When was the last time you went away on a girls trip or by yourself? Have you found yourself wondering when you’re going to be able to take the time to get away? This is definitely something that not only I but my girlfriends have thought about consistently. In between doing the laundry, cleaning up vomit, walking the dogs, sending emails, ironing their partner’s shirts, scheduling appointments, and running to the grocery store, we dream about sleeping in and no one calling out mom, a phone ringing, or emails coming in, and even going to the bathroom without a child interrupting.
We do so much for everyone else and always put ourselves last. We know why we do it. I know why I do it. I love my children! I love my parents, and I really love my career but am I showing that same amount of love to myself? Are you? Not really! All of this giving, giving, and giving some more leads to us being completely depleted. It’s how you become stressed, sick, and rundown. You’re no good to anyone in that status.
There are plenty of times when I say you have to take care of yourself before you can take care of anyone else. But we never stick to that model for ourselves. I know I need to recharge more, and I know I need to commit to doing it. The best way I’ve found so far is to travel. Just get away. So that’s what I started doing.
I remember my first trip solo. I was pregnant with my second child and I escaped to Jamaica for a long weekend by myself. It was pure bliss. I had a king size bed, oceanfront views, a butler, room service, a TV, a book, and several magazines. I went from sleeping in, to ordering in, to the pool, to taking a nap, to swimming in the ocean and reading a book on the beach. I pretty much did whatever I wanted to do.
Things changed after my second baby for a long time. I shortly thereafter became a single mom and was either working or spending time with my children. I never had a night or day off. The lack of self-care caught up with me real quick. I found myself yelling, stressing, and just not enjoying my children grow up.
At the time I couldn’t get away for longer than maybe 24 hours. So I booked a water view room at the Grand Hyatt Tampa and told no one. Everyone knew I was off the grid for 24 hours but no one knew where it was except for one person. I committed to no cell phone or social media so I could just focus on myself and doing what made me happy whatever that may have been. Since then been advising my girlfriends, and clients to do the same. Take that weekend trip to the Caribbean! Escape for 24 hours in your own city! Get away from everything and everyone, all the noise and enjoy yourself.
It is unbelievable how little it takes to return to the person you once were. We have to stop making excuses for ourselves. You can’t just get away and not take care of yourself the same way you take care of your children, partner, career, or your mom. You have to do it and do it well. Travel somewhere you have been before or travel somewhere new. Even better, go on a girls trip.
Bottom line, have the vacation you want to have and come back rejuvenated, and ready to take on the world. I believe the ideal time to take a time out would be once every three months but we know that’s not truly possible most of the time or for many of us. But definitely, do it once a year if not twice and don’t feel guilty about it. That’s the great thing about travel, it takes you away from your everyday life, feeds your soul, heals your heart, strengthens your core, and allows you to be you.
If you don’t know how or where to start and you don’t want to do it alone, I have created a women’s retreat that allows you to be the best version of yourself. Most retreats are typically packed with things to do and you really don’t get a chance to rest or choose what you want to do. This three day weekend provides plenty of time to pamper yourself, rest, enjoy other women, and commit to taking care of you. Check all the details here.
I fell in love with river cruising almost 2 years ago. At first, I thought I was too young for this, I mean only older people sailed on River Cruises. Boy, was I wrong!
What people don’t tell you is river cruising is unlike anything else. It allows you to get deeper into a country, and visit small towns and cities often based on the river without having to pack/unpack your suitcase more than once. It’s also a very intimate and luxurious experience. That’s the part I like. On most river cruise boats you will have no more than 190 guests. Some, like AmaWaterways and Uniworld have 78 staterooms or less with impeccable decor, attention to detail, and excellent service. You really get to know each other, the staff, and even the captain.
It’s so much easier to get on and off the ship. You basically walk right on and walk right off. It literally takes less than a minute. If that isn’t a plus, how about the fact that there are many inclusions like all restaurants, tours, drinks both alcoholic and nonalcoholic, and Wi-Fi. Plus different boats have different options, such as 2 to 5 dining options, heated pools, Jacuzzis, spa, gym, running track, and even a theater. Between all of the above and the daily activities when not on shore you really don’t run out of anything to do. The best part of a river cruise is sailing along riverbanks filled with quaint towns and bustling cities.
