Tag: Haleakalā

Expectations: Friend or Foe?


Soup should be served hot: coffee hotter. Wait staff should smile and serve with friendly deference. Eggs Benedict means rich, yellow liquid from the egg yolk beneath the Hollandaise sauce.

Expectations: we all have them. They color our experiences in every aspect of life.

The problem with expectations is that they have the power to derail our joy when they aren’t met. If we expect to see dolphins on the boat ride, but we only see a manta ray and sea birds, our expectations are dashed, so much surf against the rocks.

Will unmet expectations ruin the day?

Years ago, a woman I worked with traveled to Maui for her daughter’s wedding. When she returned, she bubbled about the sunrise bike ride from the top of the mountain. More recently, people who learned we were traveling to Maui said, “You have to do the sunrise bike ride.”

When asked by my husband what I wanted to do on vacation, I replied, “The sunrise bike ride and sit by the pool.” These desires should be easily met, right?


When the clouds obscured the sunrise and I was tired, cold and frozen, the trip to the top of Haleakala could have been a bust.

I determined to prove a new formula for unmet expectations:
Anticipation + Expectation = Atypical Results

My mother-in-law, a travel mate, said the night before, “I hope it’s everything you hope for.”

What did I hope for? A fantastic view of Maui and heart-pounding thrills from a downhill race.

More than a few breathtaking views punctuated the speedy descent down the mountain (House of the Sun). Sounds like what I hoped for had been achieved.

It didn’t have to be a sunrise view from the summit. I had anticipated thrills and sights. My experience flourished with vistas and whoops.

Perhaps we need to carefully define our expectations. Or maybe it’s best to just sit back and let come what may.

Can you think of a time when unmet expectations dampened an experience? What recommendations do you have for turning our expectations into friends rather than foes?

Hawaii’s Top Ten

Sun sets behind Lana'i
Sun sets behind Lana’i

Anyone who enjoys the ocean, the beach, green scenery or balmy nights should plan a trip to Hawaii. In short: everyone needs to experience the fiftieth U.S. state at least once.

It may prove challenging to visit only once.

I recommend Oahu for those people who want a fast-paced trip. A varied night life awaits once the pulse of Waikiki beach fades under the setting sun.

If you want a wide variety of hiking, biking, sightseeing, snorkeling, shopping and adventure, I suggest the island of Maui. On my next trip (See? I warned you this might happen), I’m going to hike to waterfalls in the Northern mountains and zip line through a jungle.


Here are the top ten most memorable moments from my recent vacation in the Aloha State and, specifically, to the Valley Isle:

10. Snoozing beneath crystal blue skies beside a sparkling swimming pool

9. Quality time with people I love while basking in sunlight and inhaling balmy air

8. My inner pyromaniac salivating as men in loincloths spin fire overhead and between their legs

7. Whooping down Haleakala atop a bicycle

6. Building my ocean-colored Pandora bracelet with a turtle charm to cement this vacation in memory

5. Enjoying each meal on the lanai with friendly birds and full view of the trip mascot: turtles

4. Admiring the “neck” of Maui from 6,500 feet above sea level

3. Swimming in the warm ocean with sea turtles bobbing up all around me

2. Lapping waves as a lullaby every night and a daily wakeup call

1. Dolphins racing the boat and spinning in the air a few yards away

Dozens of these Spinner Dolphins chased the boat
Dozens of these Spinner Dolphins chased the boat

Take a moment to reflect on your best moments from your last trip away from home. Make a list. What tops your list? What made that moment so special?