Ke'e beach Family / Hawaii / Travel

It’s been two weeks since we left Costa Rica for our new home in Malaysia, and even though we’re not there yet (we’ll be there in a few hours) we’ve been loving the journey. After leaving Costa Rica, we stopped to visit friends and family in Utah, Washington, and Hawaii. Here are some recent pictures and a summary of the past two weeks.

First, before we left Costa Rica, we had a flock of parrots visit us in our backyard. It was a pleasant send-off. Our friends, the Bustillos, also brought their whole family to our house at 4:00 a.m. to take us to airport. So sweet! We will miss them, and all the friends we made in Costa Rica!

Parrots in our backyard in Escazu

Our time in Salt Lake City was short, but we threw a “Meet Baby Aysia Party” where lots of family and friends came to say hi, meet the baby, and wish us well on our travels. It was so nice to see everyone who came. I just wish we had more time to visit.

All my siblings

After Utah, we had a long layover in Seattle, so we met with my mom and took the light rail to the International district for some dim sum lunch. It was cold there, but the trees were covered in beautiful autumn colors, and of course it was great to see my mom. We would also see more of her in Hawaii the following week. We were lucky that our trip to Hawaii corresponded with my aunt’s trip there (she is a frequent traveler to Kauai). And my sister came to celebrate her landmark birthday of 11/11/11, so my mom decided to join in the fun, too. We all had a great time together!

Oahu, Hawaii

Our first couple days on Hawaii — before we met up with my family — were spent on Oahu. The first day, I took care of some financial and business stuff that popped up, notarizing and mailing documents, etc. After that, we walked around Waikiki, did a little shopping, enjoyed the art galleries and took a peek at the beach.

We spent our second night and day with some friends, the Gledhills, who also happened to be visiting Oahu when we were. They were gracious enough to let us stay in the second bedroom of their Marriott timeshare and feed us dinner and breakfast. Ruth is also an art teacher and taught the girls some watercolor techniques, which was fun. Such sweet people. The next day, we all stopped at a beautiful lookout point over northern Oahu, visited the replica of the Byoudo-in Buddhist Temple, and finished up the day at the Polynesian Cultural Center, where we enjoyed learning about the different cultures, languages, dress, songs, and dances from the surrounding islands.

Na'uanu Pali lookout

At byoudo-in temple replica on Oahu

Tahitian Dancers

Kauai, Hawaii

Once we flew to Kauai, we were soon joined by my aunt and her family (including many of my cousins), my sister, and my mom on the north shore in Princeville. It’s so beautiful there! The mountains on both Oahu and Kauai are striking and dramatic, with numerous waterfalls cascading down, and green everywhere.

My beautiful wife on Kauai

I simply couldn’t capture on camera how beautiful the scene below was. The rays of light from the sun were shining through and creating magnificent colors and contrasts across the Hanalei valley. And this photo only includes a small portion of the panorama.


One day, we went snorkeling at Ke’e beach, near the Na Pali coast. We saw a sea turtle resting under a rock, and a monk seal that came up on shore to sunbathe. We also took a short hike up the first 1/2 mile of the trail to Na Pali to see the views, including this gorgeous one of the beach we snorkeled at.

Ke'e beach

One evening we took a short walk with my sister down to Hideaway beach to look at the tide pools, where we saw some cool sea life, and of course a beautiful sunset.

Sunset at Hideaway beach, Kauai

Besides this, we spent the week hanging out with family, playing games, swimming, snorkeling, kayaking, hiking (including a barefoot hike through disgusting and slippery mud), visiting the Kilauea lighthouse/bird sanctuary, shopping, eating, and being silly and laughing together, especially my sister and me who can’t help but be goofy when we get together.

My awesome sister, Ashley

It’s difficult to compare Costa Rica to Hawaii. Both are tropical destinations with beautiful scenery and a relaxed culture. Hawaii’s mountains are definitely more striking, and they have the added benefit of no poisonous snakes or dangerous crocodiles, and being developed to U.S. standards of cleanliness, causing me to feel safer there. However, it is also much more expensive. For example, I was used to paying 80 cents for a pineapple in Costa Rica, but in Hawaii, it’s $6-8! Of course, you can live on the cheaper end (we met a family who is paying $6/day to camp out at the beach in a trailer), but food is very expensive in Hawaii.

Overall, it was a fantastic trip from beginning to end. It was so great to be able to spend time with our family and friends and be in such beautiful places. We’ll miss you all and look forward to the next time we can get together.

Brandon is a location independent entrepreneur, musician, worldschooling father, and the principal author of this blog. He's all about reaching his potential and enjoying life to the fullest in each moment.


  1. It was so great to see you and your darling family. Now you are off on your next adventure and I look forward to hearing all about Malaysia as you settle in and get to know the area!

  2. Such a fun trip – so glad I was able to arrange to be there with all of you. I absolutely love that sunset photo at Hideaways…. and the view of Ke’e.

    Food in Hawaii is expensive. Being so isolated, they have to ship so much in that it really adds to the cost. But you’d think a pineapple would be less! I do think you can pick some up from independent growers for $4 – $5 each, but even that is a lot more than Costa Rican pineapple.

    It’s sure a wonderful place to visit, though, despite the cost of food.

    Sadly, the costs of living there have taken their toll on the native population… only 10% of the residents of Hawaii are native Hawaiian/Polynesian. Just too hard to make a living/support a family there… The largest segment of the population is Asian.

  3. What a beautiful journey !

    Hope to see you soon in Singapore. :)

  4. Um… weird. I posted a comment last night, but it looks like it didn’t show up. If it did, you can delete this one :)

    I am SO happy I was able to spend this time with you and your fabulously fun family (I love alliteration) in Hawaii! It was so much fun being goofy and silly with you. I am also very glad that our girls had such a great time playing together non-stop :)

    Can’t wait to see/read about your new adventures in Malaysia!

  5. Thanks for the update. It was so wonderful having you here in SL for a couple of days. Y0ur girls are ( all 4 of them are.even more beautiful than the last time I saw them.
    When you left the house felt quiet and lonely. , But it was wonderful while you were here :-))
    Your trip to Hawaii sure looked and sounded FUN!
    We’re looking forward to you next post telling us of your arrival in your new home.
    Love you all.

  6. Jennifer Pearce Says: November 15, 2011 at 7:41 am

    It was quite a lot of traveling in such a short period of time from beginning to end, but very worth it. It was wonderful to see everyone, and feel your love and support. Thank you for making the time for us, we really appreciate it. :) It was also my first time to Hawaii and I enjoyed it immensely. Especially loved the beautiful beaches and water and breathtaking mountains. I think we saw a rainbow every single day we were there. Amazing. I think my favorite activity was making the flower leis. Thank you so much, Kristin, for that beautiful (and fragrant!) gift!

  7. Hi Brandon, I’m going to Kauai for a week with Asheya (no kids)–which part do you recommend we stay on, and anything you particularly recommend to do?

    • Hi Eric, sounds like fun! There is a lot to do there and it depends on what you enjoy. We really enjoyed staying in Princeville, and there is plenty to do on the North shore. Hanalei and Ke’e are gorgeous beaches. My aunt is an expert on Kauai and spends a lot of time there (in fact, she’ll be there this week) She’s made a website where she gives lots of great recommendations on everything from accommodations to activities and more. Check it out at:

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