10 years ago while I was living in England, I went through confirmation for the Catholic Church. I’d been baptized in it as a baby, but I hadn’t been raised in the church and I knew at that time that it was important to me that I was married in the church, and that my future children would be raised in it.
The father there, Father Peter, had a strong sense of camaraderie with Father Damien who was being canonized that year.
There were many liturgies that he gave surrounding Father Damien’s teachings. One evening during a Catholic Society meeting we watched a movie about Father Damien and all of his work, his life and ultimately his death, in Molokai.
Pretty much all people of faith, regardless of what that particular faith is, deeply intrigue me. I’m fascinated by people who can so easily believe in things they can’t see, and have such a strong calling to something that so many find unworthy. The idea of being so selfless, so giving, whilst expecting no worldly return is something I deeply strive of myself , although I know I could never be quite that humble and selfless.
Father Damien, now Saint Damien, really spoke to me. His entire story was fearless and giving; he literally left his world to give everything, including, eventually his life, for people who were viewed by the world at the time as the most repugnant of all. He loved those people, deservedly. He served them and gospeled to them, and lived with them as an equal.
Needless to say, visiting Molokai went on my bucket list.
I’m declaring my 30s the decade of “doing shit now” instead of sitting back and saying “well, one of these days…”
I’m a fortunate human; I’ve had so many worldly experiences and privileges in my life, and I take none of it for granted. But I also am the Queen of Procrastination and turning down opportunities out of fear of failure or imperfection.
Well, not anymore.
So I scheduled a trip to visit Molokai the weekend after I turned 30.
A friend offered to keep all of my kiddos, which made planning this trip to this particular island much easier.
Molokai is not a tourist hub like Maui or Oahu. Roughly 75,000 tourists visit each year, which is not many at all.
We found lodging via Air BnB and the only car rentals we could find were on Turo.
We took the tiniest little airplane into the tiniest little airport, and enjoyed the weekend on Molokai with just Bean in tow.
Having just one little girl was so easy. Just one car seat to lug; one kid to feed and change and put to bed. No screaming or fighting from tiny humans.
Even so, we spent most of our time missing our kiddos, and I realized that I’m still not super ready to leave Sweet M overnight without his momma or papa quite yet, even though he did stellar.
We arrived early Saturday morning and spent our time driving to the eastern most part of the island. Visiting chapels and beaches, and taking in the uninhabited beauty that is Molokai.
The beaches and lava rock were breathtaking. Molokai is definitely my island. I could have stayed there forever.
And the food?
There weren’t many options, obviously. But we found a tiny little joint way outta the way that was SO worth it that we went back for breakfast the next morning. And it was worth it the second time, too!
Because we had Bean with us we were not able to trek down and tour the historic Kalaupapa. Individuals under the age of 18 are not allowed. I knew this before we made plans for Molokai, and although I would have greatly enjoyed making the hike down, I’m glad we opted to take Bean with because I know I’m not ready to be without her for that long quite yet. She’s much too little and precious to not be with her momma or papa for more than 24 hours.
It didn’t prevent us from taking the small hike to look at the cliffs where it lays below though.
Then we hiked to the nearby Phallic Rock, because with a name like that who could resist? During this hike J and I also realized how terribly out of shape we’ve both gotten since moving to this island. Eep.
We spent the evening walking the beach near our Air BnB and talking about life and beauty and how, after 10 years of loving each other, we are still both happily here, doing this awesome thing and raising these amazing people, and loving pretty fiercely the whole set up of it all.
The next morning we went for breakfast and then we drove to the west side of the island. The town of Mauna Loa is called a “ghost town”, and the valley below is inhabited mostly by crazy rich non-locals. The beaches are grand.
It was such a wonderful, low key trip. I put a check on my bucket list and really got time to cherish and enjoy my husband’s company outside the hustle and bustle of our normal, every day lives. It was needed and so very appreciated. And I’m glad we got to do it somewhere so beautiful.