I feel you're with me, when I say "I'm so over this pandemic." I don't mean to make light of it and I know there are countless jurisdictions throughout the world that are suffering far more than we are and for all that I really am grateful. But even in that gratitude I still long for a disruption of the Groundhog Day-like existence that comes from no travel.
So when I saw an email drop in my inbox with the title: "5 Nights on Maui for $698 with 12 Months to Travel" I clicked on it. Quickly. I was being sent it because one of my last trips before the pandemic hit was a quick stay at the Westin Nanea Villas in Ka'anapali and they were presumably keen to entice me back. I read a bit deeper (the full offer is here), and it includes a car rental. It does also have this fine print—Your stay will also include an introduction to Westin Vacation Club. Through a personalized tour and presentation, you’ll discover flexible vacations with unique experiences and an award-winning villa resort collection—which sounds like a root canal, but one that I'd gladly endure right now to be back on Maui.
I'm keen to go back. This isn't an advertorial or a pay-to-play exercise. I don't think Westin even advertises with us.These are just the plaintiff thoughts of someone who loves travelling. If you have the same wonderful affliction I do, I have no doubt that you allow your mind to wander about what your first trip might be. Bora Bora is a given. Meandering the streets of Paris. Plays in London's West End. But for me it's Hawaii—although I suppose that doesn't narrow it down that much. The new Sensei Four Seasons on Lanai might be the greatest resort I've ever stayed in. Staying in Poipu in Kauai (I love the small villas and the Kukui'ula are amazing) and heading out hiking for the day in Waimea Canyon never gets tired. But for some reason this email grabbed me and I think that returning to Ka'anapali has the air of returning to an old friend. It's comfortable. Supremely comfortable. And I don't want my first trip back to be some sort of bucket list blow out—I want it to be a reminder of travelling as something that's part of my life.
The proviso is that I don't have a clue the ins and outs of this deal. I do know it's for the Westin Ocean Villas, not the Westin Nanea, which is next door and newer. But I know the rooms are the exact thing I want on Maui—big, with a kitchen and on that northern stretch of the Ka'napali beach that I like best. I haven't pulled the trigger on it yet—I'm still relishing just contemplating the idea—but if you do please drop me a line and let me know. You can't imagine how much I miss going over travel plans with people. Well, maybe you can.