Romans in Oahu - Our Move From Kansas to Hawaii

This summer my husband, Andrew, and I did a huge thing. We moved from Kansas, where we both grew up, to Hawaii. It's been a wild adventure, a huge change, and a journey we are excited to share with you guys.

For those of you who don't know, Andrew is in the Coast Guard, and him being stationed in Honolulu is what moved us here. Not that we mind one bit! In order to ship our car to Hawaii, we had to drop it off in LA. Once we knew that had to happen, we started planning a way to make this move a fun trip where we could get the most out of our travels. Driving from Eastern Kansas to Los Angeles is quite a feat, so we decided to mix it up by stopping for a few days in Joshua Tree National Park for some hiking and exploring.

From there we flew from LAX to Honolulu, and began the crazy process of getting settled on the island. Within two weeks from arriving to the island we had already found a church, met the kindest friend at church, Erica (who also happened to be a realtor!), went to a luau, explored a beach on each side of the island, went snorkelling multiple times, bought a crappy craigslist car, found the perfect little island home to buy, and got our bid accepted for that house! It's been a crazy whirlwind, and God has been so faithful watching over us through it all. It's still taking time to settle in, but already Oahu is starting to feel like home.

In the process of this move I wanted to invite you guys into our adventure and show you what we've been up to the past month! So I made a video of our trip and move to Hawaii, and you can watch it below! I hope you guys enjoy this sneak peek into our big life change! Let me know what you think, and if you have any questions about the move and getting settled in Hawaii I'd be more than happy to answer them!

Mahalo + enjoy! ;) 

Lindsey Roman is an adventurous, destination wedding and intimate elopement photographer based out of Oahu, Hawaii and available worldwide. She lives for outdoor adventures, intimate moments, and candid images. Her style is raw, passionate, and authentic. She believes in chasing sunsets, laughing too hard, and most importantly: capturing genuine moments that evoke feeling over perfectly posed photographs.

Utah Trip '16 to '17 Part 3 - Zion National Park


This past December and January, Andrew, his mom, and I took a road trip out to Utah to explore 3 of the state's best National Parks: Arches, Bryce Canyon, and Zion. I've already written blog posts about our adventures at Arches (read HERE) and Bryce Canyon (read HERE), so this post is going to be dedicated all to Zion.

This was our first time visiting Zion, and we had heard it was one of the best parks in the national park system. Zion truly did not disappoint, and we are really looking forward to going back and exploring more of this phenomenal park. If you've never been, Zion is definitely a bucket list trip you MUST take. The views are unreal, and there is so much beauty to behold all over the park. We went in the middle of winter which has its pros and cons. A huge pro: the park is way less busy than during summer. You can actually drive the main road instead of taking a shuttle. During peak season that's not possible, and I've heard you may be waiting on buses for a long time. However that said, there are a few cons. Snow and ice are big ones. Some of the trails were impassible because of ice and snow. However, on our last day we kind of threw caution to the wind on that... but more on that later. Below I'm going to take you through what we did specifically during our trip there, and tips for you if you're planning your own Zion adventure in the near future!



Our first day was only a half day, since we were driving there from Bryce Canyon. The first thing we did upon entering Zion was head to the Visitor Center. We do this first at every National Park we go to because we like talking to the rangers about what they recommend most. I mean, the people who live and work there every day know much more than we do, so we value their opinion! The only thing we did that afternoon was the Riverside Walk hike.

  • Riverside Walk Hike - Easy - 2.2 miles roundtrip - This is a super easy, paved, flat trail that goes along the Narrows river. If you are active and able to take on more difficult hikes, I would honestly only do this if you're hiking it to get to the Narrows (which is a hike through the river found at the end of this trail.) We did it the first day because we were pretty tired, and just looking for something low key. This hike is wonderful for people a bit older and less able to do more strenuous hiking. It offers you some really incredible Zion views.

That's the only hike we did on Day 1. We really just wanted to get a sense of Zion first, and create a plan of action on how to plan our remaining days. 


DAY 2 

Our second day in Zion was probably my favorite. We had decided the day before that we were going to tackle The Narrows. Even though a lot of people don't try this hike in the winter, we were determined to make it work while we were there, and I'm SOOOO glad we did. Holy moly, this hike is amazing.

