On being back in Maui

a beach path onto Kamaole Beach in Kihei, Hawaii

Week one here on the island is already a wrap. Can you even believe that?!

Right now, I’m kinda running to all my familiar hotspots and just getting a lay of the land once again. 

I attempted a journal blog post. It was fun and rather therapeutic, however I’m not sure where something that detailed even belongs… nor if I wish to keep that level of detail up. Still mulling it all over, however I could see it working more in a book style type of read perhaps… I may share one on the blog and see what you think.

It reminds me of the Summer Adventures Series HERE I did a few years ago.

Anyway, here’s a few ramblings on my first week here. I’ll see about digging into more specific stories as I do more and time moves on…

(this post also contains a few affiliate links where I name stuff I’ve been reading)

sunset in the air on the way to Hawaii

lava and plant lined Kamaole 3 beach in Kihei, Maui

What’s it like to be back?

When my feet first planted on this tropical turf, I was mixed up. I couldn’t believe how exhausted I was. BC is only a 5 hour direct flight to Maui, so it surely couldn’t be just that?! Pretty sure it was mainly due to trip prep. (it’s a LOT of work to get away, ever notice that?)

So I allowed myself to take my time to gather my bearings. Arriving at 1am with no food places open and hungry had me dashing for an emergency grocery pickup the very next AM. Knowing I wasn’t going to starve (or be kona coffee deprived!) was a great start.

The first thing I noticed was the humidity. I had just left hot weather at home and was hoping for some of those infamous trade winds to clear sinuses that never seem to clear in my own little valley any longer, but that wasn’t happening…. yet.

Patience… as I soon was treated to just that. The weather can change every 5 minutes out here, so it’s rotated from hot and humid, to cool and breezy with everything in between. After a week, it all feels normal now. And quite honestly, perfect. The warm evenings here sell me every time. Summer is my fav time of year to visit Hawaii!

What I also love is the fact that my condo is ground floor, not forcing me to look through a bunch of bars when I’m enjoying the outdoor lanai.  Most leave their condos in search of other things, however due to the length of time my stays are, I treat the condo like it’s my home and spend lots of time in ‘my yard’. It’s just different when you’ve been here a million times and have seen it all already. You are not feeling pushed to do anything other than just be, knowing it’s out there when you are ready and willing. I do so love having the ability to ‘choose my busy’.

Since being here a week, I’m starting to feel a little bit of a routine coming on. At first, I was all over the map, picking this up, going to see that yet again, if I was out and about that way anyway. Once I slowed down and went on a BIG grocery run, it helped establish roots where I could just stay put and eat at home and grill at the pool for dinner. 

I actually avoided the big shopping food spree for awhile. Eating out is a very social activity, and eating in would have me on my own more. A part of me feared this, remembering a time when I came and felt super lonely and homesick. Fearing that would take hold again, I was super active and even put myself out there meeting people which I don’t normally do.

However all that really is a choice, no matter where we are. While it may be a little easier here to chat with folks (taking their pictures, swapping vacay stories in the pool) I could certainly make more social effort at home too… yup, I’m taking notes.

Jeep Cherokee rental SUV in Kihei, Maui

I got my fav SUV!

Landing your fav drive is a little like winning the lottery here. However I emphasized at the counter that I did not want a sedan as I prefer a ride that’s higher up. And I did not desire the biggest SUV they had, as those are the ones they tend to give you first. They are like vans!

So I was handed the keys to by beloved Jeep Cherokee once again and I am smitten!

Except the gas saving feature threw me for a loop. I thought the car was stalling all the way to my condo! If it hadn’t been for the 2+ hour lineup at the airport waiting for the thing, I would have turned around to exchange it!

Luckily, I put my dilemma on Instagram and readers verified this was an actual feature that was good for the environment. AND that i could turn it off.

Thank goodness for options.

Redemption by Karen Kingsbury

What I’m reading

As for healing, I’ve been working on that too.

