You are up before your alarm with excitement, “KAUAI HERE WE COME” and the rat race of last minute packing, getting to the airport on time, and checking work emails before you land ensues. Six hours later; Aloha, E Komo Mai! You find yourself wiped from the prior work week and lack of sleep but there are 100 things to do on your list (including pre-booking the best massage on Kauai) and you can feel the anxious excitement spilling over. You take a deep breath in of what seems like the cleanest air you’ve ever felt, hellooooo Garden Island.
When most arrive to paradise they are still moving at the pace of their life back wherever they came from- much too fast.The following are 8 easy ways to settle in to your vacation and get yourself on island time– where everything moves nice and slow with a laid back attitude.
- Get into the ocean. The cure for anything is saltwater: sweat, tears, and the sea. There’s nothing more energizing and relaxing than that first dunk of your head under water. It screams, “I have arrived!” and tunes you into the elements. Sun kissed skin, trade winds in your hair and that salty taste in your mouth. Feel your nervous system calming and your senses heighten in a way that your body has been craving.
- Minimize screen time – unplug. With so much to see you’ll be spinning in circles to take in the 360 degree views. Do yourself a favor and try to put your phone away. Notice how much more connected you can be to the present moment without the distraction of your devices. Pay attention to the beauty around or you might miss it all together!
- Go to bed early and wake up with the roosters. There will most likely be a time difference from where you are now, anywhere from 3+ hours behind the time to a day ahead. Take advantage of going to bed early after a long travel day, you may get up with the sun the next morning and you know what they say, “early bird gets the worm.” Kauai’s sunrises are some of the best in the world and no two ever look the same.
- Ditch your Itinerary. One of the best ways to plan your day is to have nothing planned at all. When is the last time you did nothing? When is the last time you let go, went with the flow, and magical things happened? If you ask the locals, the best things on island are experienced without planning. Sometimes Mama Kauai has great plan for you and if you can let go of control enough to go with her flow- you have officially settled into your vacation.
- Cruise around. Before leaving your accommodation: load up your cooler, grab your camera, pack a beach bag with an extra change of clothes, and hit the road! Drive around, blast your favorite song on repeat and take it all in. Warning this may bring unexplainable happiness and cheek soreness from all the smiles.
- Get the best massage on Kauai. You did your research and read hundreds of reviews on Tripadvisor and Yelp to find the best massage on Kauai. Booking you and your honey a beachside slice of heaven ahead of time ensures you will get it done hassle free. Your body may be sore from the bit of hiking and kayaking you’ve done the last few days and there’s no better cure than to relax, recuperate, and revitalize with the best massage therapists on island. Pro traveler tip: book a massage for the day after arrival and the day before departure for maximum rejuvenation.
- Shop at farmers market. Stocking up on local produce and goodies can make for some of the most delicious and healthy snacks and meals. Vacations usually mean overindulging in the nutrition department. We prefer fresh squeezed juice with our tequila- it’s all about balance.
- Watch the sunset. Although there are no shortages of amazing places to watch the sunset, Polihale is our all time favorite. The most Western point on Kauai gives a dream-like golden hour which turns into a rainbow sky of colors and pillowy clouds at dusk. Taking photos never quite do it justice, use this as a perfect time to ground yourself, meditate, and reflect.
WARNING you may find yourself reaching a point of contemplation over extending your trip and changing your flight by following the above, ‘A’ole pilikia (you’re welcome). Hopefully during your stay you will have taken full advantage of the simple, yet sweetest things in life. Slowing down to island time by connecting with nature and yourself. Seeing the grand Na Pali coast by sea, chasing waterfalls, butterflies, and rainbows, surfing the prestigious Hanalei Bay, hiking the stellar Sleeping Giant, and getting the best massage on Kauai with Elevate Wellness are an absolute must.
By Jessica Hout-Freeman