5 Reasons to Plan a Girlfriend Trip
When was the last time you planned a mini girlfriend trip?
This past weekend, one of my close friends from college came to visit me in the beautiful Pacific Northwest. In all honesty, it was a last minute trip and it all folded together quite perfectly. I feel more women should do this (including myself) so I wanted to share WHY I feel it’s important.
My friend, Jessica, is not only is a busy entrepreneur, she’s also a wife and mom of 3 gorgeous kiddos (1 boy and 2 girls) and 7 months pregnant with her fourth baby (it’s a little girl). So, if anyone had an excuse (many excuses) to NOT travel across the country (from Wisconsin to Washington), it would be her. She figured it all out and made it work (even with her oldest son breaking his arm right before she left.)
Her trip here reminded me (again) of the importance of connecting with like-minded friends and to keep meaningful relationships growing, even as life changes. Although she came to visit me here in Washington, it was also an opportunity for me to take a break from my daily routine, share my love for the Pacific Northwest and reconnect with her in person (versus just online).
5 Reasons To Plan a Girlfriend Trip
Disconnect from Daily Life.
One of the many things that I love about travel and/or getting out of your normal daily routine is to “disconnect to reconnect”. When you disconnect with your daily routine, it helps you reconnect to what truly lights you up in life. You can disconnect close to home or far away, it honestly doesn’t matter. Plan a day trip, weekend trip, long vacation or even something as simple as a walk in nature.
My favorite way to disconnect is to get out in nature, especially places where your phone doesn’t work! We were able to unplug in Canada (neither of us have international plans, so the phones went on airplane mode) and took a trip up to Hurricane Ridge (no cell phone service there either).
Hurricane Ridge is a part of the Olympic National Park in Washington where the views of the Pacific Northwest are stunning! We went there at sunset and enjoyed gorgeous views of the mountains and the surrounding area from a higher elevation. It was breathtaking. (Please remember your National Park Pass if you go; you can also buy one when you enter the park.)
We had amazing views, even at sunset. Sadly there are some active forest fires up in the Olympic Mountains right now, so we also saw smoke and flames from these forest fires. The drive up was gorgeous (and a bit curvy) but the roads are very well maintained. We did not go hiking on any long trails, but still had a lovely time.
Reconnect Long Distance Friendships.
I’ve lived a lot of places. I’m originally from Minnesota and currently live in Washington state. The majority of my family and close friends from high school, college, and other life events live in the Midwest. Since I don’t make it home that often, I don’t get to see a lot of my family and friends in person.
Seeing friends in person, which I like to call the “touch life” or “real hug life” is such a gift. It allows you the opportunity to be present, truly listen, laugh, make eye contact, hug, chat and reminisce with no technological barriers and less outside distraction.
Jessica and I have been friends since we were 18 years old, whenever I see her in person, it’s like we’ve never missed a day and can catch up right where life left off, but with an added bonus of being more present in person. I’m fortunate to have a lot of friends with whom I can go years without seeing, then connect with them in person and chat about present day life without missing a beat, even though it may have been years since we were last together (and life has changed a lot).
Explore Local Areas as a Tourist.
Take a “playcation”! I’m not sure if I made that word up, but I use it a lot. (It’s way more fun than the term “staycation”.) Explore your local area and see new sights; it’s way more fun to do it with friends. Sometimes when you live in a place, you get stuck in your daily routine and never get to explore places right in your backyard. Having girlfriends in town is the best excuse to explore and play where you live.
We walked around the downtown area where I live (since she has been to Seattle), met up with another college friend, Sarah, for lunch at a cute cafe (Sarah took the ferry over to meet us), vhad dinner with my man (they got to meet in person), visited a couple of health food stores (of course) and went to a cute little Scandinavian town, Poulsbo, to walk along the waterfront and do a little shopping.
Create New Experiences.
What are some things that you’ve always wanted to do in or around your local area that you’ve never done? Make a list and do it! Honestly, you don’t have to have a friend in town to do this, but it does make it that much more fun. I love creating new adventures, big or small, and sometimes spontaneity is the best.
