Hi, everyone! We are amid midterms at USC which is one of the busiest times of the semester, so I just wanted to take some time to sit back and think about relaxing days past. The first thing that comes to mind was the trip I took to Kauai over winter break.


Last December I spent the week in Kauai, and it was one of my favorite trips I took this year. We stayed in Poipu which is on the south side of the island. We rented a car and drove around the island during our stay, so we got to see many different beaches and areas. 


We did a backcountry tubing excursion through the old sugar plantations, which I highly recommend doing if you visit the island. We also visited Queen’s Bath in Princeville on the Northside of the island. This was a short but pretty steep hike down to the water where rocks have created pools of water right alongside the ocean. It can be very dangerous so make sure if you go to check the tides and only go if it is safe to do so. 


We also hiked the Sleeping Giant trail in east Kauai, which is a moderate-level hike with great views of the island. I use the app All Trails to find hikes when I travel. It provides maps, images of the trail from past hikers, and reviews of the hike including safety warnings and difficulty levels. It is a great tool to use to find cool and safe hikes when traveling to new places. Another hike we did was the Maha’ulepu Heritage Trail, which starts at Shipwreck beach. This is a coastal walking trail and you can cut down to the beach and find some great more secluded beaches that are much less crowded. 


One of my favorite days was visiting Waimea Canyon and the Napali Coast. We drove in on the west side and stopped at all the lookout locations and observation decks. There is a visitor center and a small museum we went to along this route. We also hiked the Awa’awapuhi trail which is a 6-mile hike that goes along one of the ridgelines of the Napali Coast. It had incredible views and was my favorite hike we did while there!


In between our hiking adventures, we spent most days lounging on the beaches, snorkeling near our hotel, and soaking in the sunshine. It was a super awesome getaway after finals last semester and was a great reward for the hard work of the semester. I try to plan fun getaways, even if they are small day trips, after each semester which helps me get through the tough nights spent studying!

Peyton Erickson

Peyton Erickson

MAJOR: Mechanical Engineering YEAR: Class of 2024 HOMETOWN: Ventura, California PRONOUNS: she/her/hers INSTA: @peyton.erickson I'm involved with the W.V.T Rusch Honors Engineering Program along with being a member of the Grand Challenge Scholar Program and the Society of Women Engineers. I'm also a member of the 3D4E student organization. Outside of Viterbi, I am involved with the USC Women's soccer team as a manager and a member of SC Outfitters.