In April of 2011, my friend called me out of the blue and said, “we’re backpacking in Hawai’i in three weeks and one of our group dropped out, do you want to come?” I did some quick math, and for the first time in my life, I realized I could actually afford such a trip. “Yes.” I bought the plane tickets and we all went to REI for me to gear up. I had camped before, but this was my first backpacking trip ever. We spent five days on the Big Island and five on Kauai. What an incredible place!