Hey everyone! I’m back from my crazy two-week vacation. My goodness it was glorious. A few days before my vacation, I was driving myself crazy with all the work I had to do that it hardly seemed worth it. I wanted to throw my computer in the trash and just go run and hide.
Luckily I survived 😉 And it paid off. For two weeks, I spent time in Madrid, Nerja, Malaga, Gibraltar and Lisbon. I got to see my friend who is teaching in Spain and it was so great to relax on the beach with her and just enjoy life.
I feel like a completely new person from this vacation. The trip really illuminated some things for me about what I want in my life and what I don’t — and how I want to go forward.
I have some juicy posts coming up about my big plans and also the nitty-gritty on how much I spent (hint: I spent less money than the value of my round trip flight).
But today I want to bask in the glory of travel and remember why exactly I love it so much — and why I encourage you to go deeper and seek other skies than the ones you call home.
Traveling abroad can be a wonderful and disorienting experience. It disrupts your routine and immerses you in a way of life completely different from your own. In my case, I felt more at home in Spain than I do in Portland. I loved eating dinner at 9pm and going out at midnight. I enjoyed long walks and espresso and a slower pace. I was reminded that the point of living is not to just work. There is so much more to life and so much of the world to discover.
During this trip I had several “good” cries. I simply felt overwhelmed with happiness, the beauty of art, the strange yet comforting feeling of being somewhere new, yet feeling totally at home. It’s been a minute since I’ve had a “good” cry. I’m used to the depressed cry, the stressed cry, or the-whole-world-is-caving-in-on-me cry — those are shadows of myself that sit on the sidelines, waiting for an opportune moment, but I try to keep them at bay.
But the good cry felt so good. I probably looked like an insane person walking down the streets of Lisbon, crying from a beautiful church, and just giggling at myself at how ridiculous I looked.
I felt happy. I felt like I was taking care of myself. For the first time this year, I wasn’t glued to the computer for 60+ hours a week. I got actual sunlight instead of the deceptive glare of my computer.
It was so refreshing. This trip has really got me thinking. Ya’ll know I’m all about the hustle. Hustling is my MO and just part of my DNA. But I’m starting to realize we glorify hard work to a gross degree. We act like it’s okay to work until you pass out, live on your computer and phone, and always “be on”.
I don’t think it’s right. We need to take time to practice self-care and not get caught up in the productivity propaganda. In the States I feel like I’m always fed this constant jargon of be productive, wake up early, blah blah blah. You know what? People in other countries don’t necessarily live like this and I think they enjoy life a lot more (personal observation).
I’m ready to lay down my badge of workaholism and really try to focus on me — meditate, exercise, read, rest, and have time to do “nothing”. I am so uncomfortable with doing nothing, which is exactly why I need to practice sitting still with myself and rejuvenating.
Another great thing about this trip was that it was completely confidence boosting. Although I did go see a friend in Spain for a few days, the majority of my trip I was alone. No boyfriend, no family, no other friends. There was just something about traveling by myself, navigating a new country, speaking and stumbling in another language, that made me feel confident. If I can travel the world by myself and turn out just fine, why can’t I do other things?
That’s not to say that traveling alone was easy. I can’t tell you how many times I got lost, there was a miscommunication, or an awkward encounter. But as I found myself wandering the streets, with no real direction, not knowing where I was or where I was going, I felt strength in feeling lost — I knew I’d find my way again. You always do. It felt like the perfect allegory for life and my business.
Sometimes I wonder “Where the hell am I going with this? What am I doing?” but I have to remember that I always find my way.
So, I’m back and ready to work. But also to take care of me, too. I urge you to take care of yourself as well. Work will be there. I promise you when you are on your death-bed, you won’t be thinking, “I wish I would have worked more!”
Tell me. What will you do for yourself this week? When is your next vacation?
p.s. check out some of my photos from the trip on Instagram.