Eleventh months ago, I left a place that gave me much to be grateful for. I hadn’t the slightest as to what I should expect upon transplanting myself into a new home lacking a single familiar soul within 2,500 miles.
Nearly a year later, I look around, and find a great many new “things to be grateful for”.
1. Those Maui Sunsets
….And not just for posting on Instagram. As I like to say, every damn day, a new setting sun graces us with it’s charm. Wherever I may find myself at the time, whether it be crawling out of my office for a few quick minutes, pulling to the side of the Lower Road, or strolling across the street to the beach, I always take a moment to stop and revel in the allure of that painted sky.
2. Living Kauai
Never in my life did I suppose I’d live on a tropical island, let alone, two of them. With not much more than a moment’s notice, I was asked to spend some time on the island of Kauai. Although the purpose of this trip was for work, I still found time for exploring the beauty that is the “garden isle”. The vast taro fields, the north shore breaking waves and the exquisite Waimea Canyon; these picturesque landscapes will forever be pasted in my mind. Sightseeing aside, I was fortunate to be absorbed by countless individuals who shared their lives with me, and took to seeing that I was cared for.
3. Discovering New Outlets for Inspiration
Fresh out of an arena where my direct supervisors most definitely served as my greatest supports and sources for inspiration, I’ve been pleasantly surprised to fill that mentorship void here on Maui in the most unlikely places, from individuals whom I least expected. Although many of them may have but only served a brief physical presence over the past eleven months, their words and actions have left lasting marks.
4. The Absence of Traffic
Although it took nearly six months to adapt to the fact that most Maui folk drive no faster than 30 miles per hour; I was delighted to trade my forty-minutes, each way, commute on the five, for a seven-minute cruise down the “highway” (if you call it that). Traffic is fairly non-existent in the bubble that is West-side Maui. Not to mention, I quite enjoy filling up my gas tank, on average, once a month.
5. The ‘Aina
Kauai is not the only island with things to look at. From the crater at Haleakala, to the pools in Hana, and the lush-lined trails of Waihee Ridge, there is no shortage of landscape to marvel at here on the island of Maui. Living in the presence of such has forced me to step back, slow down, and appreciate the simpler pleasures in life: a fresh piece of fruit off the vine or a refreshing sip straight from the coconut.
6. The Beaches
I grew up five-miles from the coast and spent many a summer afternoon basking in the sun with the sound of the surf lulling me to sleep. After living on the islands, the southern California coast will unfortunately, never again compare. From the crystal-clear water, to the endless acres of white sand, Maui beaches are most certainly un-paralleled.
7. New Friends
Upon arriving to a new destination, we all face the angst and uncertainty of wondering who our new friends will be. I was most fortunate to fall right into the arms of individuals whom I can no longer imagine my life without. It goes without saying, anyone who keeps gluten free burritos in their freezer for your visits, risks being thrown out of a bar upon rising to your defense, and answers your SOS calls from the side of the road without a hint of hesitation, is worth holding onto.