I fell in love with Maui while I was visiting a good friend from college.
Maui made me think about things, the deep things. Not your typical “what am I going to do this Friday?” kind of thing. Nope-I’m talking about the “what is my purpose in life?” total meltdown. I can’t be the only one who has that mandatory timeline of life thing going on. You know what I’m talking about- you plan your life down to the millisecond- and you soon learn to just give it up. Life doesn’t work that way. Ever.
Simply put, Maui fired me up and encouraged me to return to Houston, quit my job, and take another job pursuing my passion. After all, according to that timeline of mine, I was behind three years and needed to catch up-fast.
Aside from the wildly awesome encouragement that Maui gave me to dive head first into my ambitions, I experienced a lot of firsts during my vacation. These are some things I am happy to say I experienced in Maui:
- I slept under a tree. On the beach. In the rain! It felt amazing enjoying the summer rain and not worrying about my hair getting messed up. Although when I woke up, there was a lady also on the beach doing some weird chanting and motions with her hands that made me stare for a really long time. Interesting.
- I came. I saw. I conquered Hana. The Road to Hana is a MUST for hikers and nature enthusiasts. The breathtaking views completely make up for any occasional bouts of nausea you might experience during the trek up the windy and narrow highway. The journey is unique because there are many tucked away sightings that you must hike to in order to marvel at its beauty- but once you get there, marvel away- and right when you think you’re done marveling, you will marvel some more. Don’t ever stop marveling at the beauty of Hana.
The red and black sand beaches were amongst my favorite things that Hana revealed to me. I also got to see the bamboo forest and some pretty awesome waterfalls. Some of the people in my tour group jumped. I’m cool-but I’m not that cool.
- I ate fresh trout. While my tour group and I enjoyed the beautiful red sand beach, we met some interesting people who were camping on the beach for the past month! It was amazing! They had all of their belongings tucked neatly under a tree and when I asked them how they ended up there, they just said they were “going with the flow of life.” How cool is that? Going with the flow just hanging out and doing things. They were like a modern day Gilligan’s Island. Before we arrived on the beach the ‘flow-ers’ caught some trout and started a fire to cook it. It reminded me of when I was younger and used to rub sticks together to try to start a fire like I really knew what I was doing. It was amazing watching them prepare the fish and when they offered me a piece to taste you KNOW I couldn’t resist. It was so fresh and tasty. I really wanted another piece but I chose modesty instead.
- I got LEI’D (pronounced laid) my first night in Maui! As soon as I walked out of the airport, my friend and her mother greeted me with “Welcome to Maui!” and adorned my neck with a beautiful lei. I had never seen a REAL lei. I mean the one with the real flowers as opposed to the cheap artificial one that you can get from Wal-Mart if you are throwing a Hawaiian themed party. Nonetheless, Jai got lei’d! Be jealous.
- I experienced a Luau. Well, from a distance. Many of you know that Luau’s can be pretty expensive. For those of you who aren’t familiar with what a Luau is, it is a traditional Hawaiian party that consists of a feast and live entertainment: music and hula dancing! My friend and I happened to find a restaurant where a Luau was taking place on the patio and instead of paying the full price, we opted to sit in the area inside the restaurant that still let you view the Luau and the sunset. Everyone wins in Maui!
Thanks to Maui, my wanderlust has officially kicked into HIGH gear. I want to travel the world, get lots of stamps on my passport, immerse myself in culture and eat really good food. I want to and need to and HAVE to travel the world.
When did you realize your strong desire to travel the world? What was the first place that ignited your wanderlust?