Maui, how do you say goodbye?


When the dust settled on our decision to move our family from Maui to California I  a cocktail of emotions more layered than a Merriman’s mai tai.  Excitement, anticipation and my old friend wanderlust piled right up on top of nostalgia, sadness and the fear of regret. Logic was on the side of moving, calculating that the time had come to get our kids closer to family, and in our hearts we knew that we were ready for our next adventure. But logic didn’t stop my mind from wandering back to the perfect spring day in 2007 when I washed up on the shores of Maui, a soul searching 23 year old with a backpack and a determination to escape the Seattle cold. What I found was an endless summer, and after ten years I have an island shaped imprint on my soul that I know will never fade away.

How can I possibly say goodbye to the island that made so many of my dreams come true? How do I leave behind the emerald mountains and sapphire waters I have been nestled between all this time, or the friendships that have bloomed all around me? How can I say farewell to all the special places I fell in love with, and to the special places where I fell in love with my best friend? How can I say goodbye to the tribe of women who have helped me find my feet in motherhood, who’ve known my babies since I brought them home all swaddled up from the hospital?

When I look back I see every moment in a golden hue; the lazy days spent riding bikes around Front Street, the midday heat of Kaanapali beach and the views of Lanai and Black Rock that I spent countless hours gazing at from my perch at work, the prismatic and ever changing sky at sunset in the days after a big rain storm.

The truth is, I could never really say goodbye to this island. As those who have left before me will attest, the shape of Maui will stay imprinted on my heart forever. The only thing that I can say, as we leave this paradise and go in search of our next one, is Aloha, A Hui Hou. Until we meet again.

5 comments on “Maui, how do you say goodbye?

  1. It was hard making the same decision. I am so glad I did now, great future wife, Beautiful place and close to family. It was 17 years for me in MAUI loved every moment. Being able to see family on holidays and monthly road trips, live bands, and animals when I go hiking love it. Also I am still running charters on the water and kiteboarding. Love it. You guys will be great push through the first 6 months and enjoy life…….

  2. Dear Jessica…

    Your words were so heartfelt and beautifully written. Your entire family & friends are looking forward to all of you being in an area where we can visit you more often.

    Love you all so much!
    Grandma Bunny

  3. So beautifully written. Made tears come to my eyes. I remember saying goodbye to the islands 14 years ago and I’ve missed it ever since. BUT, it’s never goodbye, it’s only until you meet again. And after all of the wonderful friends you have made here, you will find yourself here more than you thought. Looking forward to your new adventure, hope it lands you near me! 🙂

  4. You are a great writer Jessica. It must be so hard to leave your home. I remember when you came here just before you went to Maui ‘for a couple of days’ and found home. Alas, there’s more than one home for all of us and I hope you find the perfect place back in the PNW.

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