Located just a short 20-minute plane ride from Honolulu and a stone's throw from Maui, Moloka'i is an island where you can experience the real island life. It's a place where time stands still --where you can actually lay on the beach by yourself without a soul in sight, which is unheard of in San Diego where I live!
Papohaku Beach - one of the largest white sand beaches in Hawaii
I'm the type of person that envisions "quiet" and "peace" as the perfect summer vacation - whether it's browsing through a small gift shop enjoying local art, sitting around and reading a book while sipping on a coffee, or enjoying breath-taking views of sea cliffs. I did all of these things during my stay in Moloka'i.
North Shore Pali - the tallest sea cliffs in the world
Coffees of Hawaii Cafe
Right after I took the picture above, I overheard the lady in the picture talking with her friend. Her friend had mentioned that she saw the article in the Holoholo magazine and tore it out. It didn't dawn on me until later after I had left that I read that same article on the airplane ride to Moloka'i. The lady in the picture above, Anna Fuernsteiner, was a featured artist in the magazine. Her artwork is absolutely beautiful...
The Highlight of Moloka'i
One of the places I wanted to experience during my stay on Moloka'i was Halawa Valley on the Eastern edge of the island. It's a 28-mile drive from the main town of Kaunakakau, which is a very scenic drive but a very long drive. The speed limit is 35 mph on most parts of the island and then becomes less than 5 mph towards the end of the drive because the road is very narrow and windy.
In Halawa Valley you are greeted by two towering waterfalls and Halawa Bay, the spot where supposedly the first visitors to Hawaii landed. I didn't get to hike up to the waterfalls to see them up close, but I was still able to take a few pictures from afar. FYI: You have to set up an appointment with a local tour guide to actually hike up to the falls.
Lesson Learned From Living the Island Life For a Week
People on Moloka'i are full of aloha spirit, hence the name "The Friendly Island". People take the time to stop and have a conversation with you - even if it means holding up traffic.
The big lesson, or reminder, for me was that I can slow down, enjoy life, and still get my work done. Although time does tend to speed up when you're back on the main land, you can change your mindset and not get bogged down by all the things on the "To Do" list. I've re-learned how to take time for myself to enjoy nature and get reacquainted with my camera.