I’m reading a book series that I picked up at our little free library in our local park starting with Redemption by Karen Kingsbury with Gary Smalley. To my complete surprise, it was a 5 book series and ALL of them were in that library! What are the chances I’d find an ENTIRE SERIES there a day before my trip?!

So I took a chance and have been pleasantly surprised. There are all kinds of Biblical references in a very natural way without being preachy. I’m learning more about relationships and our responsibilities vs. what aren’t ours to make. It’s been enlightening.

I was also thrilled to hear so many loved the series when I shared it on Instagram. I am new to this author and am enjoying the ride thus far.

Before my trip, I had also borrowed a library book called Boundaries. (Amazon affiliate link) It was such an amazing read, I felt inlined to buy it before my trip and bring it along. I haven’t picked it up since being here yet as I’m immersed in the ‘storytelling’ of the other book right now. I’ll do a blog post on JUST this book at some point as it’s just that good. However I will say now, it’s a super supportive book that has heavily reminded and guided me to what I am and am not responsible for in regards to other people around me. I’ve also noticed just now there’s ones for kids and marriages too. I plan to get the kids one for sure!

I’ve never been one for ‘learn reading’ while on vacation, however the blend of story and learning was the perfect mix!

a bird taking flight at Belle Cafe in Kihei, Maui

Self care

One big change I’ve noted since being here is acknowledging the things I have long desired to change about myself are being heard loud and clear here. It’s as if I’ve known what to do however just didn’t have the courage nor desire to do it at home. “Later…” became my mantra.

One of those is weight gain. BIG ugh! When you are traveling through ‘survival mode’, you tend to not put yourself first by a long shot. Honestly, now that I look in my fridge, I can see what I bought and I’m rather shocked.

So this first week, I’ve had my fun. I’ve dashed to the yummy treat places and indulged. However the same bite I enjoyed yesterday did not taste the same today. I want it GONE. It’s very possible to eat well (here and at home) and have it just as much fun, it’s just a matter of choice.

I won’t deprive myself of special things on occasion that are only avail here.  I’m just not going to turn them ALL into my ‘everyday.’

Something I have never done here before is taking nightly walks. I’ve been more of a sit at the sunset kinda gal.

With my recent foot surgery I’m uncertain how far I can take this one. However the heavy trade winds here can render renting a bike pretty useless, so yesterday I made the decision to attempt evening walks, then exercise in the pool as I grill up dinner. It fills up an evening nicely, allows photo shoots (like my bike rides at home) and is productive towards something good.

apple bananas at the Maui Swap Meet


As for activities, I’ve hit the Maui Swap Meet, and visited the Iao Valley, and a couple of thrift store runs, however nothing else as yet. There are a few new things I’ve never done that I’m interested in, however I’m not rushing any decisions, just being really kind with myself.

And watching the weather. It’s been super heavy on the trade wind thing!

I’ll do a blog post on my most recent visits to these places soon as I compile a few more.

Kamaole Beach 2 in Kihei, Hawaii

Why not move here?

Some are asking why I don’t just move here. It’s more complicated than just that. I wish to remain a Canadian citizen and the law entitles up to a 6 month visit a year, so I’d be required to seriously downscale my Canadian home in order to have one here and at home. Not something I’m prepared to do, or at least not now. And of course, there’s family. 

I mean, if I hit a lottery win, I could see purchasing something here and even possibly put it on VRBO so others could also enjoy it as well as myself! I’d love to deck out my own condo. 

I’m also mulling over spending shorter, more frequent bursts here as opposed to one super long one. Perhaps that may even be better…

trees along the beach in Kihei, Maui

So that’s pretty much it in a nutshell. I’m the DIY this round and a BIG project in the works.

And what workshop surroundings these are…

If there’s anything you’d love to see or hear about, feel free to chime in below!

And be sure to follow my Instagram Stories to see all my sunsets, and other sporadic ramblings!


