February 15, 2017

We know a place: Maui, Hawai'i

“On the last day of the world
I would want to plant a tree”
- W.S. Merwin

This is a letter to the cool air that sails through my hair and whips across my face when the windows are rolled down.

To the woman smiling kindly behind her screen in the rental car terminal as she searches for a Jeep.

To the 10,000 ft climb we make up the side of Haleakalā to find out what she wants to expose to us at the top.

To the wild, wonderfully mad longboarder cutting the corners too tight for comfort.

To the rip and pull of erratic wave breaks, where childhood fears begets adult fears.

To writing down what I want to say and being who I'm trying to be.

To roads that move us from place to place across this island in the middle of nowhere.

To heavy Upcountry rain and all of the free birds calling us to wake.

To sea turtles that sleep beside the uninvited guests on their beaches.

To whales that grace us with their presence to remind us how insignificantly small we are.

To the trails we trace with a shortness of breath and bottomless gratitude.

To laughter, deep from the belly and high in the cheeks, shared by four friends around a square table.

To skipping out on reservations for a long, cold dip in the ocean and showing up two hours late for an unforgettable meal.

To trusting in possibility.

To Joe, the man with the white cross, who smiled and waved as he continued on his decade-long walk along the highway.

To the open seats accompanied by an invigorating conversation over full cups of local goodness.

To meeting people at the farmers market, waiting in line, at breakfast, over coffee and standing in the rain followed by a quick farewell.

This is a letter to travellers.

This is a letter to being, breathing and loving.

See map below for a few recommendations on where to run, swim, whale watch, explore, hike, drink and eat.

There are a few places I haven't included, like the local roadside bar we stumbled across under the full moon. Such gems are best left unmarked.

We stayed Upcountry and it was divine. I recommend it if you want an authentic Hawaiian experience (note that the air cools off up there at night). The best way to boot around Maui is by car, however public transit or cycling would be excellent alternatives.

Beyond a few recommendations from friends, this blog was my go-to when planning our five-day adventure. And we barely scratched the surface.

For more Hawaiian love and inspiration, check out my trip to Kauai last year.