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Lessons from Maui

Almost every year for over 20 years, I have gone to Maui for a week’s vacation. Sometimes with my husband and our friends, sometimes with a group of girlfriends, or sometimes with a daughter or two.

This year I went with my 19-year-old daughter, Sophia, and her friend Demi.

Sophia on the left, Demi on the right

As I reflected on my week in Maui, I have some thoughts and lessons to share:

1. At least once a year, everyone needs to take at least a one-week vacation. It takes at least two days to decompress and relax. And the last day is a waste, as you are packing and traveling back home. So a week’s vacation is really only 4 days.

2. Resist the temptation to check your work email. Every time I checked my email, I found my aggravation level went up. My “out of office” message said I was on vacation, so I would have been better off NOT checking my email.

3. Walking and swimming are forms of exercise, but they may not feel like it while vacationing. It feels more like meditation to me. You think about nothing and you enjoy the scenery, all while lowering your heart rate.

4. Making healthy eating choices makes you feel better, and makes your vacation more relaxing. We ate TONS of fresh fruits and veggies. Admittedly, we had dessert a few nights, but I never felt good afterwards. What made me feel good was eating fresh healthy food in moderate portions.

5. The quality of fresh produce on Maui has really improved over the last two years. The island now has a Whole Foods Market, in addition to Costco. Both do a great job on fresh produce. It was interesting to see what a nice job Safeway is doing as well. They have the best produce selection and quality in West Maui.

6. Napping is highly underrated. I made a point to nap everyday, even when I wasn’t “tired,” per se. And if I could not fall asleep, I’d turn on my Slack Key Music by Doug and Sandy McMaster, and fall asleep in 10 minutes. Thanks to my sister Jackie, who suggested I attend one of their concerts during my trip to Kauai last September. Their music is very relaxing music.

7. Vacations end too quickly. I wish I would remember how fantastic, stress free and calm I feel after a week’s vacation. I would schedule them more often. Most vacations seem too short, or become “honey-do vacations,” filled with errands and projects. Even if you cannot go away to Hawaii, I think a vacation filled with alone time, a little exercise, healthy eating and no email is good for everyone.

8. Alone time with your children is true quality time. Although hard to schedule, and admittedly there will be times when you get on each others’ “last nerve,” I think the bonding time between parent and child, or grandchild, is priceless.

Wondering if you have time for vacation? There is no time like the present!