Do you need a getaway idea? I know what might be just the thing you need. I recommend a friends' weekend. If you haven’t taken a weekend with a childhood friend, a longtime friend or long lost friends- DO IT! Here are my top 5 reasons to go for it!
1. Reconnect with friends
I just came back from a weekend with girlfriends that I had not seen since high school and I couldn’t believe how great it was to reminisce with people I had not seen in over two decades. It was refreshing to see how people from the same, small town took different paths and where we ended up. I loved focusing on people not related to me for a change. There was so much to catch up on and it was enlightening to see what I look like to people who knew me as a 15-year-old.
2. Explore a new place
Ten Thousand Waves felt like a modern Japanese Ryokan, we stayed in one of the Houses of the Moon, just steps away from the spa and an amazing restaurant, Izanami. Your mornings can begin with spa treatments or a dip in the Grand Bath. You can stay all day or leave, downtown is 10 mins away. One of my favorite luxuries that is not listed on the website is the Japanese toilets with heated seats.
Ojo Caliente on the other hand was fashioned in New Mexico style, with adobe buildings that made up our cliffside suite, as well as all the other buildings on the resort property. The desert landscape was fragrant and beautiful. If you go for the cliffside suites, which I totally recommend, your room will come with a private soaking tub full of mineral water. The tub was most relaxing at night when the air temperature dropped but the water stayed hot. The rooms have a kitchen full of luxurious teas and coffees handpicked from local companies and artisans. Sipping tea, at night in the desert darkness on the terrace was the perfect way to wind down the day.
I actually had never taken a spa vacation. My friends had both visited the area and one suggested both of these locations as excellent places to relax and unwind. Even though we chose to take it slow we all tried new things and got a chance to explore a new place. There were still plenty of fun experiences as we strolled markets, did a little shopping and tried great cafes and restaurants. There was never a lull for us, but discussing the pace of your vacation is important topic to bring up before you leave home.
Besides the spa treatments we found hikes and activities like yoga in the resort, spa treatments horseback riding and top notch restaurants to keep our day interesting and full. Learning about a new place has value on its own, but getting out of your everyday environment helps you open yourself up to a new perspective.
Did I mention we tried out the spas? In Ojo Caliente we tried the Lavender Body Quench Massage and Wrap. Your body is completely scraped from head to toe with a brush and then you are wrapped up in a lavender scented cocoon. Since this was my first spa treatment of this sort I have nothing to compare it to. I can however tell you that it was worth every penny I paid and has inspired me to branch out and try other treatments.
By the time I got to Ten thousand waves I was feeling adventurous and went for the nose-to-toes full body treatment and even upped the stakes by adding CBD oil during the massage portion. I’m pretty sure I reached a higher level of consciousness and not just because of the oil. In all seriousness, as a busy women with families and full time careers, there are so many shortcuts that we take to save time, or self-care moments we sacrifice because we just need to help someone else. It felt almost elicit to take 4 days and do nothing except what I wanted to do. It felt borderline criminal to take an 80-minute massage and then another 20 minutes to soak my feet in the Grand Bath. I can say that I am a better woman for it. I calmed down, and didn’t have 10 million thoughts about dinner, homework, kids and my husband running through my head. It gave me time to just think, and you may be surprised by what I thought about.
I noticed that there are several areas of my life that I have been trying to change but didn’t even know where to start to tackle the topic. I had wanted to relate better to my teenager and be a gentler kind of parent to my youngest and better partner and lover to my husband. But those were all subcategories of what I was really wanting to think about and I hadn’t even had the time define it: how do I become a better person, a better version of me?
4. Change your perspective
Well all this may not have come from a massage or two but it did come from having time to reflect and discuss life topics in a safe space with old friends and just have a few days to focus on myself. This makes up my next reason to take a getaway with friends- it will change your perspective. Once you have relaxed and reconnected with friends and spent a few days talking and sharing about your life this is a great space to have an open mind and ask yourself questions.
There is nothing like summarizing the last 20 years to a stranger in an airport and then talking through highs and lows through a weekend of reconnecting to get you into a new headspace. There are so many things that I found myself sharing that I would never discuss in my normal day-to-day. It was so easy to discuss issues and questions I had been working through with my friends. And lastly it reminded me of who I was before all of life’s complications and responsibilities had set in. My teen’s day-to-day bad attitude was a lot easier to relate to when my friends reminded me of my own 15 year old angsty antics. I saw that beyond reminding me of the girl I once was, I noticed all the changes I had gone through. There were so many compromises I was regularly making as an adult for my family or my job. Sometimes before even trying something new that may bring me joy, I would write it off as too time consuming or something for people with a different life. I don’t think I am alone in this. I think women do this everyday and slowly sacrifice all kinds of things that could be letting them grow as individuals.
5. Come back recharged
Lastly, I can say that the biggest change I felt from my weekend away was the feeling that I had a break. By the end of the trip I missed my family and I was ready to jump back in to my everyday life. I felt a new energy for tackling my life and possibly improving some areas. I came back ready to be more patient, more loving and more open to ways I could grow as a person. Taking a little break also gave me perspective on the little fights I have with the people I love. Did I need and want to spend my focus on that or could I spend it writing or trying a new skill I wanted learn?
During my weekend getaway I felt as though I laughed with abandon, ate and drank without shame or limits and let out more oppressive emotion than I had in years. I’m not sure if it was the travel, the company, the places or everything together but I know I needed it.