Girl trips come in just under family travel on my list of favorite things. Traveling with my family has great joy but at the cost of my mom-xiety. Girl trips are cake compared that. Although scheduling a girl trip is like doing Tetris on level 1 million, it is worth it. Here are my three things I get from girl trips that I cannot get anywhere else.
A Little Autonomy
Living in a community, a culture, or a family whether you are a daughter, sister or aunt comes with responsibility for others, but the burden has ridden a fair amount heavier since having my own children. Girl trips are a time when I temporarily set that load down. I do not have to make decisions for my girl friends concerning health, food, inter personal relations or the danger of any given activity. Yes, we help each other out and make group decisions about different activities on our trips but wow is that easy. On return to my family, I discover that they have not irrevocably damaged themselves or others and so I learn that I can set some of that load down in my regular life as well.
I can get all my words out.
The desire to be heard by other people is pretty fundamental to all human beings. That need was most poignant for me when I was staying at home with infants and toddlers. Daily conversations with myself about basic human functions were not satisfying. Even with my poor husband doing what he could in our exhausted evenings, the unsaid words seems to build up like flood water behind a dam. Woe unto the unsuspecting adults I found because the flood gates would open and I would watch with horror as my pent up words drenched the unfortunate person. It takes a lot of listening to recover from that place and there is something uniquely healing about time with my girl friends.
Girl time was easy to come by before we started families but it was probably more shallow for being so easy. Now, when we get together the time is precious and bought with sacrifice and guilt over leaving our families. These are women who love me. My friend Patricia and I met in NYC. We talked to each other nonstop for three days. At the end of it, I had the most peculiar feeling, I had nothing to say. Not speechless from shock but had actually used up all the thoughts and words and was content. Most of my girl trips start with me feeling like my words are spilling over the dam but end with contentment.
I was a person before I became a mother or wife. It seems self evident but is hard to remember. I give credit to my husband and children for teaching me to be more loving, more selfless and a much better person. The personal improvements are good but I feel like my creativity, humor and love of adventure are often throttled back to take care of the real and present needs of a family. Girl trips help me find that part of myself again. Hard work is great, but what are we working towards? Why are we working? The answers are a little clearer for me when I get some room to think. Girls trips give me that space. When I get back from these trips, I know I am a more creative, fun and adventurous mother. I wrote more about this in another article if you want to hear more about that adventure.
Go to a Dude Ranch, Punta Cana, Machu Picchu or Iceland, anywhere. Just remember it is worth it to make time for girl trips. Angie Frederickson wrote about her latest girl break, "each of us headed home, armed with the strength to step back into the daily madness feeling a little more grounded." It feels selfish to go, but you come back with more to then when you left.
Need some girl time?
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