I got the opportunity to visit Maui through a friend who was staying there with family for the summer. When she and her wonderful family invited me out … at first I wasn’t going to go ….. hahah jk! I couldn’t book my ticket fast enough! After all, when else was I going to get to take 1. a solo trip 2. to Hawaii and 3. with no cost for lodging . OMG!!!!
I hesitated to bring my camera but I knew I would kick myself if it didn’t. I was right! I didn’t take it everywhere with me but I grabbed it for The Road to Hana and on my last day there when I stumbled upon Makawao. I lucked out.
First up, the ever famous road to Hana. Here is a good feel of the tight quarters of the road, some sights and my awesome tour guide/expert driver, Stazz (short for Anastassia. She’ll be mentioned a lot and you’ll start to wonder).
The first true stop was The Garden of Eden. You pay $15 bucks a person to get in and we went in even though our audio tour guide said not to. We should have listened. Though beautiful, there are plenty of amazing sights just like it that are free. If you get the chance to go … pass. I did take some photos while inside which seemed to justify the number of mosquito bites I scratched for the next week. Oh yeah… I’ll make a list below but ill tell you now… take bug spray. Bathe in all the deet.
Along the way you drive past little spots to grab lunch. Taco trucks, huts and the like. Thanks to our audio tour guide (the Gypsy Guide App) we were guided to a really awesome spot with a ton of trucks. We stopped to check it out. Fresh juice, tacos and COCONUT SHRIMP. I only got photos of the shrimp as we (Stazz) annihilated the others before there was a chance. The shrimp here was no joke - MUST LOVE COCONUT - The last photo is showing the scene from Jumanji which was Stazz attempting to get back into the car. Not sorry.
Next, my absolute favorite place on the entire journey. Haleakala National Park. It was very much the most beautiful slice of coast line Ive ever seen.
The way back was fast and furious in an attempt to beat the sunset. I drove (questionable decision) but Stazz kept the pictures going. #butdidyoudie?
So I’m going to break the Road to Hana into a list of things I learned:
It’s about the journey. Sounds cheesy, but leave your type A personality in Kahului….
The locals will run you over. Not really, but they drive these roads every day to get to and from their homes/work and likely get sick of the tourists. I can’t say I blame them. Just yield in general.
Take bug spray, sunscreen, towels, water, change of clothes, swim suit and cash.
The last day we went to Ho’okipa beach, known for the Sea Turtles and perused through Paia’s gift shops (I think this was the best spot for any souvenirs like t shirts and beach wear.) Then we made our way to the up country in Makawao.
AAAAAAANNNND last but not least……Here’s the iPhone reel - ENJOY!
I’ve been making a new habit of this when I share more personal blog posts on my travels. Travel to me is about seeing new places and filling whatever hole you need to at the time. It’s about me, a generally more private person, sharing a little more and being vulnerable. It’s for me, and for you, if you’ve made it this far on this massive post.
I went to Maui mostly to heal, surrender and work on accepting things that I can’t change. It’s about letting go of the residual fear that keeps ringing in my ears after the harsh realization that I can’t control or bargain with the things that happen in life. Maui truly delivered on all I was seeking. I was seeking fun too, dont worry. There was plenty of that. I also had some of the best conversations of my life. The ones that stick with you (#backwardshat) and are a reference when you need them. So many of these happened with my friend Kat and I’m truly so fortunate that I can continue to have these with her sister. It’s like she left bits and pieces behind for me to continue to get to know her through other people’s memories of her. I was delighted to share mine and spend time with her family on Maui to feel closer to her. I know she was smiling down seeing Stazz (her sister) and I having a blast being who we are and also taking the time help each other out where we needed. We have a bond that only our experiences of the past year can forge. I’m truly lucky. We are going to make it.
Stazz, thank you for everything. Dealing with my lack of heat tolerance ( I used to be cool, I swear), being a space case. You know the rest.