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Travel Diary: The Magic Behind Maui

Maui brings me back to my 8-year-old self, when I danced under the sun while searching for shells alongside my sister. It was magical. Maui was my happy place, my heart, my home away from home. The island met me year after year, mid-summer, with my big Greek family. Maui was bliss.

All of us would wake before sunrise to search for seashells. We’d find dozens of them tucked between rocks by the shoreline. Our luck started to attract other tourists, and by the last day, we’d be collecting shells with every hotel guest willing to wake before dawn.

Fast forward to my 22nd birthday, when I learned the secret to our successful searches: my dad planted store-bought shells before we woke up. First, I was baffled. Then, overwhelmingly warmed inside. He did it to see his kids giddy and imaginative. And that makes me more giddy than anything in the world.

Now, every time I return, I’ll sit at the edge of the water, close my eyes, and go back to those magical mornings. A trip to Maui — no matter how brief — reminds me I’m loved unconditionally.

Here are more photos from my latest trip [you can also see Instagram photos here]. Close your eyes and search for seashells with me…

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Coverup: Lemlem // Pink Suit: Marysia// Head wrap: Missoni [affordable options here] // Blue Suit: Hermes [affordable option here] // Beach Bag: The Row [similar here + here] // Coconut Waters + Pineapples: Four Seasons Maui

Photos by Jake Ireland + myself