My family and I returned from the magical island of Maui a month ago, which feels like forever, now that we are back in our groove at home. My connection to Maui begins with my parents' love story. My Mom and Dad met at McMaster University and shortly after saying their I do's, decided to vacation in Maui. After only a few days of living the Island life, my parents decided Maui was going to be home. They bought a condo and my mom began serving tables oceanside. My dad's hunger for adventure landed him in the dangerous world of Alaskan fishing 6 months, and Maui for the remainder of the year. My parents savoured their new lifestyle, spending their free time in and by the ocean. They fell in love with a golden lab puppy they named Maui Boy and brought him home, only to discover that their complex did not allow pets. Friends offered them a place to live in the Valley - an isolated cabin without electricity or running water, and surrounded with luscious vegetation and a flowing stream from the mountains. My parents jumped on the idea and threw themselves into the heart of Maui, relishing all adventures that came their way. I arrived into the world shortly after, which certainly made country life challenging, but my mom said she wouldn't have changed the experience for anything. We bathed in the stream, played with wild chickens, lit oil lamps during the evening, and watched the luminous stars light up the sky.
When my parents decided to separate, my Mom and I moved to California, while my Dad stayed behind in Maui. We then moved to Orillia, where we had family, and I went to school. I have been lucky enough to visit Maui yearly since leaving, and am beyond grateful to my parents for starting my journey in such an enchanting place. To be able to bring my son back to the island where I have so much history, is a dream come true. There aren't enough words to describe the beauty Maui holds - it is so much more than a visual experience. Landing at the airport, taking that first breath of exotic air and feeling the warm, tropical breezes is heavenly. It is a deeply spiritual island that embraces mother nature and kind living. Maui, you will always have a part of me.