I crave adventure. But I’ll readily admit my day-to-day hardly has me hiking the Dolomites or plunging in the Great Barrier Reef. Living and working in New York City—surrounded by concrete and slogging away at my computer day in and day out—often leaves me feeling alienated from nature’s far-flung wonders and unable to get my heart rate above 130 as often as I’d like. Even though I aspire to be the kind of person who seeks out the alleged hidden waterfalls and winding trails in Prospect Park (a mere five-minute walk from my apartment) and travels with a spirit of back-to-basics adventure, it’s harder to achieve than it sounds.
So when the invite came in for a trip to test drive the new Apple Watch Ultra on the Kona side of Hawaii’s Big Island with its lush forests, deep valleys, black sand beaches, and volcanic mountains, I knew I had to take a leap of faith. Exactly five years to the month since I first visited Kona on a family vacation, the company I’d be keeping—think, no exaggeration, world-class athletes and adventurers—would be very different. Same with the itinerary of hiking, scuba diving (make that snuba, a cross between snorkeling and scuba diving, for me), and trail running. The good news is I’d be accoutred with Apple’s new cutting-edge sports watch, which felt like familiar territory as a years-long on-and-off Apple Watch wearer and Apple Fitness+ subscriber. Still, I knew I had my work cut out to truly take advantage of what it offers.