Under the open sky, speeding on a highway, with the cold wind blowing against our faces, we found ourselves in a convertible Mustang in Maui, Hawaii. The beauty of the island inspired so many emotions among our small family of three. From the beaches to the dances to the sunrises, what Maui had in store for us will remain unmatched. As I take myself back to the trip, three memories fill my mind: the beaches, the life underwater, and the sunrise from the peak of Mount Haleakala.
Most roads were on the edge of the island, which meant miles of beaches. Each beach we stopped at was unique and memorable in its own way. And yet, each beach brought the same sense of warmth and inspiration that makes Maui so iconic. Our resort too had direct access to its own quiet beach, at which we spent numerous hours, enjoying the spontaneity of the ocean. But under the water’s surface is where the wonders truly lie.
Tightening my snorkeling gear as I walked towards the water, I felt anxious, yet curious, of what I would find. I waded into the deeper areas of the water, bit my mouthpiece, and then I propelled head-down into the water. Immediately, I caught sight of a bright yellow movement under water. Following it, I entered a world of fish, from tiny flickers of color to large, slow beauties. The fear of touching them, however, kept me at a distance. It seemed eerie to be so close and so vulnerable to a whole new world.
In Maui, I also beheld the world I knew in an entirely unfamiliar light. Under the rays of Hawaii’s rising sun from the highest point of the entire island, the peak of Mt. Haleakala. A stroke of luck found my dad and I two tickets for a 2 A.M. tour of the volcano. At this twilight hour, we sleepily got on the bus as the enthusiastic driver welcomed us. On our arrival at the peak, we packed ourselves in layers of jackets and stepped into the frigid wind. Our view of the entire island was slightly obstructed by clouds, but in retrospect, the scene was truly breathtaking. Shivering, we waited for the sun to greet us with the warmth of its rays. With its first sight, a tiny sliver of light beyond the horizon, the entire sky filled with deep, awe-inspiring shades of pink and orange. At last, when the entirety of the sun emerged, the air filled with loud singing of a native Hawaiian song welcoming those who seek knowledge – us. As we basked in the little heat the sunshine brought us, we replayed the wondrous happening of the sunrise over and over in our minds.
Our unforgettable experiences in Maui were the highlight of the fall of 2018, and we hope to be able to dive in deeper the next time we go. The time spent by Maui’s oceans with my family is priceless. Like Maui, our family is a safe, loving island in the midst of a sea of people, and the valuable trip to Hawaii united us further by allowing us to share such an incredible vacation.