This past December, I hosted a small group of friends on the new Amalea for a Danube Christmas markets sailing. We had an amazing time! We toured together and many times did our own thing. All of us are in our late 30s to 40s and no one felt out of place. In fact, there were several families with children on board. It was a great mix of ages and made for very interesting conversations. We drank way too much fabulous regional wine and ate way too many wonderful multi-course meals while dancing the night away. Of course, until the late night snack was put out at 10, lol. Almost every night we didn’t head in until midnight. I don’t know about you but for me, nowadays midnight is late. We didn’t have a bunch of early mornings and if you’ve been on ocean cruises then you know what I’m talking about. Typically most tours started sometime between 9 and 9:30, and that’s if you were even taking a tour. Then there are tours which start in the afternoon so you can really sleep in.
We all love that they celebrated Christmas with different things to do onboard. Each night was something different. We decorated Christmas trees, Christmas cookies, Santa came and gave us gifts, we sang Christmas carols, and put our shoes outside the stateroom to see if we’ve been naughty or nice. Between this and the Christmas markets in the cities we visited I can truly say this is been my most magical Christmas ever. Without fail, we’d all definitely recommend river cruising at Christmas time and are returning on AmaWaterways for different sailings next year.
Bottom line is river cruising is intimate, entertaining, out of the ordinary, cultural, comforting, inviting, and one of the best ways to travel. Have you been on a river cruise? If not, what’s stopping you?
Grace Bay on Providenciales, Turks and Caicos has been named the best beach in the world for 2018. Luckily, I had a chance to return in October to confirm this high honor. Now there are many things that make up the best beach, the type of sand, the color and clearness of the water, and maybe even how wide and long the beach is. Ultimately, beauty is in the eye of the beholder. What makes this beach so much more special than any other beach in the world?
First I’d like to say that I visited many properties while there, which include Club Med Turkuoise, Beaches Turks and Caicos, Grace Bay Club, West Bay Club, Point Grace, and The Villas of Grace Bay collection. All properties are located on Grace Bay, and essentially all very different. The one thing that stays consistent is the beach! You will find no other variation of the color blue anywhere else in the world than what Grace Bay has to offer. This also sets the scene for the best snorkeling and scuba diving in the world. Typically, you don’t even have to go that far out to see some of the most amazing species of fish. You might even get a chance to spot JoJo the dolphin. If you don’t know Jojo, he is the local mascot and greets many of those who are sailing or swimming in the ocean. I would say the second best thing is the sand. I don’t know about you but me, I love nice, soft, white, baby powdery sand. Here Grace Bay packs its punch!
Club Med is on the best stretch of the beach and has the longest and widest section of Grace Bay Beach. But, if it’s luxury you’re searching for you won’t find it at Club Med. Those who are into all things sports would love it here though. Situated next door is Grace Bay Club. They have the second best part of the beach, just as wide as Club Med’s but not as long and you have three different options of luxurious accommodations. Point Grace and West Bay Club also share a piece of this beach and offer delightful accommodations for those seeking smaller properties and seclusion. The ultimate, in my opinion, is definitely the Private Villas of Grace Bay Resorts. The Villa I toured had a carriage house with one bedroom, and the main house encompassed four bedrooms including two masters, a stunning kitchen open to the living room, dining room, and the outdoors. There you will find a huge infinity pool overlooking the phenomenal turquoise sea and your own stretch of beach. This, by far, is my favorite. It’s perfect for a girls getaway, guys hang out weekend, or a bunch of family getting together to create priceless memories. The Villas include breakfast daily and can include a chef to prepare all your meals. You really don’t have to leave the property during your entire vacation.
So if you’ve been to Grace Bay Beach in Turks and Caicos, do you agree that it is the best beach in the world?