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There is something about those Hawaii-based mamas that captivate us. Maybe it’s their laidback island lifestyles, the little bronzed beach babes, the glowing skin and wide smiles but we seriously want to jump on a plane every time we look at their Instagram feeds. One such mama is photographer and mum-of-four, Chelsea Aaron. Chelsea is originally a Californian girl who met her husband Ryan in high school. They are now living the dream and raising their four bebes on the island of Maui where they spend time hiking, chasing waterfalls and exploring all their island home has to offer. Children of the Tribe spoke to Chelsea about life in Hawaii and grabbed some tips for tribes heading to Maui for the US summer.
Words: Amy Mills
Images: Chelsea Aaron Photography
You and your family live an idyllic life on Maui. What do you love most about your island lifestyle?
My favourite days are spent at the beach or hiking outdoors exploring as a family. Whether its photographing the perfect moment - or jumping off a waterfall - we crave anything and everything this beautiful island offers.
You are a photographer and your husband is a videographer. Do you work together often?
We work together all the time. We've done loads of wedding ceremonies with each other. It's so special when we get to put our heads together and get creative. Although his business is now gearing more towards Real Estate videography and photography at the moment, we still like to try and feed off of one another and lift each other up when we aren't working on the same projects.
Take us through an average day on Maui?
The best of days are the ones without any plans. We'll all hang out together in the morning and tell each other our ideas for the day. We love going to IAO Valley and exploring the plush greenery and swimming in the refreshing water. I fit in as much homeschool as we can while out and about. We also enjoy surfing and the ocean in general so if the surf is good, we pack up the good ol' Vanagon and head to some of our favourite spots. The locations that the littles feel most comfortable surfing are on the other side of the island so we like to make a day of it and suck in all that the West side has. Our favorite place to eat is Choice Health Bar; we can't get enough! When the sun sets, you can either find us at the beach, bike riding or down playing basketball in Paia town.
Any downsides to island life?
The downside to living on an island for us is not having our family around. Our family lives on the mainland so it can be difficult being away from them, especially during the holidays.
Where is the best place to eat with the family on Maui?
Choice Health Bar in Lahaina is our number one 'go to' on the island. The atmosphere and staff is unbeatable and the food is the always the freshest you can find.
What is a must-see when visiting Maui?
I'd recommend driving the road to Hana. It's located on Maui's Eastern coastline. Hana is isolated from the rest of the island. Remember, it's about the journey not the destination so make those stops! There are endless waterfalls along the way. The beauty is 'jaw dropping' so make sure to bring your camera. When you actually get to Hana, Thai Food by Pranee is delicious. It's outdoor seating so you're surrounded by tall mango trees and right in the middle of a full on tropical paradise.
Can you share one magical moment you've experienced with your tribe in your hometown?
There are so many moments we've experienced here in Paia. We lived in Lahaina most of the time we've lived on Maui so I think our happiest moments have taken place there. The most magical memories are from when I would ride my bike with all of my clan to school in the morning on one bike along the beach. I'd have one in the baby carrier, one on the front child seat and the rest in a bicycle trailer. They loved it and so did I.
Your dream destination is…
Bora Bora and Australia are on the top of the list right now!
You have four kids. Any plans to add another beach babe to your brood?
It's totally possible. Maybe sometime in the future if its meant to be.
Click here to check out Chelsea's photography on Instagram
With its staggering natural beauty, kilometres of white sand beaches, tropical gardens and cascading waterfalls, it’s of little wonder Hawaii’s second largest island, Maui, is a popular destination for families. To make the most of your precious time on the ‘Valley Isle’ and avoid a bunch of tourist traps and overpriced restaurants, the Children of the Tribe have created a ‘locals’ guide to Maui just for you.