How This Mama Found Herself in Hawaii
Travel

This Mama Went to Hawaii for a Week and It Changed Her Life

I wanted a getaway, but found myself in the trip back home.

4

Growing up, my family never went on lavish vacations. We live about five miles inland of Myrtle Beach, so every few summers, we'd pack up the old red minivan and head that way, staying with family along the Crystal Coast on the trip back up. The first time I flew was to travel to New York City to celebrate my high school graduation.

The first time I traveled outside of the country was on my honeymoon. Twenty-one and evergreen, we booked a stay at an all-inclusive resort in Montego Bay, Jamaica. It took us about four days to adjust to the idea that we had absolutely nothing to do. That first half of the week passed in a haze and it wasn't from the frozen margaritas we kept ordering (all-inclusive, remember?) Rather, it was because we were both terribly unseasoned adventurers. After eating our fill of jerk chicken and walking along the strip of shoreline that turned out to be much more narrow than they advertise on television, we finally ventured away from the hotel grounds and went on a few excursions. We rafted down a river, hiked up a waterfall and visited a local street fair at two in the afternoon.

We came home invigorated, and ready to see what else was out there. In the five years that passed after that trip, we went on six road trips. We saw the Pacific Northwest twice, New England, the Grand Canyon, West Coast Highway 1 and Las Vegas. Every October, when the busy season ended at my work, we'd hit the road, staying at mom-and-pop hotels everywhere, eschewing major chains like we were too good for them when the reality was we just couldn't afford them. For the most part, the experiences were charming, save that one time we stayed in a cabin in the Catskills and every pillow was covered in strands of hair and the shower didn't work and the thermostat was broken and we shivered until we fell asleep.

Then, life happened. Babies came. Two in less than two years. And we didn't go on a solo vacation for five years.

This past August marked our 10-year wedding anniversary. So, we decided to go big. We have a few major changes coming up in 2019, mainly a big move into a new property, so we knew we had to take this chance to get away while we had it.

We left the babies in the care of their grandparents and booked 10 days in Maui. The flights to and from there were a beast, but once we arrived, it was glorious. We spent way too much money on an entire day at the spa, indulging in hours-long massages and soaks in mineral baths. We hiked to find hidden waterfalls, jumped from makeshift rope swings and spent nights in hot tubs overlooking flower gardens. It was everything I'd hoped it would be and more.

On our last day there, we drove around the north side of the island. The roads were narrow and the guardrails were minimal. I was clutching my side of the car with every turn. Then, we stumbled upon a little banana bread shop set up at the side of the road. It was rustic and tiny and perched on the edge of a cliff, but we managed to find a place to stop. It was heaven in one bite, the only thing that's come close to replicating my favorite banana bread recipe that I love to make at home. It also reminded me of the people back on the mainland who were waiting for me, namely our two toddlers who would have loved to nibble a piece of that treat as we kept chugging onward toward our hotel.

We returned home that next day, and I've never been more relieved and happy to walk through my front door. Turns out, while traveling can be the most exciting thing in the world and is absolutely necessary at certain junctures in our lives, there's nothing better than sleeping in your own sheets, with the people you love the most in this world tucked in soundly around you.

We likely won't take another vacation like that for another decade. When we jet-set off to somewhere fabulous to ring in our 20-year anniversary, I hope we have the same sense of wanderlust. I hope I'm calling my children in college to tell them all about the adventures their dad and I just went on. I hope we still climb banyan trees and drink coffee at midnight and stand beside active oceanic geysers amazed, our sunglasses salty with sea brine.

Then, I hope we return back to our little country hideaway, the new one we're designing as we speak, and thank the heavens above for a place called "home." I thought I'd find myself in the bamboo forests of Hawaii, or the big city lights of Vegas. Maybe in the vineyards of San Jose or the ranches of New Mexico. Turns out, I found it when I circled back around to where I came from, my purpose renewed and my spirit refreshed.

Report this Content
This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
Taylar Banks

May 25, 2020: the day that will forever be remembered as the day George Floyd lost his life at the hands of cops.

The day that systematic racism again reared its head at full force in 2020.

Keep Reading... Show less
Lifestyle

These 17 Black-Owned Businesses Ship Baked Goods, Rosé, And Even Fried Chicken Nationwide

Eat your way through this country's greatest food — from your couch.

Call it the easily bored Gemini in me, but I'm constantly looking for new food to try. Usually, travel quenches my taste for new and exciting cuisines, but given the fact that international travel is not always a possibility, I've begun exploring alternatives.

