What You Need to Know Before You Visit Maui - Q&A with A Maui Blog
Meet Liza, founder of A Maui Blog and author of Maui 2021 and Beyond: Your Simple Guide to Enjoying Your Maui Vacation During and After COVID-19 Pandemic. She's sharing her tips for visiting Maui now, like planning ahead and incorporating Hawaiian values into your visit. Check out our Q&A with Liza below.
Shaka Guide: This book was originally supposed to be published in 2020 in the midst of the pandemic. Can you explain how it the book changed course?
Liza: The truth is, it is more of a delay than a change of course. I planned on publishing this Maui Travel Guide book in 2020, but because it is my first time publishing a book, there was a learning curve and the book didn’t get published in time. Nevertheless, there is a blessing in disguise: there are substantial updates that are included on Maui 2021 and Beyond that wouldn’t have been included had I published it in 2020.
Shaka Guide: You say this book is especially useful for repeat visitors - why is that and what are some changes you think these visitors will notice on their trips to Maui?
Liza: The book is useful for new visitors and repeat visitors. For repeat visitors, some of the significant changes they will notice are that some of the most loved local restaurants have closed, such as Da Kitchen and Aloha Mix Plate. When you're dining out, extra patience is needed everywhere due too manpower shortage, safety requirements and such. Restaurant reservations are now needed and make them as soon as you can because space is limited.
Shaka Guide: In your book you talk about Hawaiian values. Why do you think it’s especially important to share this information right now?
Liza: It is essential to share Hawaiian values because it is important for visitors to know and follow them out of respect for the place that are visiting and the people living here, especially the natives. I have read many Maui Travel Guide books during my research phase for writing Maui 2021 and Beyond, and I noticed that none of them gave emphasis on learning the Hawaiian culture.
Having lived on Maui for 27+ years, I know that the Hawaiian culture and values are so rich and an essential part of what makes Hawaii a great place to live and visit. I also know that learning about the culture and values of Hawaii is a form of respect to our host culture and the native Hawaiians.
In the end, learning them and living it out will make visitors a better people overall. It will make their visit more meaningful, and they will help protect Hawaii, its people and its resources, especially at the time of pandemic, but also beyond. In the book I shared Hawaiian values like Aloha, Malama, Kokua, Kuleana and more. Of course, what I share is just very basic, and I am not a Hawaiian Kumu (teacher). There is a lot to learn but we have to start somewhere.
I found that visitors who knows the basic Hawaiian values and cultures are the ones who enjoy their Maui vacation to the fullest. They not only fall in love with the place, they all fell in love with the people.
Shaka Guide: You talk more about this in your book, but can you explain a little bit about how travelers can put these Hawaiian values into practice on their vacation?
Liza: Let me give you an example …
Kuleana - It is a uniquely Hawaiian value and practice which is loosely translated to mean “responsibility”. The word Kuleana refers to reciprocal relationships between the person who is responsible and the things they are responsible for.
During pandemic, the practice of Kuleana was evident in the way the people of Hawaii protected their “Kupuna” (elders). Most, if not all, felt it is our responsibility to protect our elders, not just within our ohana, but the whole community as well. Hawaii is one of the first States where mask wearing was mandated and is strictly implemented. People wear masks because we feel it is our Kuleana to do so.
Malama - This value “malama” is closely related to the value of “kuleana”. Malama means to tend, to care for, preserve, protect and watch over. To put it together, we can say, “it is our kuleana to malama our ohana and aina. On our previous discussion on Kuleana, we touched about the caring for our family (ohana) and elders (kupuna). In this section of malama, I would like to turn our attention to “Malama Aina."
As visitors to Maui, it is your kuleana to malama the aina. This means taking care of the land, which extends to taking care of the ocean, the creatures and the natural resources.
Here are some of the ways we can turn this value into action:
- Use a sunblock that won't hurt the reef.
- Don't throw plastic in the ocean. Strive for minimal use of plastic.
- Don't feed the Nene and watch out for them.
- Don't get too close to the honu (sea turtles) and monk seals, and do not touch them.
- Don't litter - pick up your "opala" on the beach, parks, etc...
- Don't step on or touch corals.
Shaka Guide: Is there anything else you’d like to share that you think travelers should know looking at the future of travel in Maui?
Liza: Maui 2022 Travel Update Book is coming up in Summer of 2022. It is not a replacement for Maui 2021 and Beyond - it is a supplement. I can’t wait to share it with all of you! In the meantime, I really do hope that have a great time planing your Maui vacation; and when you are here that you will truly enjoy your time on Maui. Aloha and A Hui Hou!
You can get Liza's book, Maui 2021 and Beyond: Your Simple Guide to Enjoying Your Maui Vacation During and After COVID-19 Pandemic here.