The Journey to Maui
Now that I have a little one (and doing parenthood on my own) traveling is one of the only things that has made it possible to free myself from the weight of my past relationship. It’s the one thing that gives me something to plan for and having that incredible time to bond with my son is now something I crave. That doesn't mean that I don’t have the chance to bond with him at home. When I’m away from duties like cooking, washing, dishes, meetings, family functions and social events, the only thing I have to focus on while traveling is keeping him safe, entertained and feeling pumped about what we’re going to see and eat next.
This post has been a long time coming… far too long to be honest. Before my divorce, Hawaii was a place that I experienced three times. Once for an anniversary; once for a birthday, and finally, when I found out I was going to be a mum. At the time, I had no idea that I wouldn't get the chance to experience this place as a family of three… but now I know that God knew better. When I looked back at all these photos all I could remember were the moments I felt like I was being prepared for and guided into the best and most fulfilling season of my life. Turns out the feeling was not wrong. The next few travel posts span over 18 months. It all begins with the holiday where I found out I was going to become a mother and concludes with the trip where I introduced my son Xavier to the Island of Oahu. My only regret is that I didn't have the time to take him back to the Grand Wailea on Maui - the place I contemplated holding him in my arms for the very first time.
I’ve decided to share my story without any inclusion of the one who walked away. It was there on Maui where I felt him walk out, and God walk in.
During my final hours holidaying on Oahu at the Hilton Hawaiian Village, I realised I was late for my monthly. I also realised I was craving potato crisps (something I NEVER purchase) on top of feeling unusually bloated. Flying out to Maui in only a few hours, I decided that getting a test could wait for the late afternoon once I was settled in at the Grand Wailea, but I was a little concerned because I had eaten so much poke and sushi over the days leading up to this realisation. Out of sheer curiosity, I googled “If I am pregnant now, when will I have my baby”...this is what I read next:
“Congratulations! Your baby is due July 4th 2016! Your baby is the size of a sesame seed!”
I freaked out and put my phone away.
A few minutes later I decided to lay out on a deck chair by the hotel pool. Anyone who knows me well knows that I adore sparrows. I love their gentle ways and find them to be the most beautiful little birds that ever flew. My late uncle Johnny used to hand feed them and I would always look upon him with wonder that he could attract such timid things and hold their attention. Since he passed away, sparrows have reminded me of him. When I see them, I feel his presence and feel like he’s trying to tell me little things along this journey. While I lay out under the Hawaiian sun feeling a little nervous about the sesame seed I just read about, a sparrow landed at my feet, and another at my shoulder. I immediately felt Johnny was trying to tell me something. On the way to the airport, I pulled my phone out of my bag so that I could google more info about suspecting pregnancy, and stuck on my phone screen, right there in the middle of the dark face of the phone, was a tiny sesame seed. A real one. Stuck on my phone screen. I carefully removed the seed from the screen and stuck it to a card in my wallet. I wanted to keep it because I had a feeling this sesame seed baby was on its way… even without having formal confirmation.
Within 45 minutes of arriving at Grand Wailea, I took a pregnancy test. When I saw the two lines, I cried like a baby. The tears were for a few reasons… joy, as I always knew I wanted to be a mother; relief that I was able to conceive naturally, and of course that inevitable fear that comes with most first time pregnancies.
I remember walking through the resort with new eyes. I noticed artwork depicting strong women. I saw more children. I imagined it was my child off in the distance enjoying the slide by the pool. I saw kids on the beach snacking on popcorn and feeding kernels to the sparrows who played on the beach. I remember watching a young father share his poolside lunch with his little boy and the thought of experiencing that for myself made my heart bust open. The Grand Wailea was the perfect place for young families, and most definitely for single mums like me. It was relaxing, engaging, picturesque and felt like a slice of heaven on earth.
I took all the opportunities I could to relish the moments alone. Walking on the sand of the beach, I remember getting as close to where the waves washed up and lying myself down under the blazing sun. Closing my eyes and feeling the waves lap at my feet was by far one of my most memorable experiences on Maui. On a few occasions, tropical flowers washed up toward me and touched my ankles... flower petals in shades of blue… was God messing with me?
The Grand Wailea was the best possible place to find out about this pregnancy. I really don't believe in coincidences and for me, this was one of those life events that solidified the idea of divine timing. Maui is one of those places that made me feel like time stood still. That nothing was more important than my connection to the source of all things pure. It’s no coincidence that one of my favourite spiritual teachers lived and died on Maui only one month prior to this visit. I attended Wayne Dyer’s final Australian seminar in Melbourne 2 months before making the trip to Hawaii… and before I continue with this blog post, I want to share something that I have only told a few people…
A few months before Wayne Dyer’s “I Am Light” seminar, I had a vivid dream that I was in Hawaii. I was there alone. I felt a great knowing that I was on Maui though I had never travelled there before. In the dream, a girl I had never met was walking me through a new house that overlooked the coastline. The waters were grey and stormy but the house was bright, and I knew good things were happening in this home. Fast forward a few months. At the seminar, I couldn't believe my eyes when I saw Wayne introduce his daughter Saje to the audience. It was the girl in my dream who was showing me this new house. The funny thing is that I always knew I loved the name Xavier, but when the name kept showing up during my pregnancy, I knew that this would be the name I call my son. Xavier means “the new house” and it still gives me the fuzzies thinking about how I was first introduced to the one who would always make me feel like I’m home.
My favourite things to do at Grand Wailea
1. Dining at Humu's - don't miss the chance to enjoy dinner at sunset
2. Picking up bagels and boiled eggs from the lobby cafe and enjoying them on your private balcony
3. Late night room service delivery of apple pie and vanilla ice cream
4. Paddle boarding on the beach... sunset on the beach... anything on the beach!
5. Poolside popcorn and virgin cocktails (well, that's if you're pregnant like I was!)