It’s official — I’m heading back to Hawaiʻi for a visit from April 24-30.

I will be missing a few of my synthesis classes, but by that time, we’ll be working on our final projects.

It’s rare that I would willingly go back home for a visit. The last two visits were borne of family obligation. This time, I’m actually dropping my own dime for no special occasion.

Well, that’s not exactly true.

I turn 35 this year, and I didn’t feel like organizing a party. I’m very lousy at that kind of stuff anyway. I randomly suggested to my mom that perhaps I ought to visit during my birthday. Once she heard that idea, she kept reminding me about it.

Strange thing is that I actually warmed up to it, if only to try to finagle a trip to Maui out of it. I’ve never been to Maui. In all the years I spent growing up and living in Hawaiʻi, I never went to Maui.

I figure: 35th birthday, trip to Maui … why not?

I haven’t booked the Maui portion of the trip yet, and honestly I don’t know what I’d want to see there aside from Haleakala. (The road to Hana sounds like a real drag for an impatient driver as myself.)

But the fact I’ve never been to Maui in the 25 years I lived in Hawai"i holds the same distinction as living in New York City and never going to the Metropolitan Museum of Art — dubious.

In the nine months I spent in New York City from 1992 to 1993, I never made it to the Met. I rectified that oversight when I visited the city in 2005. I really ought to do the same with Maui.

That, and I’m already compiling a list of Japanese CDs I want to shop for.