What do you love most about travel? For me, it’s always been the feeling of freedom. Travel has mostly been related to vacation in my life so far and on vacation, you are free from many of the day to day responsibilities around family and work.
It is freedom that inspires me and motivates me every day now, it’s the reason I developed my Freedom Formula, so I had a process or map and method to use every day to continue to develop my freedom mindset and life. If you’re interested in learning more about my Freedom Formula, I have a very affordable 3-part course available, you can learn more about it here.
In this post, I wanted to bring together how my desire for freedom has always driven my travel choices. One example of this is that I chose to get married in Hawaii so I could watch the Ironman Triathlon World Championships in Kona rather than the traditional approach of having a big celebration on a single day. To accomplish this, I had to work with a hotel, the Hyatt Regency in Kaanapali Beach in Maui to coordinate all the details of the wedding from home. The wedding itself turned out pretty well and it was so fun to spend the day with friends and family.
The time spent before the wedding in Kona watching the Ironman was magical. Kona is well known as a place to see dolphins and they did not disappoint! On the morning of the Ironman, dolphins joined the swimmers, streaming alongside the crowd. One of the days prior to the Ironman, I had walked out on the pier where the bikes are located in transition and as I looked at the swim course in the distance, I sea turtle rose up and swam below me. It was so amazing!
Before the wedding day, we spent time in Maui at the Hyatt Regency and loved Kaanapali Beach! It’s very calm and easy for swimming for kids, which was perfect since my 10 year old niece and 12 year old nephew were with us. There was wonderful coral as well for snorkeling with many colourful fish and an eel hiding in the coral.
Kaanapali Beach is also a great location to visit Lahaina and see the massive banyan tree there and shop. There is a wonderful outdoor mall close by as well, the Whaler’s Village. One of my favourite things about Maui were the ABC stores, and I bought a hula doll to have on my dashboard.
We took a guided boat tour to snorkel at Molokini crater which was so fun. I learned that my sister-in-law didn’t like to swim in the open ocean, she stayed on the boat while the rest of us snorkeled. I also learned she has motion sickness and couldn’t come with us as we took a helicopter tour of the islands, seeing the amazing Kauai coastline and waterfalls streaming down.
The week after the wedding, we spent in Kauai, which was lovely but not very memorable. My brother, sister-in-law and niece and nephew came to Kauai with us but they did their own thing and I realized I am quite sociable and enjoyed having other people to do fun things with. This was an important realization for future travel plans!
That trip to Hawaii was a turning point for me. I had done some travel before then, mostly as a child with my family, and I realized the freedom that came with travel. I also realized that I didn’t mind choosing to swim against the stream of conventional life, such as booking my wedding in Hawaii. By choosing Hawaii, I eliminated most of my family and friends from being involved, even though everyone was invited if they wanted to. This meant that many of the obligations of meeting others’ expectations around a wedding were also left behind.
Even though I have wanted to return to Hawaii so many times since then, I have only been back once for our 10 year anniversary and we stayed in Kapalua at the Ritz Carlton which was rocky and hilly, with a beach that was not very accessible. In addition, the water had a very strong undertow and since we were traveling with Sydney, who was only 5 years old, so this meant that we couldn’t swim in the ocean.
We chose to travel in January as this was when whales were migrating through Hawaii and we were not disappointed! There were whale sightings every day in Kapalua and our villa was quite high on a hill with perfect views of the ocean. We also took a dolphin tour and had dolphins visit us while we were out on the boat.
I certainly plan to return to Hawaii and spend more time there. It is a truly magical place and will always be an important catalyst for my love of freedom and my freedom to choose. Have you been to Hawaii? Where did you stay? What was your favourite experience?