When one of my oldest and dearest besties, Simon, told me he was moving to Maui, Hawaii, I was like ‘Ugh. That’s really, really far.’ (Swiftly followed by ‘I’m so happy for yooou!’) When he got engaged there, however, it became my mission to get myself over to Far, Far Away and see that fairytale go down.

What’s better than a wedding, except for a wedding fuelled by Mai Tais, beach trips and poke??

It turns out, nothing. I had the time of my life on these beautiful, laid-back islands, where no one seems to dress up smarter than shorts or a maxi dress, and every beach, national park, waterfall and tropical garden is the most beautiful thing you’ve ever seen – until you stumble on the next one. I fled grey Brexit hell for vivid turquoise waters, stormy-grey volcanoes, apple-green rainforest, ancient, knotted Banyan trees and happy, chilled people drinking rum to live guitar music everywhere I went.

Things the Hawaiians are great at include cocktails (tick); breakfast (The diners! The pancakes! The crispy revelation of home fries!); turtles (I swam past the graceful honu in 70% of the bays I went to); beaches (duh); and sunsets. I was in heaven. It made me realise that someday, sometime, I must live near a beach.

Full feature to come in a winter issue of The Sunday Times Travel Magazine.


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