What the Na Pali Coast Wants to Teach You

Hike the Na Pali Coast on Kauai and you will never be the same. Here’s why.

I was taught at a young age that nature is our greatest teacher. I spent most of my childhood outside, learning that, in nature, everything is perfect, efficient, and harmonious. Each organism has an important purpose and serves a bigger picture. Each piece of nature works together in one beautiful cycle.

Beyond that, nature teaches us about ourselves – our aspirations and complexities. Albert Einstein once said, “look deep into nature and then you will understand everything better.” Spend time outside and allow yourself to be distracted by the brilliantly iridescent colors of the hummingbird and the whispering sound of the wind sweeping through oak trees. With everyday distractions put to bed, being in nature allows you to achieve total focus and self-awareness. Thoughts once being born into existence, only to be lidded by distractions, are now allowed to flow freely. Your mind is free to dream, to question and to explore in nature.

If nature is our greatest teacher, then the Na Pali Coast on Kauai is one of the world’s most esteemed professors. It is a magnificent place where rugged cliffs spill into the warm teal ocean. Exotic lush plant life juts up from the moist ground while others hang low from drooping vines. Waterfalls, hundreds of feet high, crash down into gigantic swimming holes of fresh water. The humid air beads the sweat on your skin. The sun’s reflection dances luminously on the water.

Kalalau Trail, on the Na Pali Coast, is a strenuous 11 mile hike. It dips through lush valleys, crosses swollen streams, and climbs cliffs miles high. It has also been known to change people’s lives. Here is what the Na Pali Coast wants you to know:

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You belong outside. You are meant to feel the sun, soak in the water, roll with the waves, breathe the air into your lungs, and feel the dirt under your nails.

True connection happens only when you are disconnected. Close down the distracting technology that “connects” you to finally open the senses and emotions your body has been craving.

You are stronger than you think. The Kalalau Trail is no joke and to hike it – whether half a mile or the entire 11 – is a feat. Revel in that.

Nature is a masterpiece. It is art’s inspiration. It is love simplified. It is curiosity’s king.

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+What does nature teach you? Please share in the comments. 

Photos by Melodi Meadows.

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Comments

  1. Nature is really good at reminding me to slow down and relish in the small and simple things. Last night we had quite a thunderstorm. And instead of closing up the windows and watching the weather channel, I turned the lights off, lit some candles and sat in an open window enjoying the rain and thunder. The day had been humid, but just like that the rain brought in a cool, calm like breeze. I also recorded the storm on my phone recorder just to have a small piece of it for whenever I just need a calm moment. No video, only sound.

  2. When out in nature, it allows me to connect with mother earth and grounds my soul. Getting away from the manmade hussle and noise is vital to calming and grounding me.
    I find when I can only hear the sound of the ocean, birds or rain I breathe slower and become calmer and my imagination and creativity is inspired.
    We are of this earth and the more we remove ourselves from it, it causes a disconnect and added stress. When one denies themselves the experience of nature it makes them callous and even unhappy.
    Dance in the rain, feel the grass and sand in your toes and listen to that inner voice of your soul.

  3. ^^ Megan B, that sounds wonderful. Where I currently live, we’re not in season for thunderstorms but they’re coming! I’m looking forward to the thick humid air and the cooler breeze that cuts it like a knife. Both of those instances are refreshing and they soothe the soul. in their own unique ways There’s nothing quite like it.

    Until we get that sort of weather in the Midwest, I go to my Rainy Mood app. It has endless thunderstorms that you can work to, sleep to, do yoga to. It helps keep me in that mindset in the meantime until the real deal happens. xx

  4. Nature reminds me of what it’s like to see the world through my child eyes. It reawakens memories of playing with caterpillars, taking comfort in the warm sunshine on my back, not realizing that I was relishing in what is most important in life: the present.

    It reminds me that there is always time to dream.
    To create.
    To keep my mind fertile.
    To keep my heart open.
    To grow.
    To explore.
    To breathe.

    <3.

  5. This is marvelous. My husband and I hiked Kalalau two years ago and it was truly magical. We only hiked to the waterfall and back, but it was a beautiful day that started with rain, paused with rainbows, and ended in sunshine. We were sweaty and muddy and exhausted but totally filled up in our souls. It’s definitely a must-do.

  6. I hiked the Kalalau trail some years back before I started high school and I really wish that I could have appreciated the beauty that I was surrounded with more, but it remains to be my favorite hiking trip to this day. I hope to go back someday and hike it again!

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