What I Learned from Maui

Home sweet home 😀 no honestly, I wish I had one more week in Hawaii. It was such a carefree getaway that I resurrected from the highs and lows of 2014 and got one chance to rejuvenate. Can you believe the year is almost over??? I’ve laughed, cried, lost weight, gained weight, but have learned something new every step of the way. Maui truly justified that. Here are the top lessons I’ve acquired on vacay:

1. Plan ahead. It is almost impossible to get a table at a popular and/or fancy restaurant. I have called restaurants multiple times and been notified every call that they are booked. Do your research of where you want to go and reserve a table then, even if it’s months away from your meal. Nothing is worse than waiting over three hours for your dinner.

The exception is that sometimes you don’t want to spend as much time doing something or hanging somewhere as long as you want. Then by all means, hop in the car or take a walk and get lost! Many adventures are created by spontaneity (just make sure you have an emergency number on speed dial in case of a disaster!).

2. Keep stress off the driveway. Hawaiians like to take it slow and like everywhere you run into some crazy drivers. Don’t let road rage get the best of you. If you’re not at the steering wheel, turn off your cell phone and enjoy the view! How many times do you get to see sugar-cane plantations and rainbow sunsets?

 

3. Cook at home. Really! It applies to the fact that reservations are such a pain. If your stay lasts for less than a week, this may not be necessary. Even so, cooking at your suite is a lot healthier than takeout. You actually know what sauces and condiments you put in your dishes! Before I desired to go to a vegan coconut ice cream stand far away from the city, but little did I know that my kitchen had a blender where I could just pulse frozen bananas and enjoy!

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4. Cheat accordingly. You don’t have to eat at every single shaved ice stand or vegan gluten-free bakery you see, nor do you have to evade them. Try the exotic foods that you wouldn’t find at home–like taro steak or shaved ice with condensed milk. I wouldn’t suggest having dessert at the same restaurant as your main meal, unless if their sweet selection is more incredible than what you’ve seen all day. Here’s a tip: if you can find it at home, then don’t go for it. Like in this picture, those vegan and gluten free cupcakes really caught my eye (and stomach). Except how many vegan gluten-free bakeries are there at home? Sigh. Another day, cupcakes.

 

5. Pack healthy snacks. In case if you get hangry in the middle of the ocean, these are a must. KIND bars, Larabars, single-serving nut butter or protein powder packets are essential! Go grocery shopping and find fresh produce like apples, bananas or celery sticks. Look in the really cheap stores too. I was surprised to find KIND bars at the ABC stores, which are Hawaii’s 7/11s.

6. Walk/Run. On the beach. On a grass valley. You burn more calories doing so than on the treadmill! Makes sense, since your body readjusts itself to the hills and dips rather than a single incline. In the city? Walk/jog everywhere you go. Don’t waste too much money on taxis when you can look at the cool shops and eateries waiting for tourists. I was darn glad to run two miles by the shore because of hot surfer guys the endorphin-high and summer breeze that’s nonexistent at home.

7. Watch the sunsets. Hawaiian sunsets are literally like giant watercolor paintings. As the sky darkens the blue dims to this lovely purple then pink shade while the sun quickly descends into the land. If you’re in the city, watch the nightshade cover the sky and all of the buildings light up! The view is just as beautiful IMO.

8. Pick and choose your destinations. Throughout the trip I only stuck to a couple beaches. Sheraton is the perfect place to cliff dive and snorkel while Kāʻanapali is better for tanning and paddle-boarding. Time accordingly too! Go early to see all of the fish in the sea, stay in the sun for a nice tan or wait until night to watch a lovely sunset.

If you’re in a city, museums are usually great areas so as long as you vary your themes. For instance, it’s not a good idea to look at three chapels all at once. It would be a lot more pleasurable if you went to one chapel, a rock music museum, a butterfly garden and then a fancy vegan restaurant on the same day.

9. Don’t be self-conscious! I thought that every moment I walked out of the house it was as if I were on camera. I had to pose or look my best. But everyone else is trying to enjoy their own time. You’ll just be another person that was at the same place. See how I performed yoga in the middle of the beach? I didn’t want to at first because I was scared. After I did, I had no regrets.

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And most importantly…

10. Detox. Did you know that last week I had my first hot bath in six months? One step into the bubbly hot tub and I’m never going back to my 30-second ice cold showers. Not only did they feel unsettling but they added tons of stress! Vacation time is the perfect chance to put extra effort into what we’d normally do without appreciating it. Look at the stars before bedtime instead of the television. Be a little kid again and take a long, hot bubble bath rather than a shower. Meditate. Take a nap on the beach. Make a refreshing green juice. Attend a yoga class. By the time you leave you would have an almost completely different outlook on life.

I was gifted with so much more time to really experience every second in Maui, from blow-drying my hair to hearing humpback whales sing. Just taking time to get away from home and to explore a new location and environment allows you to adapt to a new way of living and enlighten yourself. This winter allowed me to do so and I hope your holidays does the same 🙂

Happy New Year,

Cassie


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