Maui wildfires – Lahaina

Condolences and praying for a healthy recovery


Wildfires, we know what they can do. In early May this year, Western Canada had its fair share of wildfires that destroyed thousand of hectares. As the wildfire season continued, it has thus far destroyed closed to 13.3million hectares to date. More info about Canada’s wildfire can be read here.

However, what i really wanted to do here is to send my condolences and prayer to the hopeful recovery of Lahaina, western Maui, as a devastating wildfire destroyed what was once the economic and tourist hub of Maui. I saw the news, 9th August 2023. It was Singapore’s national day and 8th August 2023 in Hawaii, almost a day behind us due to timezone. 

At first i thought, oh wildfire, it’s bad but usually not overwhelmingly affecting too much. Having spent 2 months in the United States over the summer season, it wasn’t uncommon to see smokes and fires sometimes breaking out in the middle of nowhere, either caused by negligence or by nature, say a lightning strike. I saw the Instagram reel and many of the Hawaiian businesses that i’ve followed sharing the news, and i knew it had to be something catastrophic. 

I googled more, check for more videos and slowly realised the extent of the damage it had caused to Maui, left me in gasps. Over these 2 days, i remembered fondly of my times in Hawaii, mainly Oahu, and a small part of Big Island. The joy it provided me, the friendly aloha spirit and the ever clear inviting waters. I wished i was there, so i could offered more help and resources like blankets etc, other than cash that could provide them with more immediate relief. 

Aerial view damage of Lahaina
Aerial view damage of the coast of Lahaina


Right now i am sourcing for reliable places to donate and likely will go with either one. These 2 are some of the native councils namely,  Ainamomona, hawaiiancouncil. For Hawaiian council (CNHA), they have a partnership with Kamehameha schools, Alaka’ina Foundation family of companies and  Kākoʻo Haleakalā to match up to $1,000,000 in community donations for ʻohana impacted by the devastating wildfires on Maui. 

What happen to Maui

I have not been to Maui, most of my time in Hawaii was spent in Oahu and a short period on Big Island to see the volcano erupt. However, i’ve heard many accounts of travelers who had been there, who love it so much, and was almost always a recommendation from them for us to visit again one day. 

For you guys, here’s a map of Hawaii, and it’s various island, that made up Hawaii. Oahu is the home of the state capital. Looking at the map, you can see Lahaina, where the most severe damage is done. To date, as i’m writing, the death toll continues to rise to 53, with billions of dollars needed right now for the island to rebuilt itself. The wildfire started on Tuesday (Hawaiian time) and became widespread, fuelled by winds from passing Hurricane Dora.

Here’s a live update from washingtonpost on the situation, if you would like to follow. 

Hawaii Overview
Hawaii Overview

What you can do now

Some of the things that could help them now are

  • Do not travel to Maui

If you were planning on traveling to Maui in the near future, CANCEL your trip. The devastation from the wildfires will have a lasting island-wide impact on Maui’s resources, and the community needs time to heal, grieve and restore.

  • Do not book a hotel stay. Survivors are priority now.

The American Hotel & Lodging Association and Hawaii Hotel Alliance are currently working with hotels in other parts of Hawaii to house displaced residents.

  • Do not fly to Maui

Hawaiian Airlines and Southwest Airlines are lowering prices so victims can evacuate off the island. It is not a time for you to book cheap flights for your vacation.

  • Donate, if you can

The residents of Maui needs your help. If you’ve ever been to Hawaii, wants to go, or simply wish to help, do consider donating instead.

Final words

I love Hawaii, it’s a place dear to my heart now after spending a month there. Let’s pray that Lahaina, Maui will recover steadily and the residents’ soul be filled with warmth and safety again. Stay strong Hawaiians, your people always have been.

Taking the plunge!

Jobs fill your pocket, adventures fills your soul

Jamie Lyn Beatty

Final days at work, preparation for a 2 month trip

Now, where do i start? 

My friend Shanery and I, we came from different backgrounds, different career, different lifestyle. I remembered the day we met, we chatted at a coffeehouse after climbing at an indoor sport climbing facility at Climb Central, we got introduced to each other via a mutual friend, Cheryl. 

Travel, mountains, hiking, outdoor sports, nature, we chatted for hours about our travel stories and realised, hey we kind of hit it off really well and can’t wait to actually travel together one day to experience the joy together. (This was covid period, quote 2020), none of us were able to travel out of the country so we had to wait. 

2022 in short

Fast forward 3 years, not only had we gone on a few trips together, like road tripping Melbourne when the borders first reopened, to hiking in the Taiwan mountains soon after she opened her borders to our countrymen. I dreamed to step foot on United States for the first time for my birthday, which happened to be United States Independence Day. Whereas, my friend was really keen on road tripping United States in a Camper van, and a plan was hatched in our minds. We wanted to go on a three month or longer road trip in 2022 to United States, exploring the different states and hiking the national parks. We even went on to book a few campsites in advance. 

Unfortunately, 2022 was a rough year for both of us, i didn’t had a smooth time at work and my health either. Questioning the days spent working at home for a job that kept me in my comfort zone for a very long time. Trying to move forward but lacking the motivation to do so.

The health also kept me on my job as i had many check-ups and physiotherapy to attend to. There wasn’t much travel except for the few neighbouring short trips to Malaysia as well until my friend had her personal stuff sorted out, as i wanted to be there to support her. My headspace concurrently wasn’t in a good place to enjoy, there was this unknown source of stress constantly wrapping my life, personally and professionally.

2023 and beyond

2023, this was a year where the dust settled, i finally took the break i wanted. It was very uncomfortable to leave my job and know that i will be back home months later jobless. However, i took this opportunity to break out of my comforting and secured life and went for something my soul always wanted, to travel and be away from familiarity for a good period of time.

My friend was due to return to her career soon and she happen to have this short period to take a break from the rough covid years before heading home to workforce. It was why we finally decided, it’s time for us to fulfil our 2022 dream trip. 

With the limited time my friend had before she needs to return to her career, we ditched the camper van idea. Instead, we decide to help shave the costs down by taking a month basing ourselves somewhere, then the next month travelling. Travelling on the go is very expensive because you will have to keep moving. Moving often meant that your transport costs and accommodation costs will chalk up to a big amount.  

The destination we chose was Japan for 2 weeks, after which we flew to Honolulu, Hawaii, stayed there for a month, and then we spend the final month travelling the west coast of United States via domestic air, public transport and rental cars. This blog came in 3 months late because we tried to create as much content as we could when we’re on the road, and we never seem to find the time to properly create content.

As we are not full time content creators, without the luxury of time, we are unable to update as we travel. Nonetheless, the backlogs will be updated here. 

In the upcoming posts, we will share more about why we decide to head to a certain country and where we explored/travel. We will also share more about the destinations in detail, (attractions, accommodations, culture, tips, transportation etc). So stay tuned if you are excited to read more about our adventures! 

In the meantime, here’s us travelling out of Singapore, and coincidentally meeting our friend, Jiayun, who just returned home from her solo 3 months adventure in Canada. Our flight out and her flight back home timing happened to match! We could briefly see each other before saying our goodbyes! If you are keen on hearing her side of the story, you can also read up on her blog here regarding Canada.

Pic below from left to right: Shanery, Jiayun, Michelle (Me) 

Shanery, Jiayun and Michelle
We met in transit.

You can guess where we are heading to next right? 😀

Inside JAL flight
Inside flight