  • The Narrows - Difficult - 9.4 miles roundtrip - We almost didn't do this hike because of the time of year we were visiting Zion: winter. However, after doing our research on Day 1, we realized the weather on Day 2 was perfect, and if you rent the correct equipment it's very doable. If you don't know, the Narrows is a long, strenuous hike through a slot canyon filled with water. First off, if you're thinking about doing this hike, please watch the weather before attempting it. Flash floods can occur very quickly, and put you in a dangerous situation. If there is no rain in the forecast, you should be safe. Secondly, if you're hiking this in the winter, do yourself a HUGE favor and rent a dry suit before going. There are multiple places in Springdale (the town right outside of Zion) that have dry suits available for rent to hike the Narrows. I rented mine (shown in the photo above) from Zion Outfitter located literally right outside the entrance of the park in Springdale. I got the Dry Bib Package for $45 that comes with a dry suit, neoprene socks, canyoneering shoes, a walking stick, and a dry bag to keep things in so they don't get wet. Andrew on the other hand, got extremely lucky and found a fisherman wader outfit at a thrift store in Moab, and used that. If you're going in winter, I 100% recommend renting a dry bib suit. I wasn't cold at all, and the gear made the hike extremely fun. If you only do one hike in Zion I would highly recommend this one. Just please do your research on weather and equip yourself properly before you go!

Believe it or not, after we hiked the Narrows, we did another hike with Andrew's mom, Alice, that same day. We go hard ya'll. We wanted something semi easy so Alice could do it, but something that provided KILLER views. So we chose the Canyon Overlook Trail.

  • Canyon Overlook Trail - Moderate - 1 mile roundtrip - This hike is on the east side of the park, and it's a pretty easy trail that has an incredibly rewarding view when you get to the lookout. There are some steep parts, but overall, a very doable hike! After hiking the Narrows, which offers very specific slot canyon views, seeing the view at the end of this hike was super rewarding. It's exactly what I was expecting from what I had heard about "Zion Views." It's incredible. The photos below are from the viewpoint on this hike. 


It rained a ton on Day 3 for us, so we did as much hiking as we were able, which turned into 2 small hikes. 

  • Weeping Rock Trail - Easy - 0.4 miles roundtrip - This is a super easy, short hike. I probably wouldn't go back, but that's just because I'm more of an intense hike kind of girl. Weeping rock is a little mini waterfall that flows over some rocks. You can walk behind the water and watch the droplets come down. If you want something short and sweet, this hike is for you!
  • Upper Emerald Pools - Moderate - 3.2 miles roundtrip from Kayenta and ending at Zion Lodge - This hike offers a bunch of views of some incredible waterfalls. However, since we went when it was raining, it enhanced the waterfalls a lot. Good for waterfall views, bad for actually getting up to the Upper Emerald Pool. So unfortunately we were only able to go to the Middle Emerald Pool. Regardless, this hike is really fun, and easy! 


Remember when I say we go hard? Well, this was our last day in Zion, and we were pretty hell bent on hiking one of the most iconic hikes in the entire National Park system: Angels Landing. The only kicker was that it had snowed and iced pretty heavily the night before. So in all honestly this probably wasn't the smartest decision, but we really wanted to make the most out of our trip. So on our last day in Zion... we hiked Angels Landing to the very top in the ice and snow. I 100% recommend hiking Angels Landing if you visit Zion; however, I can't in good conscious recommend doing it the way we did. It was pretty dangerous; and though I do not regret it at all, it was pretty terrifying.

  • Angels Landing - Difficult - 5.4 miles roundtrip - There's a reason this is one of the best hikes in the country. It's insanely beautiful the entire way up. Alice went with us up until we got to Scout's Lookout. For most people afraid of heights, that is a great place to stop. However, for the adventure seekers, the remainder of the hike up to the very top of Angel’s Landing is another 0.7 miles on a finn rock with huge drop offs on both sides. The trail is roughly 4.5-5 feet wide with plenty of chains, guard-rails, and carved steps to help you hike. Angel's Landing is probably pretty nerve-wracking in perfect weather, but when there is ice and snow on the ground, you better believe I was holding those chains for dear life. If you think we are crazy, we probably are. However, we weren't the only crazy people going up to the top that day. We at least had enough sense to wear chains on our feet to help grip the ice and snow. Enjoy some photos below of my petrified self trying to make it to the top... 

