I can’t believe it has almost been one year since we landed as wide eyed, as we like to call ourselves, temporary locals on this beautiful island of paradise. And now I am writing about Maui…many things will be missed about the island. I giggle a little when I hear the word paradise used. Johnny and I have found over the years that paradise is everywhere and paradise is nowhere. I’ll explain what I mean by that in a later post someday.
The beautiful West Maui Mountains
When Johnny and I decided to move here, we knew in our hearts that it was only going to be a temporary stay. We never really discussed our plans with anyone, because we really didn’t have any. We knew we would stay until it was time to leave to start the next chapter of our lives and the next chapter has already begun on the other side of the Country with the purchase of our tiny little house on the water…the boat with no name (she just got painted).
We will be leaving Maui on September 3rd 2014, maybe to return someday, maybe not. Not only have we had some pretty incredible adventures on Maui, but we have becomes lifelong friends with some pretty awesome people! This post may be a little premature, but it fits my mood today so here it goes.
Just so we’re all on the same page, there are hundreds of things that Johnny and I will miss about Maui, but I picked ten of them to share with you. They aren’t in any particular order of importance, they have just touched my heart deeply in some way.
On the private ranch where I work, there is a place where we ride the horses that we call the butterfly pasture. There are literally dozens of butterflies fluttering around so gracefully as we walk the horses on the trail. These butterflies are different because they are very social. They land on the horses and many times if we put our hand, they will land on us.
The butterfly pasture
Most of the time we stop for about fifteen minutes in silence to give the horses a rest, watch the butterflies and listen to the birds in this very special, peaceful butterfly pasture.
Oh and the jacksons, as the locals refer to them. These little prehistoric looking creatures stole my heart the first time I saw them. I was then on a quest to rescue as many of the little guys from the chickens and becoming road kill as possible.
They have to be one of the slowest, most defenseless creations on the plant. Even when they are in danger, they move at a turtle’s pace. They never try to bite or get away and they always look like they are smiling. It is very sad that their large eyes are prime targets for the birds and chickens. I always try to help these little underdogs as often as I can.
I couldn’t believe my eyes the first time I saw a rainbow here. The colors are so vivid and many times there is a double rainbow or a full one that looks like it dives right into the ocean. I enjoy taking the time to stop what I am doing and just stare at the natural beauty with colors so precise and perfect every time.
Haleakala crater rainbow
Playing in the waves is something that we look forward to on at least one of our days off. Out of the 80 or so beaches on Maui, we always pick one that has some shore break. I don’t care for the violent shore breaks because those waves are ass kickers. Johnny sometimes compromises, but we always find beaches with waves that are fun for both of us. These beaches usually have the most people so many times we have to sacrifice solitude for fun.
Big beach shore break…Johnny’s favorite
Baldwin beach Maui shore break
Jaws…not playing in this one
Something I still can’t believe is that on the crowded island of Maui, we are still able to have beaches all to ourselves. Sometimes it takes a little searching, but we always seem to manage. They are dwindling fast, but there are still a few spots on the island that only the locals know about. Johnny and I feel honored that some of our new local friends think we are worthy of these secret spots. I will also honor my word that I personally will not write about those places.
Maui…the many things I will miss – deserted beaches!
Being in the presence of the humpback whales this winter for me was truly one of the greatest gifts Maui had to offer. It is one thing to be on a large boat with lots of people, but to be in a kayak all alone in the middle of the ocean with these beautiful mammals and their babies breaching all around you, is breathtaking.
The magnificent humpbacks
Sometimes we paddled out very quietly and stayed in the same spot for a long time. Twice, I looked on the side of the kayak and saw a whale right underneath us. You could sometimes hear their calls and always felt like you were a welcomed visitor.
Never once did I fear we would be capsized, although that would have been an easy feet to accomplish of course. We felt almost as if they were showing off a bit. Perhaps teasing us that we were not equipped to live in the beautiful world under the sea.
The road to Hana Maui
Hiking in the rain forests and near the waterfalls was something I longed to do on one of our days off a couple of times a month. It is inspiring how much life and energy is there. Between the water, birds, insects and plant life, there is always something to be captivated by.
Maui…The many things I will miss – The road to Hana
We really looked forward to our motorcycle rides around the island with the beautiful Maui coast in view 80 percent of the time. The diversity of the climates and coast line really surprised me. You can usually find, wind, rain, hot sunshine, or cool jacket weather somewhere on the island at any given moment. My favorite are the Napili cliffs and the more rugged sides of the island.
Maui coast on the northwest side of the island
Love my office and my co-workers
Saying goodbye to the horses that I share my days with is going to be very hard to do. I have created a special bond with each and every one of them. Even if I lived here for twenty years, I don’t think I would ever tire of being with my pony friends and sharing the beautiful views with them. Sometimes they stare out into the ocean as long as I do. I think they get it.
And last but certainly not least, Johnny and I will both miss the beautiful people that have touched our lives this past year. I believe we have made a few friendships that will last a lifetime. A couple of my girls, I would like to drag around with me on our adventures. You know who you are!
Not goodbye…until we meet again
We don’t like goodbyes, so we say “until we meet again.” Leaving friends, new and old, is difficult for us. Making new friends and then leaving is so bitter sweet. I think more so than the beauty, adventure and newness of these places we call “home for now” it is the friendships that are made along the way that we love and treasure the most.
Maui…many things will be missed
So as the Maui adventures start to wind down, and we are filling up our remaining days on Maui having “til we meet again beers with friends” I have to say it has been quite a ride and thank you Maui for sharing your spirit and your warmth with us, and giving us the opportunity to call you home for now.