Hawaii | Travel | USA | West

Hawaii: There and Back Again

Kohala Coast Hawaii
Photo Credit: Brad Coy

As I prepared for my trip to Hawaii, one that I took courtesy of the Hawaii Visitors and Convention Bureau, I briefly shared a little bit about my previous trips in a post I did about islands and how they make me feel.

So when I woke up [early!] to get to the airport I was mentally prepared to travel solo, I had a full itinerary in hand ready make my way to these gorgeous islands. I didn’t have any clue how I was going to feel at the end of the week, all I knew was I was excited to get started. My flight there was really smooth and the five hours flew by eased by catching up on back episodes of television shows and finishing a murder mystery. When I arrived on the Big Island I picked up my car and made my way to my first hotel, the Waikoloa Beach Marriott Resort & Spa on the Kohala Coast.

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Part way there, I realized that I was totally frustrated by the people in front me driving under the speed limit, I looked at myself in the rear-view mirror and said, “What the hell is wrong with you? Where do you need to get to so fast?” This was Hawaii after all! I rolled down the window, shoved on my sunglasses and a smile, and relaxed.

Sunglasses 7-19-08 -- IMG_5799" by Steven Depolo
Photo credit: Steven Depolo

When I arrived at the Marriott I also drove into a time warp. This is the same hotel I stayed at on my first ever trip to Hawaii in May of 2000!

I only briefly mentioned my other two trips in my earlier post, but what I hadn’t share was how deeply I needed that first trip. In January of 2000 I turned 30, which was no big deal except that I was in the middle of a divorce that had come as a total shock to me (most people probably don’t expect to be getting a divorce five months after getting married!); I was working 12-to-16 hours a day seven days a week on a job I loved but was using to fill the emotional void of getting divorced. I was miserable and making everyone else around me unhappy as well.

At my 30th, one of my last happy times with my Grandparents.

I continued to work like a madwoman throughout the spring finally launching a multi-country five-language website while somewhere along the line picking up a rebound boyfriend, I was exhausted and gloomy. However my spirits were raised when I learned I was on the invitee list for the company’s annual sales and marketing meeting, the location being the Big Island! I was matched with a colleague I adored as a roommate and we decided to get to Hawaii the earliest hour possible on our arrival day and stay an extra day at the end.

Hawaii here I come!

I had the time of my life! The Marriott was great location for a sales meeting (TRUST me, I’ve been to a lot of sales meetings!) the hotel is laid out perfectly and close to a lot of amenities, including Roy’s where I was introduced to their molten lava cake, something that I still crave to this day! I had a blast at their gorgeous pool, who wouldn’t really?

But more than anything, it was healing. I sat on the terrace of my room with beautiful sunsets mending me, the sound of the ocean was like an elixir. One morning I watched the sunrise on the terrace way before anyone else was awake. They are so inviting you can’t really help yourself.

After a week at the hotel I left revitalized and ready to face my life again. It would take a bit more time until I was in a really good place, but I always held that trip near and dear to my heart as a step back in the right direction and I had fond memories of the Marriott.

So I could not have been happier when I realized that it would once again be my home for a few days.

I arrived in the later afternoon and took the time to drink in the gorgeous view from my room while enjoying a glass a wine. Now that I was back in this spot I wanted to savor it, to relish the person I have become and reflect on how truly lucky I am.

I slept well that first night on the Big Island and woke up refreshed for a full day of adventure! The energy of the islands had begun to work their magic again…

More Hawaii posts coming up, but you can also view more of my trip to the Big Island in my Big Island of Hawaii for Foodies Wanderlist on AFAR. I am also playing around with TagBoard, you can see all my Instagram photos together in one spot on my #MWAinHawaii board.

How about you? Have you ever returned to a place without realizing it? Has a place healed you in some way?

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  1. 1. I have no idea how I got so far behind in your posts! I think I might’ve been buried under a pile of renovations sawdust.
    2. You still look EXACTLY the same as your 30th birthday!
    3. I love learning more about you! That must have been an awful time in your life and hard to share. You are SO right about Hawaii — it makes me feel exactly the same way. Rejuvenated, somehow. It’s incredible.

  2. What a wonderful picture of you and your grandparents. You look just like your gorgeous grandmother. I was at that sales meeting and your post brings back my great memories.

    1. @Julie, that was such a GREAT meeting, right?! After that no more global sales meetings…we went out with a bang!

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