In the interest of wanting to support the Black community and Black-owned businesses, and also wanting to try some of the country's greatest food without having to get off my couch, I started off (pessimistically) doing research, only to find that the options were vast.

Keep Reading... Show less
Lifestyle

24 Beauty And Style Brands Donating To The Fight To End Police Brutality Against Black People

From small, boutique brands to legacy fashion brands.

The worlds of beauty and fashion often collide, whether for good or bad. In both, underrepresentation has always been, and remains to be, a major unresolved issue. After the recent killing of George Floyd, many people are rightfully enraged, compounded by the fact his death in police custody wasn't an isolated incident.

Police brutality against Black people is not new, and isn't going away till we start dedicating resources to fighting it. Many of us, as individuals, have only begun in the last week scratching the surface of what it means to educate ourselves on race, historical race relations, and how to be an ally to the Black community.

Keep Reading... Show less
Health and Wellness

Feel A Lil' Better: Because You Can Still Connect While Disconnecting From Social Media

Your weekly wellness boost from Odyssey.

No matter how good (or bad) you'd describe your health, one thing is for sure: a little boost is ALWAYS a good idea. Whether that's reading a new, motivating book, or listening to a song that speaks to your soul, there are plenty of resources to help your health thrive on any given day.

I don't know if you've heard, but there's a lot going on right now, particularly in relation to George Floyd's death, Black Lives Matter, and public protest of racial injustice in the United States. While we can all agree that this deserves conversations, change, and actionable good, social media arguments with Great Aunt Linda are not where social change begins and ends. Spending too much time scrolling through your phone has never been healthy, but now it's even more addicting — what does that one person from my hometown say about this? How can I further education within discussions? Am I posting enough?

Keep Reading... Show less

I don't know about you, but reading is at the top of my to-do list this summer... especially with all the social distancing I'll still be doing. If, like me, you're hoping to pick up a romantic page-turner (or a couple dozen), here are 23 romance novels by Black authors you'll absolutely LOVE reading.

Keep Reading... Show less
Lifestyle

22 Black-Owned Etsy Shops With The Perfect Gifts For Everyone In Your Life — Including You

Treat yourself and your loved ones while supporting Black creatives and artisans.

R-KI-TEKT, Pontie Wax, Lovely Earthlings, and blade + bloom on Etsy

The world is taking action against the injustices and under-representation plaguing Black lives, and one small but impactful thing you can do to actively make a difference is support Black-owned businesses.

Etsy is likely one of your go-to sites for gift-buying, but have you ever paid attention to which independent artists and sellers you're buying from?

Keep Reading... Show less
Health and Wellness

True Self-Care Is HARD, That Face Mask Isn't Actually Going To Solve Your Problems

There's a line between self-care and self-destruction.

Anyone who hasn't been living under a rock for the past few years has seen something somewhere about self-care whether it was on Facebook, Twitter, or their Instagram feed. Oftentimes it's pictures of celebrities or influencers sipping green smoothies or slathering on mud masks with #selfcare. It's posts like these that made me realize that "self-care" has become the ultimate buzz word, soaring in popularity but in the process, it's lost most of its original meaning. It's time to set the record straight and reclaim the term.

Although self-care has been around for quite some time, within the past few years it's been misconstrued and commodified as our capitalist society tends to do with things it thinks can be profited off. Self-care is now being peddled as something that can be bought and sold on the shelf at Target rather than something that takes real work to achieve. This fake self-care movement is not only enabling people to over-indulge themselves, but it has created a crutch for people to avoid the responsibility of taking true care of themselves. Instead of doing the work that needs to be done, many people fall into the trap of rewarding themselves for doing nothing at all — this can quickly become an unhealthy coping mechanism, especially with corporations cheering us on (to buy their next product). Long, hard day at work? Just grab your third iced coffee of the day! Fight with your SO? Buy that 50-dollar face mask, it'll make you feel better! This is how self-care becomes self-sabotage and self-destructive.

Keep Reading... Show less

Minorities are consistently under-represented in our day-to-day lives, notably in the world of fashion. It's likely you're looking for a way to support black artists. Whether that's the case or you're just a fashion-lover in general, these brands aren't just some of the best black-owned fashion brands — they're some of the most innovative brands of our time, period.

From luxury staples to fun accessories and loungewear, these brands aren't just stunning names you should definitely be following on Instagram, each honors the founder's roots in unique ways with the power of storytelling through artistic expression that manifests in pieces we can't wait to wear.

Keep Reading... Show less
Facebook Comments