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Around the world with Julie and Marc: A lesson from Hawaii!

Join globetrotting teachers (and Educators clients) Julie and Marc Goulet one month into their ‘1 over 2’

When we last left off, schoolteachers and Educators clients Julie and Marc Goulet were preparing to leave on their global adventure…

Now the teachers are the students. An entire world their classroom—and their first ‘lesson’: how to spend a month in Hawaii.

Greetings fellow educators… or should we say, aloha!

We’re well into our around the world adventure—and we thought we’d spend this first update sharing our month-long tour of the Hawaiian Islands.

It all kicked off on the island of Kauai (known as the ‘Garden Island’)—and not even jet lag could stop us from hiking the Waimea Canyon the day we arrived. What a beauty! If you’re into scenic landscapes, the greenery of Kauai will definitely blow you away with its multicolored eucalypts trees, not to mention the perfume of the plumeria (white flowers used to make leis)… absolutely breathtaking.

For our second week, we hopped a short flight to Maui where had an almost ‘other worldly’ experience hiking up the extinct volcano Haleakala to see its crater. While there, we discovered the ‘Silversword’—a unique flowering plant of the volcanic region that can live up to 50 years, flowers only once, then dies. So don’t blink or you might miss it in its full on ‘flowering’ glory.

We also braved driving the famous, or should we say, ‘infamous’ Hāna Highway.

What makes this highway particularly worth mentioning is that while only about 84 kilometres long, it takes roughly two and half hours to drive because there are approximately 620 curves in it and 59 bridge crossings (46 of which are single-lane). So needless to say you had better hit the bathroom before hitting the Hāna because there is definitely NO stopping along the way.

Our next island hop was to the Big Island of Hawaii with its five volcanoes, one of which (‘Kilauea’) is still active. While there, we were fortunate enough to experience the lava desert around Hawaii’s National Volcano Park—which pretty much consists of close to half the area of the island. Although it’s the most active volcano on Earth, Kilauea is considered ‘friendly’—constantly ‘saying’ aloha to visitors with its fumes of smoke by day, while the fiery glow of lava from inside its crater becomes visible after sunset.

Since we were in a mood to some more volcano exploring, we decided to drive up the dormant volcano of Mauna Kea (the highest volcano on Big Island) to see the home of the greatest telescopes in the world. But Mother Nature had other plans for us since roughly 9,000 feet into the 13,796-foot drive a sudden snowstorm at the top forced us to turn back. Oh well, c’est la vie.

Other Hawaiian highlights included swimming and snorkeling in hot springs and sea pools; walking barefoot along green and black sand beaches; taking leisurely strolls along Waikiki beach; standing on the southernmost point of the USA, where the air is the cleanest in the world; and observing Dole plantation workers harvesting pineapples (now we’ll never look at a pineapple at the grocery store without thinking about the LONG journey it took to get there).

All in all we spent a wonderful month of discovery in Hawaii. However the reality that this trip wasn’t just ‘summer vacation’ finally hit when the end of August rolled around. While our colleagues were busy planning and organizing to start another school year, we had nothing to organize except our luggage as we prepared to leave for our next destination: ‘Down Under’ (or Australia as it’s also known).

Which makes this a good point to leave you for now.

Until next time, aloha!

Julie and Marc

Foods experienced by Julie and Marc while in Hawaii:

  • Many local fruits grown on the islands of Hawaii including pineapple, passion fruit (lilikoi), apple bananas, papaya, lychee, dragon fruit, rambutan, snake fruit and avocado
  • Poke (a raw fish salad that is served as an appetizer)
  • Sushi (popular due to the Asian origin of many Hawaiians)
  • Saimen (a noodle soup with eggs, pork and fish cake)
  • Loco moco (rice, pork, gravy, and fried eggs)
  • Shave Ice (sometimes we get more snow during Canadian winters than we know what to do with, well in Hawaii the locals make snow, add flavor syrups to it, then sell it as a treat!)

Hawaiian traditions:

  • Aloha is used as a greeting (hello, goodbye) but also means affection, peace and compassion
  • Before entering a home, you first take off your shoes (or flip flops in this case)
  • A hand wave in Hawaii is given with the thumb and small finger out and the three remaining fingers folded (legend has it this tradition started ‘once upon a time’ when the caretaker of a school, whose three middle fingers had been lost due to an accident, waved goodbye to a group of schoolboys at the end of the day. The boys, not seeing his missing fingers, thought it was the way to wave… and so waved back accordingly)

A few other Hawaiian ‘did you knows’:

  • Hawaii is the ‘Aloha State’
  • It’s the only state that had a king (King Kamehameha)
  • The white flowers used to make leis are called ‘plumeria’
  • There is no ferry service between the Hawaiian Islands
  • The Hawaiian alphabet is comprised of only 13 letters
  • The first people of Hawaii came from Polynesia and are called ‘locals’ who still carry on many of their traditional beliefs and ways
  • Waimea Canyon in Kauai is known as the ‘Grand Canyon of the Pacific’
  • Since Hawaii is U.S. state, leaving Hawaii to go the ‘states’ is called going to the ‘mainland’

Do you have dreams of taking a 4 over or 5?

Educators Financial Group helped Julie and Marc put a financial plan together to save for their yearlong global adventure. We’d be happy to help you work towards spending YOUR year away, however and wherever you want. Contact us today!

Wish you could join Julie and Marc on their global adventure? Well, you can in our yearlong feature: ‘Around the world with Julie and Marc’.

Travel vicariously along with Julie and Marc Goulet as they provide us with stories and photos as they discover each exciting destination! Keep checking back to our website for the latest on these two travelling teachers.

Read more:

Around the world with Julie and Marc: One couple. One year. 13 destinations.

Around the world with Julie and Marc: A lesson from Hawaii!

Around the world with Julie and Marc: Exploring the depths of Oceania.

Around the world with Julie and Marc: The latest from ‘Down Under’ and beyond…

Around the world with Julie and Marc: Good morning (from) Vietnam.

Around the world with Julie and Marc: The not-so-direct journey home.



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