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Hawaii Travel Diary by Lauren Bullen from @gypsea_lust
Images by Khy Orchard and Lauren Bullen

Lauren wears pieces from our Folk Town collection.

We have been following the amazing Lauren over the past year just marvelling at her spectacular travel pics! Originally from our neighbouring town of Lennox Head, Lauren has gone from being a dental assistant full time to a traveller for her blog. These shots from her recent trip to Hawaii were just as gorgeous so we thought we would ask Lauren about how she is now travelling as a career and a bit about Hawaii!

How did you start @gypsea_lust and why?
I started this page in November 14 after spending most of the year abroad and then moving up to Tropical North QLD to continue the adventures. I decided to dedicate my page to my travels and exploring Tropical North QLD & it just all began from there.

It seems like a dream gig! Did you study, and if so what?
It is a pretty dream gig, it has taken a lot of time & hard work to get to this position. I didn’t study anything towards this, just dedicated every spare moment to getting out and exploring the region and self teaching myself how to use a DSLR and editing. I got a lot of inspiration from other Instagrammers which helped me experiment and work harder. There’s always new tricks to learn in this Instagramming world & new goals to reach.

When was the first time you thought this could be a career?
First time I thought this could be a career was when Student Flights contacted me for a 3 week paid trip to Europe. I was given only around 2 weeks notice, and even thought to myself I’d quit my day job for this...Was about 4 months later that I had to lower my role and hours at my 9-5 to be able to pursue this full time.

What are your flying tips for travelling ladies?
Stay Hydrated! This is a must.. I always wear my most comfortable clothes, and bring something warm. Having a small moisturiser on you is never a bad idea either! And lastly I never fly without my toothbrush :-) being an ex-dental assistant I can’t help but feel this is a necessity!

How long does it take to get to Hawaii?
The flight is actually not too bad, 8.5 hours direct from Brisbane to Honolulu (Oahu) We flew with Jetstar and it was an overnight flight – they are always good, if you are good at sleeping on a plane :S

Where did you stay?
We visited 4 of the islands of Hawaii; Oahu, Maui, Kauai and Hawaii (big island).

We stayed at numerous resorts, Heres the long list:

-On Oahu we stayed at Turtle Bay Resort, Which is on the north shore, then the Outrigger on Waikiki Beach.

-On Maui we stayed at the Ka’anapali Beach Hotel & The Plantation Inn.

-Kauai we stayed at the Grand Hyatt at Poipu, and the Courtyard Marriot at coconut beach.

-On Hawaii we stayed at Hapuna Beach Resort, Sheraton at Kona, Shipman House Hilo and Volcano House in Volcanoes National Park.

What was the best part about travelling to different spots?
Well every resort we stayed at were all uniquely gorgeous, and we never had a bad experience :-). We were a bit spoilt to be able to experience so many different resorts across the islands. We had the best experiences on Kauai and Hawai’i Island, most people only visit Oahu and Maui, I would certainly recommend visiting those islands and escaping the busy Oahu.

What were your top three moments in Hawaii?
– Night snorkelling with Manta Rays on Hawai’I Island at the Sheraton Kona. This was such a special experience for me, I’ve never seen a manta ray in the wild and this experience is like no other, they come right up to you and feed on the krill using the lights.

– Helicopter over Napali coast on Kauai, wow I’ve been on a few helicopters over the past year, and this one was super special! There’s no other way to see this incredible coastline. The waterfalls, valleys and lush mountain peaks.

Queens Bath Princeville in Kauai, I’ve dreamt of visiting this spot for such a long time, and when I mentioned this spot to locals they all told me no you can’t see it this time of year, the swell is too big and dangerous. We still decided to go search for it and so happy we did.. We were so so lucky that this day the swell was really flat and it was perfect conditions to see and swim in. People there told us yesterday it was complete opposite, you couldn’t even see the rock pools!

Foodie recommendations?
I went a little acai crazy over in Hawai’i. Had one nearly every day. In Oahu.. didn’t get to have a real fav acai bowl, but I did love the food trucks, we ate at Thai, Indian and Mexican trucks. On Maui my fav acai bowl was at Maka by Mana which is a great vegan café in Paia. The other meals were also to die for here! In Kauai my favourite acai bowl was from a small shop called G’s Juicebar which is in Waimea. I got the Gandi bowl, which is a mix of acai and pitaya...drool. Hawai’i Island in Kona we went to Basik Acai after someone on Snapchat recommended- was not disappointed, acai bowls bigger than my head!! Also the town of Hilo had some great vegan/vegetarian places to eat at!

Best cocktail?
Favourite cocktail was at the Turtle Bay Resort, right on sunset at the Pa’akai restaurant.

How do you pack for a trip usually?
Well the frequency of my trips lately has turned me into a last minute packer.. but depending on the location, usually somewhere warm and tropical, I start with the swim wear- never take any less than 6 pairs (I clearly have an obsession) I’m not a light packer these days either.. I bring as many different outfits as I can, and always set aside my plane outfit. Pack my cosmetics, and then the hardest part is usually which/how many shoes should I bring.. Birks always make the cut!