Since last posting on this blog, life has been full and intense. Grieving the loss of my mom, caring for my first foster child, and navigating through my 12-year-old puggle Percy’s tumor removal process were the most stressful life events I have encountered as an adult.
Don’t get me wrong: I had some wonderful moments during the past few months also. One really discovers their true-blue friends and loyal family members during stressful life events.
And I have come through those three big events even stronger. Everything has worked out. Grieving is a natural part of life, the child is safe and in a new place, and Percy has bounced back well from his surgery. Even though I became stronger, I still needed a break.
I have known for some time that I needed to prioritize taking some real time away. However, knowing and doing are two very different actions. Life seems to always get in the way of true relaxation.
Friends in Coachella Valley had reached out to me after my mom passed away and invited me out to stay for a few days. I finally took them up on that offer in February, when I booked a flight into Palm Springs for a six-day vacation in early March.
I booked the pups for doggie daycare and boarding, took inventory of my spring-weather clothing, shopped for travel items, notified work clients, and collaborated with consulting partners so they could assist if any emergencies arose while I was away.
During this preparation process, I realized I had not been outside of the Midwest since taking a road trip to Virginia in 2019. And I had not flown anywhere since February 2018. Yikes. Even given the Covid craziness and lockdown, I was overdue.
This trip was exactly what I needed. First, the change of scenery was amazing. Flying into the Palm Springs airport provided a breathtaking view of the mountains, valleys, and palm trees. Then, upon exiting the plane outside, I felt like I was in a park when walking through the open-air airport terminal.
Second, I am a girl who needs her sunshine, and I got plenty of it in California. The weather averaged 75 degrees each day, and the sun was almost always shining.
Third, I had a six-day break from regular adulting activities! No house work, dog walking, or driving.
And finally, this trip was something for ME. It was not in any way tied to work or family obligations.
I absolutely love California and had the most amazing hosts during this trip. We were busy seeing sites, eating great food, and taking in all of the great arts, culture, and live music that Coachella Valley has to offer. I was able to wake up without an alarm every day and easily drift off to sleep in the evenings.
I arrived home refreshed and restored and was not even annoyed by the little bit of snow that fell in the Quad Cities the next day.
Thinking about that vacation? Make it happen. Book the flight and accommodations now. After that, it’s more difficult to put it off until a later date. Once I booked my flight, I knew I was finally going to take time away.
Then work like heck to make sure no one needs you when you are gone. Letting go of the day-to-day stuff is necessary if you really want to feel rested.
Finally, a few new travel discoveries – which I realize I may be behind on, but nonetheless am listing in case someone else is behind the times like I was!: Use packing cubes in your suitcase (thanks to my bestie for recommending to me!); don’t check luggage (so much easier!); and utilize all of those online and text notification tools that the airline provides.
If you would like to see my vacation photos, follow me on Instagram @melissagesing!