In the North Shore of Maui’s crystal-blue seascapes, there lies Kite Beach; an area with just the right kind of wind for kiteboarding. This year, MaiTai curated a group of about one hundred and thirty individuals from all around the globe to convene for a week of kiting and community building. Some may think that MaiTai represents the lavish or the ornate traveler, due to the exotic locations that we tend to host our events at, but MaiTai, at its core, is the magnet for the global, the creative and the entrepreneurial and on May 10-14th, we took over Maui.
Some aspects of MaiTai Maui were completely reimagined this year. We have a bigger team, a greater mission and larger-than-life dreams. Maui, like all of our other MaiTai events, was only made possible because of our two leaders: Susi Mai and Bill Tai. That which has been brought into the MaiTai fold, understands that these two people are pillars for this community and we are growing in members and in opportunities. This photo diary represents our holiday in Maui’s North Shore and is one of my favorites so far. Our resident photographers, Sarah Son and John Dill, have captured moments that were very dear to us, so that we may share them with all of you.
MaiTai Maui is one of the biggest MaiTai events of the year. Our core mission is to organize the most incredible group of individuals to co-create, co-exist and co-adventure together. Over the course of our time in Maui, I got to experience the MaiTai effect that transpired through our community. It was entirely fascinating to see how so many of us work together, build together, invest together, holiday together and grow together. At MaiTai, it's very important for us to create an environment that is entirely beautiful, but also entirely relaxed. Luckily for us, the many little towns that make up Maui offered us that opportunity.
The area where most of us resided in Maui is called Paia; a lovely quaint town that is rather close to Kahului airport. Most of our activities and kiting were taken place in this area and at Kite Beach, about a ten minute drive from town. The name Kahului was chosen for its sandalwood scents that existed on the island hundreds of years ago. At one point, the scent became almost as valuable as gold. The tree doesn’t exist on the island anymore, but the name “Kahului” is translated to “scented tree” from the sandalwood’s history. You’ll find the island filled with this scent everywhere you go; it’s positively intoxicating.
Waking up on the beach to the fresh air was one of the best times of our day. The beach was airy and colorful, with vibrant greens lining the shores on the opposite side of the water, separated by a strip of sand. Every morning when we opened our eyes, it was blue lukewarm Hawaiian morning, where the sky is low and the ocean is crystal, and we feel as if we are waking up in a tropical rainforest. The sunsets that existed were vibrant, calculated and moving. We would eat breakfast together and take business calls during the mornings, kite and eat tacos during the afternoons and enjoy conversation, company and dance parties during the sunsets into the late night.
There are several charming, small little areas that reside in Maui. Down the shore, there were locals that exchanged stories and conversation. The locals are cheerful, bohemian, earth-loving movers that developed trades in order to reside on the island. Wandering the tropical streets and seeing the locals interact with one another, we were all instantly seduced. Maui cuisine is extremely healthy, but they have always been famous for their food trucks. Many of us travel a lot and live in major cities like New York and San Francisco, where food trucks are a dime a dozen, but I stand behind my statement when I say to try as many foods trucks as you can. They are affordable, fresh and delicious. Also, Tobi’s Shaved Ice in Paia has the best poke dish I have ever had; we ate it every single day. My lovely friend Dave Kim Music also bought me my very own Coco hat at the poke shop!
You should also definitely spend an afternoon doing one of Maui’s various hiking trails. On one of the days, we all hiked up to Twin Falls to see the nearby waterfall and listen to some Ted-like talks from our group. There are so many different hiking opportunities in Maui, but we didn’t get to explore that many of them since we all rushed to the beach for kiting as quickly as we could. So between kiting and surfing, many of us had goggles and snorkels and went swimming in the shallow waters to spot colorful fish and sea turtles. Some of us (me) also snuck away for some mermaid photos. We entertained Go Pros and took photos of us jumping in the air and jumping for life. At the end of our journey, we took a convertible out and explored Kahakuloa Valley and went dinosaur hunting. We started in Lahaina and traced the island up and back around again, stopping for a girly-lunch at the Ritz Carlton. The drive is incredibly picturesque and the the views will take your breath away. There was continuous socializing with our MaiTai crew throughout the entire week; whether it was at the Lumeria Resort or at the local Art Gallery or at the Maui Plantation Center or at the Italian restaurant turned nightclub or at our Silent Disco dance party or at someone's home, we simply could not get enough of one another's energy.
So there is it- another adventure, another holiday, another MaiTai memory that will forever be engrained in my mind. Big thanks to all of our sponsors (Qualcomm, Lumeria Maui, Cabrinha, SVB, NeilPryde Maui, Naish, tsh0tsh, Vita Coco, Wainman, ALOHA), all of our friends and to some of the best people I’ve ever had the pleasure of meeting- you all make me better.