As part of my decision to travel somewhere every month since September 2016, I went with three girlfriends for a week on the Island of Maui, Hawaii, in late January 2017. These are the photos and tales of my Hawaii adventures.
"I think this is what the face of the moon looks like," said Meredith, casting a long glance at the landscape around her. She dug her hand, still speckled with black sand, into the bag of chips, and then used those to scoop out some avocado flesh straight from the shell, its creamy insides so ripe and ready they came apart in our hands upon the faintest touch.
We arrived at Black Sand Beach in Wai'ānapanapa State Park on the evening of our second day in Maui. Tired of driving and bone-weary after a long day of climbing, hiking and jumping off cliffs, we just wanted to set out camp for the night and explore our surroundings. But when we discovered that the van camping ground is not by the beach, our hearts sank - we were really hoping for that promised view of the sun rising from the ocean from the comfort of our Ruby.
Not letting that minor setback ruin our mood, we quickly went down to the beach to find the famed cave and blowhole that made Black Sand Beach famous. I had a short debate on whether I want to take my camera with me, but decided to leave it in the car - and in the last minute, to give the phone that was resting in my pocket to Meredith to place in her bag.
Once there, we did as most modern girls do and, standing on the edge of the cave, posed for some selfies. But halfway through our first attempt at getting that perfect beach-meets-sunglow combination of facial expression and background, a giant wave overtook us from behind. Screaming and jumping in the air, we nearly dropped the phone - and discovered that we were soaked through to our hips.
When you're limited in your laundry and living in a camper van, that can actually be a really bad thing.
They taught me that storytellers show, not tell. That you must do your best to describe a setting so that one can breathe it, smell it, see themselves in it. And yet every part of my body just wants to show you the photos, to tell you that it's impossible to transfer the beauty of Maui to words, that you should just see it for yourself.
But that part is not the part that writes a blog.
So allow me to try. Getting up the following morning, we made our way to the highest point of the beach in order to catch the sunrise. As we settled in in our rickety folding chairs, discovering new holes and breaks in each one, our bodies sighed with relief: finally, a chance to sit and enjoy the view. Our toes dug themselves deeper into the warm black sand, finding shards of shells and old, water-polished rocks. Our hair fluttered in the wind, finally free from the binds of hair-ties and straighteners and shampoo. Our eyes squinted, attempting to shield our corneas from the light of the sun as it began to cast its first glow over the sky.
And our souls soared, forgetting for a moment the sadness and longing and disappointments that clouded our minds back in our daily lives. Forgetting the disputes with co-workers, the boys who ghosted us, the exes who sent us gut-wrenching messages at 2am, the men who thought they loved us but who weren't ready for all that it meant. Forgetting the early morning hunger and aches associated with sleeping in a camper van. Forgetting that there is even a tomorrow.
Instead, we looked at the alien landscape around us - at the crooked black rocks, their innards emptied overtime by sand and water and sun into cavernous holes. At the bright, algae-green succulents that grew everywhere and reached their little tentacles to the sun. At the bluest water, its tops tinged with white foamy tips. At the sun, a ball of gas and energy so big and magnificent, it managed to sustain all of this LIFE for millions of years.
And then a pitbull came and licked our fingers.
We spent that day on the beach, swimming and tanning and lounging. We did nothing more strenuous than jumping in the air when a really big wave came. We ate chips and salsa for dinner, with a side of hummus. We rested - and let it all soak in.
And I couldn't have asked for anything more.
Come back next week for more Maui stories! You can read more about my Maui adventures here and here. All photos in this post are by Meredith Pind, because I
couldn't be bothered to log my Canon 5D around was worried about getting my camera soaked with seawater.