Recovering in Hawaii
How do you describe burnout to someone who hasn’t experienced it? If you’d asked me a few weeks ago, I wouldn’t have been able to put it into words ̶ for the same reason a fish couldn’t describe water: they’re completely immersed in it. I was sleeping too little and getting sick too much. I suffered from low energy and high stress. I wasn’t myself, and just gobbling a Snickers wasn’t going to help. I needed a break from looking after others and a chance to take care of myself. I needed to get from a state of exhaustion to a State of Bliss. In other words, to the State of Hawaii.
Scattered like pearls across the Pacific ocean, the Hawaiian Islands offer an endless supply of beaches, hikes, road trips, waterfalls, volcanoes and seafood. You could spend years exploring the islands, islets and atolls of the archipelago. To keep the pace sane during the two weeks I had, I limited myself to two islands.
I started on Oahu. It’s home to most of Hawaii’s population, a large military base, and the state capital of Honolulu. Honolulu is expensive and fast-paced compared to the rest of Hawaii. The local Waikiki Beach attracts tourists who want sand and surf without venturing too far from the big city. I didn’t explore much of Honolulu, but I fell in love with the North Shore, where big waves slam ashore as surfers attempt to ride them. I also spent a day at Pearl Harbour, explored the beaches and pillbox hike of Kailua, hiked up Diamond Head to catch the sunrise, and watched two days of the Billibong Pipe Masters surf competition. Plus, I got to cross some local delicacies off my Hawaiian bucket list.
After a few days, I hopped on the short flight to Maui, where the relaxing truly began. Some days, I explored the island, driving the circle route to Hana, sailing on a catamaran to Lanai, and visiting the Haleakala volcano. On other days, I relaxed in my base city of Lahaina, swimming, enjoying happy hour, watching sunsets, and hanging out with some amazing people in my hostel.
In my regular personal and professional life, I’m constantly planning. My schedule is set out weeks, sometimes months, in advance. So to have an unstructured fortnight was an awesome change. I could get up in the morning and go where my whim and serendipity led me.
After two wonderful weeks, I found myself sitting in Maui’s Kahului airport, recharged and ready to jump back into life. My tan may be fading, but the memories aren’t, and I can’t wait to share them with you in upcoming posts. Meanwhile, hop on over to my Instagram account for a teaser take on my adventures. I hope everyone had a wonderful holiday season! Cheers to 2016.