Kaua'i Inspirations

Magically gliding above peaky puffs of clouds and the endless blue of the Pacific, we say goodbye to the Garden Isle of Hawai’i - Kaua’i. I am passion-orange nectar fueled and island ispired!

Our MATR family adventures saw lots of rain, ranging from sweet sprinkling blessings to drenching downpours; bare footed trekking down muddy trails that included rock and tree-root climbing, selfies with Buddha, and a glimpse of a wild boar; waterfalls and rope swings; cave exploration, hula dancing, cheers for sunny moments, snorkeling and surfing with friends; and the itinerary-shaping reality of driving a fully electric car with few charging stations to be found. Imagine all of this set to the Moana soundtrack, since it's tracks could be heard being hummed or sung at any given point throughout our time there. Whew, it was quite a week!

One of the most valuable life lessons that gets reinforced for me when travelling is flexibility. We’re not the kinds of people who plan out all the details of our trips, but on a day to day basis, we inevitably set some goals. There’s also the traveling with a four year old factor that inherently presents learning opportunities! How good it was for our daughter to have to go with the flow of a group (we were there with friends, three other lovely families with small children), try new things like rombaton fruits & longons (lychee’s cousins), and to have to choose from other food options she isn’t used to.

Another example involving the whole family happened on our last day in Kaua’i. We found ourselves on the side of the 

road, having just discovered that the lighthouse/bird sanctuary we planned on checking out was closed because it was Sunday. We’d enjoyed a beautiful sunny beach the day prior, and were wanting to experience something else the island had to offer. Also up for consideration was our electric car situation, which limited our ability to travel farther than 20 or so hilly miles in one go(?!). The south side of the island, which we hadn’t explored, was out of the question because of distance, and we didn’t want to push our daughter’s limits with a strenuous/dangerous hike like the Kalalau trail on the Na Pali coast. Gratefully, my phone had service (not always the case on the islands), and we found the trail head for Ho’opi’i Falls - about a 2 mile hike - within our car’s traveling range. The trail was fun and just doable considering our collective abilities with the sludgy, slick, characteristicly red staining island mud, wet from recent and ongoing rainfall. 

We enjoyed the varied forest scenery, while the waterfalls were rewarding and envigorating, and the fellow hikers warm and friendly. Afterward, went for much needed snacks and coffee in nearby Kapa’a town while our car also recharged, then rejoined the rest of our group for some whatever-was-left-in-the-fridge tacos. Our day turned out way better than any of us expected from our earlier sad, side of the road vantage point, and a lesson was lived. Even when outlooks can seem bleak, there’s always the possibility of wonderful, surprising, even miraculous times ahead. Admittedly, this was Hawaii, so the possibility of a beautiful adventure was pretty high, though I think this applies to most challenging moments I encounter. 

Regardless, one of my favorite quotes is by Albert Einstein and I think it works here:

“There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is.”

Though we chose to only bring carry-on baggage, we managed to pack one of our mini Traveler cushions perfectly in a backpack. 

Our little “Inkblot” Traveler enjoyed our villa’s living room and the lanai (balcony patio) during morning meditations and friendly gatherings, as well as beaches, forests, and, of course, lava rock (that stuff is rough on the backside)! Along the way, we met numerous people who were interested in trying them, asking questions and requesting our card. How sweetly affirming it was, reinforcing the viability of one of our lovingly handmade creations!

A major inspiration that occurred on our trip is that we’ve got to create a more weather-tolerant option for our cushions. The climate in Hawai’i is generally warm and humid, and rain is a part of daily life, particularly this time of year. We also love bringing our cushions along with us on our mainland adventures, which exposes them to the elements as well. We’ll definitely be looking into outdoor fabric options when we get home, and hopefully our upcoming Newsletter will include word of our new, island inspired, weather tolerant MATR offerings.

Aloha & Mahalo!

Lauren, co-creator of MATR cushions & accessories

Jeff Stephanoff