Nervously laughing to calm my fears... probably. ;) 


Ultimately, I'm glad we hiked it. Because once we got to the top, we were met with this view (below). We even made a few friends at the top. However, if you hike Angel's Landing, please do it in better weather. Save yo'self the stress. 

That, my friends, ends my winter Utah road trip blog series! I hope reading about our travels encouraged you to get out and visit some of Utah's amazing National Parks yourself! Arches, Bryce Canyon, and Zion have some incredible sights unlike no other. I cannot recommend these three parks enough!

If you have any questions about any of the hikes we did in Zion, or any of those three parks, feel free to leave me a comment below and I'll answer them!! Happy traveling!

Lindsey Roman is an adventurous, destination wedding and elopement photographer based out of Oahu, Hawaii and available worldwide. She lives for outdoor adventures, intimate moments, and candid images. Her style is raw, passionate, and authentic. She believes in chasing sunsets, laughing too hard, and most importantly: capturing genuine moments that evoke feeling over perfectly posed photographs.

5 Ways We Make Travel a Priority

A lot of people ask me how Andrew, my husband, and I travel so much. I think people ask this question, because as a society, traveling is associated in our minds with vacations, and multiple vacations seem to equal lots of time and money. It's really easy to write off travel as something you can't do because of your resources, finances, or life circumstances. However, Andrew and I have been able to make travel happen for us despite circumstances that might say otherwise (especially in the past year), and I wanted to give you guys some helpful tips on how YOU can travel, no matter your budget, your job, or where you live. 

Andrew and I got married last May, roughly a year ago. This past year was arguably the most frugal (or lets just be real - poor) we've ever been and probably will ever be. We were newlyweds, Andrew was still a student, and I had just quit any secure job I had to go full time in my photography business. Yet, despite those circumstances, we visited the Dominican Republic, Wisconsin, Great Sand Dune National Park, Big Bend National Park, Dallas, Arches National Park, Bryce Canyon National Park, Zion National Park, Denver, Charlottesville, Washington D.C., Great Smoky Mountain National Park, New Jersey, Death Valley National Park, San Francisco, and Northern California. In addition, I visited Los Angeles, Joshua Tree National Park, Orlando, Denver (again), Grand Canyon National Park, Sedona, Horseshoe Bend, and Antelope Canyon.

Looking back on all of the places we've visited in the past year, I could easily just say we're blessed. And while I'm not negating that at all, (I know some of our circumstances have made us really fortunate), I also know for a fact it's much more than that. The overarching reason Andrew and I have been able to travel to a total of 16 places together in the past year is because of this: we've made traveling a priority in our lives. It's that simple. When you put traveling as a top priority in your life, you're going to live in a way that makes it happen. Below are the 5 main ways we made travel a priority in the first year of our marriage. If you're a fellow travel lover, and are looking for ways to implement it more into your life, I hope these tips refresh your perspective and encourage you to pack your bags and hit the road! 

1) Make Time for Travel

I've heard so many people say things like, "Oh, I wish I had time to travel," or "I'm not in a season of life where I can travel right now." Guys, here's the thing: travel isn't going to happen for you unless you make time for it. It requires a bit of sacrifice, of choosing to use your days off or weekends to make it happen. Even if you're in the craziest season of life, I truly believe that anyone can travel with the right amount of sacrifice and planning. And if you really are in a situation where you think you absolutely cannot, that's okay! I understand seasons bring about different opportunities or lack there of, and people may have different priorities during different seasons of life. I'm strictly speaking to those who desire to travel, but feel like their life circumstances aren't letting them. If I just described you, I want you to hear me for a second: Everything you do in life is a choice, and if you really want to make travel a priority in your life, you're going to have to give up certain things in order to make that happen.

Here's an example: August to December of 2016 was Andrew's last semester of his undergraduate college degree. This meant he had classes every Monday through Friday, with very minimal breaks. One might say that as a student, your travel opportunities are zero. Well that wasn't flying for us. ;) So what did we do? We took a trip on every break he had that semester. He had a Monday off for Labor Day, so he skipped his class the Friday before, and we went to the Great Sand Dunes in Colorado that weekend. He had a Monday and Tuesday off for Fall break in October, so we went a little farther to Big Bend National Park in Texas. Even though those both were pretty small weekend breaks, we took those opportunities to travel because it was a priority for us. We could have easily done other things those weekends, but we made time for what was important: spending time together while exploring new places. No matter if you're a student, or if you have a job where you only have weekends off, you can use those tiny little breaks as an opportunity to travel, especially if they aren't very far away.

