we sat on the rocks down near the water. It was super pretty and we listened to Caroline’s music while taking in the view of the water and the island. It was very pretty and it was such an amazing memory!! I really miss that moment a lot!! It was a turning point for me definitely because I became more grateful to be in Hawaii and I was so happy to be here with everyone.

Sunset Gap Travel


One of the first times where the group felt like a family was at Starseed Ranch. After a long day of service and processing awa, we were lucky enough to participate in an awa ceremony with Dash, the owner of the farm, and people who worked there. As we spent the evening talking to each other while the sun set, I felt a sense of comfort and family in the group that I hadn’t felt before. 


This photo is from a few weeks into our trip when we visited Pu’uhonua O Honaunau National Historical Park. We learned about Hawaiian cultural and archeological history. Notably, we saw a royal fishpond, an ancient temple, and a sacred wall surrounding a place of refuge. 

Historic visit gap year

After exploring the park, we walked a short ways down the shore to one of the Big Island’s most famous snorkeling spots. 


Kualoa Ranch was really cool! We went on a movie tour of the whole property and saw sets and props from shows and movies like Jumanji, Jurassic Park, Lost, the Biggest Loser, 50 first dates, and the brady bunch all in one day. We piled onto a green school bus with the windows removed and had our own section of the bus just for PD. Our tour guide was really cool and loved taking those fun pictures with the dinosaur. It was so beautiful and a great day.

Jurassic Park Gap Semester


After a long and tiring hike down into Waipio valley, our group rested up on a beautiful black sand beach with views of the green mountains surrounding us. The group dared to play around in the giant north shore waves riding a couple and getting very sandy. Then, guided by John (our host from the farm) we hiked further into the valley and found an amazing water fall with four magical pools. 


Week 2- Our first official hike! We started the day at 5am and headed down the captain cook trail. On the way down the group chatted and got to know each-other a bit better.   As we hiked the sun started to rise, turning the sky and clouds beautiful shades of coral and pink! It was an amazing moment to be able to see some of the natural beauty this island has to share, and I felt very grateful to be in Hawaii with such cool people:)


Cooking while camping makes us get extra creative. one night while people roasted hotdogs over the fire, Eleanor, Riya, and I (the three vegetarians) placed bell peppers onto sticks and roasted them, put them into our hotdog buns, doused them in ketchup, and with a side of mac and cheese enjoyed one of the most interesting, creative, and surprisingly not disgusting meals of the trip :)

Meal Gap Year


Pacific Discovery. Where magical views are seen

Epic waterfall


The Waipio Valley hike was incredibly steep and strenuous, but it was all worth it. The walk down took no time at all and we jumped into the waves at the beach once we got to the bottom. We saw wild horses and and swam in waterfalls too! This sacred place was so beautiful and I would love to do it again


The highlight of the week was expectingly our skydiving experience. Much of us were laden with fear both never having gone before and having a healthy distrust of heights. Observing how each of us grappled with that fear was an interesting sight. In my own experience, I bottled up the fear; refusing to acknowledge it’s presence until I was sitting on the plane with the wind pouring through the open door and into my face. My heart raced as I was forced to come to terms with how I’d be stepping off the plane at 16,000 feet. The surreal experience felt almost dreamlike until I was ushered to the ledge, and jumped. The most interesting and unexpected thing came next, the fear evaporated almost immediately and I was left with nothing but blue skies. Not  three seconds after I took the leap was all my dread and all my doubts flushed out, replaced by nothing but adrenaline and joy. When I touched the ground and reality with it, my peers all shared similar experiences. This all left me with one takeaway, fear is all in the mind, and once you face it and conquer it, you’ll know you can truly do anything.

Skydive Gap year

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Author Pacific Discovery Outreach Posted

Program Hawaii Departure Spring 2021