By now you have probably seen the photos or heard the news about the wildfires in Maui Hawaii that have destroyed the town of Lahaina. The damage caused by these wildfires have affected the entire community of Maui. At this time Hawaii has asked tourists to leave Maui and cancel their upcoming trips. Airlines added flights to help evacuees leave, hotels have opened their rooms to locals who need a place to stay, many Airbnb and VRBO owners have opened their homes to local evacuees, cruise lines have rerouted their sailings to avoid Maui as not to bring an added burden on the infrastructure, and many have begun helping them recover. If you would like to donate to assist the recovery efforts, you may do so through the Maui Strong Fund established by the Hawai’i Community Foundation at: https://www.hawaiicommunityfoundation.org/maui-strong
Despite the obvious tragedy and the desperate need for help, there is a hidden travel tragedy. Lahaina was a popular destination for visitors. It had a rich history, amazing dining, an incredible location, and a beautiful 200-year-old church. The hidden travel tragedy is that no one else will ever walk inside that 200-year-old church again. A community can rebuild, a culture continues, this becomes a part of their continued history, restaurants will reopen, and families and their community will be restored. But the 200-year-old church is gone forever.
The travel tragedy affects travelers who wait too long to experience their trip of a lifetime. I am reminded of a friend who waited too long to go to Paris. Their bucket-list-trip included wanting to see the Cathedral of Notre Dame. April 15, 2019, the Cathedral of Notre Dame suffered a severe fire. My friend had put off their trip several times for different reasons assuming the Cathedral of Notre Dame would always be there when they were ready.
Another travel tragedy is often the health of a loved one. I recently booked a trip of a lifetime for a friend to go on an Alaskan Cruise-Tour that included three days on land in Denali National Park, and then a seven-day cruise that included Glacier Bay National Park. It brought tears to my eyes when she told me, “My husband and I always talked about seeing Alaska together. He really wanted to experience the national parks. We kept putting it off. He died last year. So now I’m going to Alaska to honor him”.
It's amazing how quickly and unexpected a travel tragedy can occur. Don’t take anything for granted. And if you’re able, don’t wait to experience the vacation you’re always daydreaming about. I don’t mean to be crass, but life is short… Go See, Go Do, and go with the people you love. I have never regretted the trips that I did take with my family.
Zac Wilson is a Certified Travel Advisor, ASTA Verified Travel Advisor, CLIA Master Cruise Counselor, and owner of Daydream Vacations Travel Agency in Granbury. www.DaydreamVacations.com