Monday, December 10, 2012


12 hours and 4,981 miles later, I was greeted by a sunny and windy, 84 degrees Kahului. It was a small town on the northern central part of Maui. The airport was small and seemed rather vacant but the weather was more than welcoming. I had been excited this whole time but the arrival was the most thrilling time. But before I get to talking about all the amazing adventures, let’s not be rude and introduce Jennifer Ann.

I met Jennifer in a “Maui Paradise” group forum on I went into this group in hopes to find ideas on what to do while on the island. She mentioned that like me, she was a solo traveler and would be on the island of Maui around the same time. She was interested in doing the same tours as me and even offered to rent a car for the excursions. I compromised gas money in exchange for her company. Upon my arrival, I emailed her on my 4% iPhone battery struggle to let her know that I had gotten to the airport. We agreed to meet at baggage claim 2. On my hunt all around Kahului airport, I found an outlet next to a short Asian lady wearing a long skirt and running sneakers, who sold leis and beads on a cart for $14.

There I was, in a state of euphoria, nervousness and attending to my everlasting ADHD. I refreshed my emails about 32 times in the last 15 minutes as I awaited her arrival. As I reach 34% battery life, I see someone who resembled Jennifer. I wasn't sure if it was her, as it would be our first time meeting. I was going based a CouchSurfing profile picture. I waved her down in hopes of no weird looks or awkward moments. Worst came to worst, I would hop on a cab on my way to my original destination (Wailuku). She was tall, with flawless fair skin and long black hair that reached her mid back. I introduced myself in such a way, that I kept telling myself to tone it down. It must have been my excitement when I reached up to hug this stranger, as if I had known her for years. I was talking so fast I saw her confused facial expression as she was probably taken aback by this little crazy Spanish girl from New York. First impressions are important and so far I was crazy, random, fun and into leis.

Jennifer Ann
We made our way over to the car rental place. So many thoughts scattered in my mind yet I felt completely relaxed and at peace. I consider myself a great judge of character and based on Jennifer’s reaction to my craziness and her perfect English conversations (she didn't have an accent), I could tell that we would get along great. We had so much in common from favorite type of music, personality and passion for traveling. She is a flight attendant for a big airline. She grew up in Malaysia, her parents were from India and Singapore but she loved New York.

I immediately called the hostel in Kahului which I had reserved for that night. I wanted to inquire about their cancellation policy. The lady on the other end of the phone stated that I would lose my deposit ($37) if I were to cancel within 48 hours of my arrival. I didn't consider it lost since I enjoyed Jen’s company and was excited to go on this huge adventure with a new friend. And just like that, I was homeless in a small island 12 hours away from home. Luckily, my iPhone still had enough charge for 2 Google searches and one phone call. After reading 3 reviews, I was on my way to “Lahaina’s Last Resort” and what a fitting name that was. It was down the street from Jen’s hotel, 2 blocks away from the beach and 3 blocks from a busy strip filled with restaurants, art galleries and ABC stores (convenience stores). It took a little while for Jennifer to get used to driving on the opposite side of the road but we had made it to Lahaina which was our final destination. We would drop off our bags, shower and meet up for dinner and drinks to kick off our Maui stay. Right before I checked into Lahaina’s Last Resort, I over heard a conversation from an Australian girl saying that the hostel I was supposed to go to was “horrible, overcrowded and the worst place to stay in because the air conditioner had broke down”. For me, that was confirmation that Lahaina was the best option.  In a matter of hours, I had arrived on a new island, met a friend, became homeless, found a hostel right by the beach and had the best "Lava Flow" drinks.It had been a series of fortunate events, maybe luck, or even fate. Serendipity.


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