*This post is in collaboration with Luxury Retreats, who offer beautiful Maui beach rentals for those looking to for the perfect space to explore the island*
I have well and truly caught the travel bug. I’m not someone who has done loads of travelling and I think part of me thought that now I was a mother a lot of those dreams were over, but I’ve realised how wrong I was. Since taking Dil to Rhodes this summer, and proving to myself that travelling solo with a young child is totally doable and loads of fun, I am desperate to show him the rest of the world. My wanderlust list is over flowing with places I want to show him, places I want to see myself. I really want to make the most of this time when we aren’t restricted by term dates (thanks to our current decision to keep Dil out of mainstream school), and introduce him to new cultures and languages while he still has a huge passion for learning about the world.
The only thing that is really holding us back from running away to tour the globe (besides the obvious funding issue, haven’t won the lottery yet) are Dilan’s food allergies. Although I don’t believe that allergies should restrict any part of our lives, it does mean things like holidays and travelling require a little extra thought. For now places like Thailand (which is right at the top of my dream travelling list) are off limits to us, because I think visiting whilst dealing with a soya allergy would be too difficult. It just means that we have to think outside the box a little, and plan trips that will be as allergy friendly/easy to manage as possible. There’s lots of things you can do to make travelling with food allergies easier so it doesn’t have to be awful, and choosing your destination wisely is probably one of the most important ones.
So far I have prioritised destinations within Europe, because I am clued up on the labelling regulations and I know that anywhere serving food has to provide information on the top 14 allergens which makes it all much easier. Now I’m dreaming of places a little further away, and wondering how we would manage to eat safely in other places. Obviously if food labels were in English, and staff in restaurants and hotels spoke the same language as us then it all should be pretty straightforward. With that in mind I’m welcoming a new dream destination to my bucket list… Maui in Hawaii, USA where both Hawaiian and English are the national languages.
For those who don’t know I was actually born in America, but after moving over to the UK when I was 8 I still haven’t managed to return. Due to being a US citizen myself, Dil is also able to secure dual citizenship which will hopefully open up some doors for him when he’s older should he wish to pursue them. This makes travelling to the USA an attractive option, it feels only right to show him that part of the world since it’s part of his heritage. America is obviously full of a huge variety of places to explore and visit, from the coastlines to the mountains, the desserts, the cities and everything in between. For me though the most attractive part of America is the beautiful, culture filled paradise of the Hawaiian Islands, made up of 6 major islands which all offer unique and unforgettable scenery and experiences for anyone visiting.
Maui, also known as The Valley Isle is one of the largest, and is well known for its stunning exotic beaches, breathtaking landscape and what is often described as the most spectacular sunrise on earth. The island offers an eclectic mix of authentic family owned shops and eateries, relaxing beaches and beautiful national parks, and the opportunity to try your hand at some serious water sports in a world famous surfing location. Whether you want a relaxing break, an action packed one, or something somewhere in the middle like us then I think Maui can fit your needs, all in a truly stunning setting.
Wildlife is also a big part of Maui’s charm, and depending on when you travel there you may have the opportunity to witness some incredible animals in their natural habit. Maui is renowned as one of the best places in the world to watch kohola (humpback whales) who travel to the island during the Winter to breed and nurse their young. Swimming with or touching the whales is strictly prohibited, this is purely about observing mother nature at her finest. Hawaii takes protecting their environment and their waters very seriously, which is always so great to know. You might also spot Hawaiian Green Sea Turtles, Manta Rays, Seals, Spinner Dolphins and a huge variety of beautiful fish. I can’t even imagine how much joy it would bring Dil to spot these kinds of animals out in the wild, and that’s the kind of experience I desperately want him to have.
For now it’s still a pipe dream of course, but one day I really hope we tick Maui off while on our tour of the world.