2) Your Trips Don't Have To Be Ritz Carlton Rendezvous

Most people think traveling is super expensive. While it definitely can be, there are loads of ways to be able to travel for super cheap. Like I said above, this past year we were living way below the average income for our area. Andrew was still a student, so he couldn't work a full time job, and I had just left any secure job to start a full time photography business. Ha. We were flying on 100% faith to even pay our bills, let alone travel. And amazingly enough, God provided. Here are a few ways Andrew and I were able to travel for super cheap:

  • We drove everywhere. No really. Except for the Dominican Republic and New Jersey, every place I listed above that both Andrew and I went to this past year, we drove. Driving is WAY cheaper than flying, and if you don't mind putting miles on your car, it's a great way to travel for cheap.
  • We prepped meals beforehand. I married a MASTER travel meal planner ya'll! Before every trip he would make a list, get everything we needed from the store, and even prep and precook a couple of things for the road. Not only did this save us a TON of money not having to eat out, but it's also so much healthier! For our trip to Big Bend, we were on the Whole 30, and if any of you have ever done that, eating out is nearly impossible, especially on the road. His meal preps were a life saver. 
  • Airbnb was our best friend. We use this app literally every single trip we go on. You've probably either heard of it by now, or have used it yourself, but if not, it's an app that let's you find awesome places to stay no matter where in the world you go. Oftentimes you can find great deals for cheap, while staying with really nice hosts. It can definitely help cut costs down because you can usually find cheaper options than hotels. I cannot recommend it enough. :)
  • We used Google to find the cheapest gas on our route. Every time we got to half tank, I would look on Google Maps for gas stations along our route and compared prices. Even though this isn't a huge money saver (gas is still gas), when you're trying to travel on a low budget, pinching any and all pennies helps!
  • We spent our money on experiences instead of things. Neither of us are big on buying souvenirs (honestly, I look at the photos I take as priceless souvenirs haha). So we don't buy merchandise or spend our money on extravagant excursions. Most places we go are National Parks, so we decided to get a National Park Annual Pass to save money. The only other thing we buy when going to parks is a single post card from each. Adventuring and hiking in National Parks is super cheap, and an experience unlike any other. To us, that's much more valuable than staying in fancy hotels or buying 6 t-shirts for every place we go. The only exception to this is when we think an experience IS worth our money (like the time we bought a day long excursion to snorkel on Catalina Island during our Honeymoon, or when we rented dry suits to hike The Narrows in Zion in January.) 

3) Use Your Money Wisely

In addition to being intentional and wise with your money while traveling, there's a lot of ways to save money with how you spend it in your lifestyle. So that way you DO have money for trips. Even during our season of having a super low income last year, there were ways Andrew and I saved our money in order to spend it traveling and doing what we loved.

  • We rented a reeaallly cheap, tiny apartment. The Midwest is known for having a pretty low cost of living, but we went even lower when it came to finding an apartment to rent. We saved a lot of money that way by choosing to live in a place that was really cheap. Our apartment was about $300 less than the average rent for our area. Right there's a plane ticket or gas money for a trip to Big Bend. ;) 
  • We didn't spend money on shopping. Now I'm a girl, and I can always get behind a little shopping spree every now and then, but I don't think I bought one new item of clothing last year. If I did it was probably from a thrift store. ;) This is a 180 degree change from high school me, but as I've grown up I've realised that I'd much rather invest in experiencing life to the fullest with my husband, than wear the newest dress from J. Crew. That's just my personal preference. I know everyone has different priorities, but if I'm being honest that is a HUGE way we saved money for trips this past year: no shopping. 
  • We don't eat out very much. I have to credit this one completely to my husband. If I didn't have him to cook, I would spend SO much money on eating out. However, Andrew is a phenomenal cook and has that super rad skill of pulling any random thing left in the fridge and making a bomb meal out of it. I don't know how he does it. He's the best.
  • We made a budget and stuck to it. I know it's hard. No one wants to sit down and do the not-fun work of crunching numbers, but knowing EXACTLY how much you can spend on something per month has a way of giving you a reality check. In addition to that, we put our money and faith in God first, necessities second, and wants third. The top of every pay check we received went to tithing and giving, then to savings, next to covering our bases: debt, emergency fund, bills, and living expenses, then finally our lifestyle or "fun money." Doing this made us super diligent with our finances and made us accountable to put first things first, instead of just blowing everything on traveling. 

