It’s almost midnight and I am in my own bed. Which to me, is always a great way to end a vacation, especially one that involved camping and getting wet and sometimes uncomfortable.
I woke up early as usual, and took the next couple hours to finish packing, wrapping up loose ends and strolling around Wailuku. Most of the stores were closed and I peered in the windows and looked at the artsy stuff and overpriced clothing. I am sure lots of people don’t think twice about buying a pair of pre-ripped shorts or a beachy looking shirt for $200 and, soon enough, it ends up at Goodwill, where I will happily swoop it up for $3.99. I did go in the hip coffee shop and get my last Hawaiian smoothie for breakfast. I stood outside and spoke to a local, who was actually a transplant from NY. I am sure Maui is full of east coast transplants.
It was time to head to the airport, but first, I wanted to dip my toes in the warm Pacific Ocean one more time. I went back to the beach where I had camped at my first night in Maui and with a bittersweet sentiment, I walked in the water, massaging my feet on the lava rocks smoothed by the current of the ocean, letting the small waves playfully caress my legs. Time ticked away all too quickly and I needed to get to the airport.
My departure was mostly a non-event and I was happy when I successfully smuggled my cocoa pod on the plane. I really wanted to share it with friends at home. On the plane I shared some lively conversation with the sprite 71 year old woman sitting next to me. She was returning from Maui with her husband, her two kids, their spouses, and the baby grand kids. They rented a home and had a mellow time. She also shared with me some of her tales from years earlier – hiking the Inca trail for three days to arrive at Machu Picchu and her love of Spain, where she visits every other year. I like talking to other adventurers. It inspires me and gives me new ideas to check out on future travels.
Fast forward a few hours (I live two hours from the airport) and I come home and of course am eager to see the dogs and my son, Woody. He had friends over, and we all spoke of Maui, some had been, some not, but all were excited to see some pics. Woody had been in Maui last year and, while I had looked at his pictures at the time, I didn’t have a context for them. So I asked him about the lava caves and waterfalls and he brought up his pics on Facebook and showed me. And I smiled, seeing him in the same places I just came from – knowing our bond in some way is stronger.
Traveling does a lot of amazing things for people and I am more than grateful to be able to participate in seeing and feeling and experiencing the world. . . .