Nothing parallels the power of female connection and few things soothe the soul more than a girls’ getaway. Women for me have always been a source of comfort, security, and unconditional love, and it’s because of their profound support that strong female connections have become my life support. It’s also the reason I foster my friendships and find ways to make girls getaways not a luxury, but a necessity.
I’ve had two girls’ getaways in the past few months. The key I’ve decided is to be flexible in your standards of how you define a getaway, and to be spontaneous in taking what you can get when the opportunity arises.
Here’s five lessons I learned from my girls’ getaways, and why I think you should grab your girlfriend/s and go, as soon as possible:
1. You’re not alone. Nothing is more validating or comforting than knowing that your girlfriends share similar thoughts, experiences, worries, and doubts, about parenting, relationships, ageing, careers, you name it. What we reinforce in one another is what female connections and true friends are so good at offering- love and companionship, and a gentle reminder that we’re all doing the best we can and thankfully we’re not alone. We have the support and validation of friends who only want the best for us, who have our back, and who are there when we need them the most.
Me with my college girlfriends- Nancy and Michelle- in Cancun, Mexico
2. Time may pass, but connections are never lost. Before we met in Mexico, my two college girlfriends and I hadn’t all been together for a girls’ weekend since 2009. Since that time we have navigated our way through life situations that have forever changed our perspective, yet we discovered that we’re still the same girls we were in college- young at heart and happy to share new adventures. We seemed to pick up where we left off, and with shared history and a connection that has stood the test of time, we accepted our common, yet unique struggles with an empathetic ear and an open heart.
3. Wine, chocolate, and fine dining- in abundance. Does fine dining include beach drinks and outdoor restaurants where bathing suits are the dress code? We thought so. Mix that in with a good meal or two, great dessert, and some Mexican beer, and/or margaritas, and it’s amazing the laughter and direction of the conversation. Better yet, no one’s judging if you go back for another round, or decide that one dessert isn’t enough.
4. There is always someone who wants to give you a massage-for a price. I’ve had few girls’ getaways where I couldn’t justify the need for a massage, facial, or both. Not only do you get a special treatment, you also get to share it with special people. Not to mention, you get invited into that quiet little room where there’s unlimited dried fruit and every tea imaginable at your disposal. Afterwards you and your besties can bask in your luxurious robes and cute little slippers. With all the toxins removed from your body you’re able to look at life through a different lens- one that feels a little less overwhelming when your muscles feel like Jell-O.
Who doesn’t feel more relaxed with blue skies and a beach?
5. There’s no need to hold back- it’s a judgment free zone. I consider myself a fairly private person. I often hold on to things, maybe more than I should. I need internal processing time if you will, before I can talk about the “big stuff.” I need internal processing time if you will, before I can talk about the “big stuff.” Well something about girlfriends, a beach, some margaritas, have I mentioned those, and spa treatments, seems to act like truth serum to the soul. I found myself spilling it, and I came home five pounds lighter as a result, (okay not really, but five pounds lighter in the burdens I had been carrying). Here’s what I’ve discovered about baring your soul on girls weekends: If your teenager is making you question your parenting skills, you’ve discovered that your extended family might be crazy after all, you’re questioning your career choice, life choices, you name it, you’re not alone. Everyone on some level has been there, and sometimes it takes girls getting away, where they feel safe and supported, before they can open their heart and lay out their worries and doubts, all to be picked up by you and your friends so the burdens can be shared. When the words come out of your mouth and the faces around you show support and understanding, when you relay stories and situations and you feel validated knowing that you’re not crazy after all, then you know you’re in the right place with the right people.
Remember, we can love our kids, spouse, significant other, and jobs to pieces, but our girlfriends get us and that’s why getting away with them is pivotal to our health. It doesn’t have to be a weekend in Mexico. You can grab your girlfriend next door and spend a day shopping and an evening out for pizza. Either way, it’s amazing what girlfriends, laughter, and connection can do for our perspective and our attitude, something everyone around us can appreciate long after the party is over.
I’d say I look pretty relaxed, beach hair and all.
Here’s to Girl Power!