Unveiling the secret of Aloha, my journey to Hawai’i
It took a while to organize my thoughts about my recent trip to Hawai’i on how to best share what I still consider as one of the most amazing places I ever traveled so far. After visiting Maui, Kauai and Oahu, it felt quite natural to start from the experience that has left the most vivid memories and taught me the Aloha spirit.
So Maui it is, ladies and gentlemen.
After landing at a tiny airport, renting one of the I-don’t-want-look-a-tourist-but-I-am black jeeps and reaching the condo booked on vrbo.com it was finally time to wear flip-flops and get started with this Hawaiian affair.
Aloha. How many times did I hear this exotic greeting without actually knowing what it means? So when I saw this poster hanging at the airport I took some time to ready it all so that I could then share this with others.
- Akahai – meaning kindness.
- Lokahi – meaning unity.
- Oluolu – meaning agreeable.
- Ha’aha’a – meaning humility.
- Ahonui – meaning patience.
I learned that Aloha is not only a salutation, is a way of life, a mindset, and an attitude. It embodies the true spirit of the islanders and their land, their dreams for the future and memories of the past.
It all gained a new perspective afterward.
Maui can be seen mostly by driving along the coast, either towards the northwest if you can stand the steep passages and the 340 turns of the Kahekili Highway to Kapalua or the equally scenic (but more crowded) Road To Hana towards the east side of the island.
The Road to Hana was most certainly a beautiful drive, but good luck with trying to take a picture where you look like you are the only one under the waterfall or soaking in the sun at the stunning Black Sand beach.
Despite the crowds, what really surprised me was the incredible way the locals would deal with you. From little food trucks selling the ever-present Maui Tacos to coffee shops the Kamaʻāina (so called residents) were all kind, funny and ready to help. It is was such a joy to move around and genuinely being treated with respect. It sort of touches your attitude too as everything starts to flow Maui-style.
The truth is that if you don’t know that Kamaʻāina means ‘resident’, you will also never know that prices are also different if you buy anything on the island. Kamaʻāinas are entitled of some very good discounts on pretty much anything.
Surfing, windsurfing, kitesurfing. You name they have it. You can try anything and have fun – so did I, failing my surfing attempt quite miserably after less than 15minutes, but hey, I tried!
My favorite little town was Pa’ia, a laidback nice little fishing village with cool coffee shops, great food and nice people roaming around. It felt more authentic than Ka’anapali on the other side, away from the posh resorts and expensive shopping. So I thought until I feel in love with a beautiful white bikini in a tiny shop and I realized I was being charged more than 100USD for it. So much with hippies…
Glorious sunsets await you in Maui. Either from the golden beaches or the rugged coastline, nobody in Maui misses a sunset. Quite literally. We happened to enjoy our last sunset at the Small Beach, a sandy little corner that you can access only from the Big Beach.
Lots of (naked) Kamaʻāinas but great drumming!
It is that incredible sense of freedom; tolerance and peace mixed with the island heartbeat that creates a unique, everlasting impression of Maui, the same I still feel as I write.
After all, ‘Maui no ka oi’ which means Maui is the best.