On the list I sent to Jessica was the potential to leave the USA and visit Victoria, Canada. I live about a 2-hour drive from the international ferry that goes to Victoria, Canada. Even though it is pretty close, I still had never been to Canada and neither had Jess. I told her to bring her passport if she wanted to go! Before she even got here, we decided to create that new experience together and add another country to our world travel list.
We got up early the day after she arrived, drove during the sunrise up to Port Angeles and took the 8:15 a.m. BlackBall ferry into Canada. It’s a 90 minute sailing time (one way), so we had plenty of time to talk about life, enjoy some local coffee and soak in the sunshine on the top deck of the boat. We had no plans, so upon arrival we just let our hearts lead the way (and also stopped at the tourist info desk for ideas and health inspired places to eat).
We did a lot of walking and exploring in the sun. For lunch, we found the cutest little cafe, Cafe Bliss, and had a macrobiotic veggie filled lunch to fuel our bodies. (Did I mention we are both health coaches, too? We have a flexible lifestyle and love it.)
On the way back to the USA, we went through customs and found another cute little local place for dinner and chose to enjoy some local fresh caught salmon. That’s when we decided to watch the sunset up on Hurricane Ridge (you know, like a romantic friend date), especially since it was a clear day. This is one place I’ve always wanted to go but have never been. (I mentioned a little about Hurricane Ridge above in #1 -Disconnect from Daily Life). Plus, it gave Jessica a chance to see some pretty amazing mountain views of the Pacific Northwest. (I was trying to convince her to stay here!)
Real Time Connection.
Social media is great at creating worldwide online connections and it’s been a gift for me to connect with family and friends from all over the world and the United States. However, as you know, social media lacks that true real time, in person, “hug life” connection. Creating time and space to connect in person with friends is the best gift a girl could receive. Having my friend Jessica here, not only gave me the opportunity to connect with her, it meant a lot that she took time out of her busy life to travel and connect. (I ‘m sure it was also a great way for her to get some downtime to connect with herself, too.)
The greatest gift you can provide anyone is your time and full attention. It’s not always the easiest thing to do, especially when we’re going through our day to day routine. Social media can be a great connector, but it can also be a great distractor, too. I value that in person connection, especially with family and like-minded friends.
Which reason to plan a girlfriend trip excites you the most? I challenge YOU to:
Reach out to a friend or family member and schedule a girlfriend get together (GGT).
While it’s not always easy to travel across the country to connect in person, heck, sometimes it’s not even easy to travel across town, the county or the state to visit people, I challenge you to connect with your close friends and family in any way that you can right now. Don’t always wait for others to reach out to connect with or come visit you.
Action: Write down the names of 3-5 people you want to plan a GGT with.
Make a fresh effort to connect with a friend that is always coming to you or reaching out to you. If you have a friend or family member that is always coming your way or reaching out to you, make an effort to reach out to them or offer to visit them. Relationships are two ways. I’ve spent a lot of time reaching out and connecting with others, traveling around to meet up with people, and sometimes it’s nice to have others reach out. So, switch roles – that adds in adventure for you, too!
Action: Write down names of 2-3 people that you will reach out this week.
Plan a mini girlfriend get together or five in the next year. Think about it and take action. Try to include all or some of the five reasons above. Determine who you would like to connect with, start the discussion, then put something on the calendar. There will always be excuses, but I promise you (and I’m sure Jessica would agree with this) that it’s well worth the time to connect with friends. I’m sure it makes going home that much more exciting, too!
Action: When would you like to plan a GGT? Where would you like to go?
I would love to hear from you! Who do you want to connect with? When will you reach out to them? Where do you want to meet up?
If you’ve had a girlfriend get together recently, where did you go? What did you love about it?
On a personal note, this trip inspired me to *finally* put together a little Naturalita retreat in the Pacific Northwest. It’s for ladies, like YOU, who want to connect with and meet up with other like-minded health and freedom-seeking women. I’m still working on the details; please send me a note to learn more. Tentative dates are October 13-October 16, 2016 here in Washington state.