Catch up on all Maui posts HERE


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15 thoughts on “On being back in Maui

  1. Hi,
    I’m so glad that you are having a wonderful time ! Keep on being Donna and everything will always be O.K. ?

  2. Reading your posts feels like I am reading a letter from a friend. I am so glad you are in your happy place. 🙂

    • Aw, thank-you Laura! I’m so glad these words come across like that, I truly love chatting online and sharing what’s going on!

      As I was walking along the Wailea Beach Walk last night, I just shook my head. I can’t adjust to being here, it’s too hard to imagine this is true. Although part of me wants to be home, a bigger part wants to just stay put here! haha Wouldn’t it be amazing if we could go to our fav places just on weekends?!

  3. Where do you stay in Maui. A couple of years ago we followed you to Napili and we loved it. The beach was a treacherous walk for us. We are in our 70’s, so are looking for something as beautiful but easier.

    • Hi Jan!

      Napili is a gorgeous area however the main beach is on the small and slanted side with lots of lava formations along the edges. Is that the part that gave you a treacherous feeling or was it the wave action?

      I’m currently staying at Kihei Akahi (located in Kihei). It’s an older, smaller complex however it’s much more affordable (for longer stays! heh…) has lovely established grounds that feel like your yard, and is away from the road action although right in front of it. The beach is steps away, very close!

      Kam 1 2 and 3 beaches in Kihei (lined up side by side) are much larger than Napili and much more level to walk on. However all wave action starts late morning due to the trade winds and lasts until around sunset, so any beach activity is best in the early AM. I tend to visit the pool by day, and beach at sunset. I need to get in that ocean in the AM at some point before I leave however I’ve been too lazy to move that quickly this round. haha

  4. I’ve been to Hawaii a couple of times but more for sightseeing with family than staying mainly in one location. I sure like how it has become a 2nd home to you there and how things have become familiar. That is what Destin, Florida is for me when it comes to vacation time. But, you sure have me wanting to check out your 2nd home area in the way that you are doing it.

    Boundaries…girl…I could get into long talks about that book with you and what I’ve learned from it. It helped me through my divorce, work situations, family situations…just life situations in general. I’ve read that book at least 3 times and it has tons of highlights that I refer back to regularly. But now you have me curious about your other book read. Hmmmm….

    On a side note…most of my summer is being spent organizing my garage…in spite of the Southeast Texas heat. And it is all your fault. Giggle. It was your postings and garage work space that inspired me to get things like I wanted and needed them to be in order to make my make and create time out there more efficient. It is work but I’m so excited about where it is going.

    Enjoy the rest of your time there.

  5. I am looking forward to seeing what more you find at Hawaii Swap Meets and Thrift Shops. And what you are going to do with them.

    Finished the white brick wall behind my wood stove that I wrote you about, awhile back, and it turned out really nice.
    Not as nice as your rock wall fireplace, but Really Nice. Will send photos later.


  6. Donna- as I read your posts, I agree that I feel as if I’m reading a postcard from a friend – one that has great photography skills, too ?. I can relate to you on many levels as I love to read “learning” books once my mind relaxes enough. I love, love, love sunsets, beaches. and Maui.
    We are visiting Maui in Jan ??. Right now, however, I’m dying to go to Hawaii and see Kīlauea and all Hawaii has to offer – waterfalls, black sand beaches, the lava river ?. I found airfare for $500 – a steal!!- but no one to go with me. ?. My hubby wanted me to find someone to help share the hotel & car expense. I keep fighting the, “You’ve been a stay-at-Home mom of 5 for 30 years and your last one is off to college in two days so you should treat yourself to a vacay” thoughts. We’re treating ourselves in Jan – but selfishly I want both. A vacay with my hubby and one for me. I am TIRED!! So enjoy the leisurely pace, the not having a to-do list, the beauty, the sand, the salty air, and all the island has to offer and keep sharing with us. I really enjoy your posts and pics ?

  7. I am so glad to see that you are all settled in your home away from home Donna. I know this will be a great opportunity for you to take care of yourself. I think those waters have healing powers, at least that is what I thought about the Greek beaches. Enjoy and rejuvenate!

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