I never really traveled alone. In my life before kids work travels were in a pack. Any other trips were family, friends or my spouse.
I was invited to a FAM (this is familiarization trip in travel industry jargon) in Costa Rica. I absolutely love Costa Rica and I love working with clients interested in this amazing country. There was a hotel I was interested in that wasn’t on the FAM agenda so I booked a few extra days at the beginning to visit the property and I’d be alone.
Eek. The idea excited me but also frightened me. I’m very uncomfortable with the idea of dining alone and being a woman in a foreign country was anxiety-fueling. But it’s my job now, my duty, so I soldiered on.
Let me tell you. I can’t remember being so relaxed. With two young kids I never get time to myself. I slept in, I booked the tours, and spa treatments and I dined alone.
In fact, I dined alone while enjoying a 7-course tasting menu (with wine pairings of course) and as I sat there enjoying course after course I could feel myself growing stronger. Not physically but spiritually. I was comfortable, I was happy and I was in the moment.
I did a waterfall hike and in the afternoon returned to the hotel. I enjoyed the private plunge pool. It was raining and I had a beautiful view of the volcano. I can’t tell you how much time I spent in the private plunge pool. It was SO relaxing.
I read a book.
I did some work.
I took a long shower.
It was like a reset button. I felt even more connected to my family being away from them. Missing them but really appreciating the time I had to myself.
This is for the moms in the thick of it. Or maybe the mom rediscovering themselves after their flock has spread its wings to fly. Take the time to know yourself. To be content with yourself. To slow down and rest. To give yourself grace. You are still you underneath the role of caregiver. Give yourself the same level of care you give to all those you love.