So they say that Maui hazes its new arrivals — testing them to see if they really want to live here. A friend of mine, who's been here for 1.5 years said her hazing lasted the entire first year. She had every type of tropical skin disease you can think of (including staff and rashes caused by mango sap).
As for Miggy and me, our hazing has begun. Thankfully, Maui hasn't gone after our skin yet. In fact, my skin is looking much healthier here. We've primarily just had some troubles with our car, insurance companies and mechanics. But the question that passes through our minds is... if Maui is testing us to see if we really want to live here, we have to figure out if we do really want to live here.
Miggy and I both come from super green parts of the world (because they're pummeled with rain on a daily basis) and since neither of us had ever been to Maui before moving here, we weren't quite sure what to expect, and we figured it would be a tropical paradise — something like Borneo or Bora Bora — jungle vines dropping down over your car and turquoise water lapping up to your front porch. Everyone had raved about Maui so our hopes were pretty high. I have been to O'ahu a couple times and I was picturing Maui to look similar — I remembered driving through big lush mountains from Honolulu to Kailua... and the crystal water at Kailua...and the weather-beaten houses on the North Shore! I was in awe the whole time I was on O'ahu.
To be painfully honest, our first impression of Maui was kind of disappointing. It is so dry, especially in the center. We've driven all over the place and we love the north coast where it's lush green and wild and the water is lighter blue. Our most favorite parts of the island (up the Hanna Highway towards Haiku & beyond) are a pretty long commute to where we'll be working. So for the time being we're looking for houses that are more central.
As I practice being grateful, I find that I'm feeling fonder of Maui by the day and starting to appreciate the beauty of what it offers but it's hard for me to stop wishing it were more green. I feel a tug in my tummy, wondering if a girl from the Snoqualmie Valley near rainy-Seattle and a boy from Sopping Wet Scotland will ever feel like we really belong in this hot dry landscape. Does it get greener in the winter/spring?
Wherever I live, I want to wake up each morning and have my breath taken away by the views around me. Does that sound super spoiled? Probably but still, that's how I feel and if I am spoiled I might as well be honest about it rather than trying to look all virtuous and positively content.
Don't worry my Maui-loving friends. I haven't given up hope yet. I am still open minded, excited to embrace Maui life and explore more of the island. Maui has two years to woo me and make me fall in love with her. If she succeeds, fabulous! I'd love to be able to agreed with Conde Naste Traveller's Magazine when they award Maui with the 'World's Best Island' Award. If she doesn't succeed, I suppose we may take our search for our own paradise somewhere else on this little globe.
I AM happy. I'm just on a constant search for BETTER. I mean really, I'm not exactly suffering here — look at these pictures.... this is my job. I literally get paid to do this. haha ;) #lifeisgood
Resolution 9: Life is Good (if you are grateful).