11:28:08 – the guess I put down as to the exact live time I thought our United Airlines flight #1725 would cross the halfway mark between San Francisco and Maui. Honestly, it was an uneducated guess based on zero fancy calculations. I don’t take contests seriously since I never ever win but call it intuition, I knew I was going to win this in-flight game and that Lonely Planet Hawaii Guidebook would be mine! Besides, I had zero things planned for this vacation and it would’ve been nice to set some activities for the family and duh…free map for the Road to Hana!! I looked over at my math-whiz of a husband – iphone calculator out and full competition mode on. “You’re way off! You need to add more minutes! You need to actually calculate the time you know.”, he says to me. You can imagine the sure excitement (and slight satisfaction) when the flight attendant announced that my random guess was closest to the actual time our plane had crossed the half way mark: 11:29:39. Not only was I 1 minute and 30 seconds off but I had won over my husband and the other 200+ passengers on the plane Clearly, fate was on my side and the vacation was off to a good start!
As I read through the guide, I took notes on all the spectacular scenic spots and delicious restaurants it recommended. The Road to Hanna was mentioned several times and had an entire chapter of its own – pretty much screaming to me that I absolutely had to take this “road less travelled”, to “experience the little things along the way”, and to make this adventure “about the journey and not the destination”. Sounded fantastic and everyone I’ve talked to pretty much recommended the same thing. With every intention of following the wise words of the book and my friends back home, I closed the pages and looked forward to the days ahead of me.
It would have been nice to end this post with a lovely blurb about how inspiring the Road to Hana was. But the truth is, it never happened. You see, 2 days into my vacation, I had already fallen in love with Maui and all its beauty. The slow pace of Maui gave me time to enjoy TIME…time with my family and time to just be. The total relaxing and carefree lifestyle of the island was enough for me. I got exactly what I needed from this place without having to follow any guide or listen to any person’s advice. What I’ve learned from my 8 days in Maui is simply this: life’s journey is nothing like what I had planned and there’s been many many surprises along the way. The destination is equally as important as the journey – I try to value what life has taught me so far and to not take things for granted as I continue this trek. Not everyone will have the same journey nor will they want the same destination as me – I have to learn to accept that and embrace my own individual experiences too. So far, the road has been smooth during some points and rough during others and will probably continue to run this pattern forever. But regardless, it is a road that should be travelled with the ones I love because it’s just more enjoyable that way. I need to appreciate the advice of others but trust myself more because my instincts are likely more indicative of what I want and need in life. Lastly, I should always enjoy the little things life has to offer but to also celebrate the big things too…it’s not wrong to want it all sometimes!
Below: Town of Lahaina
Below: Kaanapali Beach
Below: Iao Needle, Iao State Park
Below: Oneuli Black Sand Beach
Below: view of Molokai Island
Below: cliff diving ceremony at Puu Kekaa (Black Rock)