Place water in small bowl. Sprinkle gelatin over its surface. Set aside, allowing it to "bloom."
Beat the egg whites on high with an electric mixer or beaters until they become stiff, about 2 minutes.
In a small saucepan (choose a lightweight saucepan to make the next step easier) add the honey and/or maple syrup. Heat maple syrup & honey just to boiling, and then remove from heat. Swirl the pan as needed to evenly distribute the bubbles, when bringing to a boil.
Add the now solidified gelatin mixture to egg whites. While constantly beating, pour the hot syrup mixture into the fluffy egg whites and gelatin in a slow and steady stream.
Finally, add vanilla and continue to beat the mixture. Keep beating until it forms peaks. This step takes about 10 minutes. (You will see only a little change from 5 minutes to 10 minutes; but the extra time will yield the right texture.)
Once chilled this meringue will set. Use it right away if you wish to decorate with it.