4) Don't Use Where You Live As An Excuse


Listen, I'm from Kansas, born and raised. I grew up in a tiny town in the dead center of the state. If there is anyone who lived far away from anything quote on quote "worth seeing" it was me. It's funny, for as much as we love National Parks, if you actually look at a map of all the National Parks in the USA, you'll see a sad lack of them in the entire midwest. I could maybe even go as far to say we live in the one location that is literally the farthest away from any of them. I mean just look at the map to the right.... It's almost comical.... almost. Ok, ok, so maybe Iowa wins at being farthest away from any of them, but the POINT is, we don't live close to any of them whatsoever.

Now, I'm not trying to rag on Kansas, because it will always hold a special place in my heart, but I do mention this because it would be really easy for us to say, "Oh we can't travel, because we don't live near anything 'awesome.'" All that means is that it takes a little more planning and strategy in order to travel; it doesn't make it impossible. Just because you don't live in California or Florida or Utah (or anywhere people usually vacation to) doesn't mean you can't travel. Honestly, I used to hate living in Kansas because of that exact reason - I thought nothing cool was there, and in order to go anywhere worth while it took a plane ticket. However, the more I've traveled, the more I've grown to appreciate Kansas and where I'm from. I stopped believing the lie that nothing awesome was in the Midwest, and when I actually took the time to explore my own state with fresh eyes, I realized Kansas IS actually pretty rad. So no matter where you live, I'm willing to bet there are great places worth visiting right in your own backyard. Maybe it just means opening your mind a bit to those possibilities. 

5) Choose a Career That Allows You to Travel

Finally, take this one with a grain of salt. I know not every career will have travel opportunities, and if you're super passionate about a job that isn't travel focused, I'm not here to tell you to up and quit. What I am saying, is that if you're flexible with what you want to do in life, and are that passionate about traveling, then be intentional about what career you choose!

Full disclosure: I'm not going to lie to you and say every place we went in the past year was on our own initiative. It wasn't, and that's the truth. Both Andrew and I have intentionally chosen careers that allow us to travel well and travel often. I chose entrepreneurship as a photographer because I LOVED the freedom it gave me working from anywhere I wanted. I also adore shooting clients in adventurous locations, so oftentimes my traveling IS for my work. And I freaking love it. Andrew chose a career in the Coast Guard, because we knew that job would move us around pretty frequently, usually to coastal places with beaches and mountains and things we loved. I mean, his job IS moving us to Hawaii come July, so I'd say it's doing exaclty what we wanted it to do. ;) 

We both intentionally chose careers we loved, that offered the opportunity and freedom to travel. And there's no reason you can't do the same. Especially in the age of social media, working remotely from home or anywhere in the world has become more popular than ever. When thinking about what you want to do in life, get creative! Whether that's specifically applying for remote, work-from-home jobs, or becoming your own boss and starting a business, if you want that extra freedom to travel more than just weekends or vacation days once a year, there are definitely ways to do it!

So there you have it, friends. These 5 tips are exactly how Andrew and I were able to travel a ton in our first year of marriage. More often than not, people who travel frequently aren't lucky, they are very intentional about making it so. While it can look pretty glamorous from the outside, just know there's a lot of sacrifices you have to make in order to make travel a priority in your life. I hope these 5 tips help you if you have a heart for traveling, but keep getting hung up on ways to actually make it happen. I pray you feel empowered to chase after those God-given dreams of your heart, and live the life you've always dreamed of. Hopefully I'll see you out there on the road! Or you know... in Hawaii, cause starting July, that's where you'll find me. ;)  

Lindsey Roman is an adventurous, destination wedding and elopement photographer based out of Oahu, Hawaii and available worldwide. She lives for outdoor adventures, intimate moments, and candid images. Her style is raw, passionate, and authentic. She believes in chasing sunsets, laughing too hard, and most importantly: capturing genuine moments that evoke feeling over perfectly posed photographs.