Achieving “Hakuna Matata”

 Is there such a thing as a perfect family vacation? The kind where everything goes smoothly and no one ever complains even when someone does not shower and all eight of you are cramped together in a vehicle. I would really like to know if that exists because I cannot think of one family vacation that was not fraught with mishaps or complaining. To be forthcoming, I am the one usually doing the complaining. Our family (plus one) vacation to Kauai was no different. There was definitely some mishaps and complaining, and perhaps some yelling (me again). However, when you can laugh about the mishaps that happen on your vacation means that you have achieved “hakuna matata.” If you have never seen the Lion King you may not understand the meaning behind “hakuna matata.” It means no worries in Swahili. I wanted a stress free vacation, so I declared the phrase “hakuna matata” to be our motto during this trip. Considering there were eight of us, “no worries” was not an easy feat.

Just getting to Kauai was the first mishap. My oldest son, his wife, my daughter and her friend arrived in Hawaii before my husband, myself, and our two other sons because we were on different flights and ours was delayed for an entire day due to mechanical issues. I am glad they discovered the malfunction prior to taking off, but nevertheless I was beside myself. I cried to the ticket agent that my children were already in Hawaii. I did not tell her that my children were all in their twenties. Somehow we got on another flight that arrived the same day. Hakuna matata!

During the vacation some of the mishaps that occurred included: my daughter falling on a metal rod while walking down a steep hill; My youngest son being left up on the mountain (Napali Coast) by his siblings; someone almost jumping off a cliff because a bee was chasing them (me); and my daughter in law being awoken by a rooster crowing before dawn and chasing after it in her pajama’s with a flip flop in one hand, and her cell phone for light in the other to stop this menacing rooster. My daughter was okay, my son was found, I did not jump, and the rooster was not harmed. Hakuna matata!

Perhaps it was not perfect or always worry free, but mishaps like these are what make the best stories after all. We still laugh about them. The best part of course was spending time with my family in one of the most beautiful places on earth. The island of Kauai is known as the garden island. Portions of Jurassic Park were filmed on the Western part of the island (Napali Coast), which is uninhabited, but accessible by foot if you are adventurous and don’t mind possibly dying. The hike can be treacherous because it may be muddy in some places and may also be rocky. Slipping on the mud and hitting your head will definitely ruin a vacation. Luckily it was a near miss for me followed by my  husband’s angry words, ” you almost killed yourself!” As if I had a choice. Getting swept away by a raging river that requires crossing may also prove to be deadly. Had I known the hike was so treacherous I would have put my foot down and not allowed my children to do this hike. Sadly, they left me and husband to fend for ourselves right from the start. We met up with them at a gorgeous secluded beach, which was the stopping point for me before heading back. Four of them decided to continue the hike to the waterfall. This is where they left the younger son who declared he would catch up after taking a break. I think he took a nap because they waited for him for a very long time. Hakuna Matata definitely went out the window that day. However, even though there definitely was some worrying during this trek I call it a win because we all made it back alive. So here’s to hoping that all your adventures and vacations are hakuna matata! Or at least pleasantly memorable.