I’ve never been much of a girl’s trip person. Gasp. I know.
Not the best first sentence you’ve ever read, but it is unfortunately true. It’s not that I don’t love to travel – because I do. It’s not that I don’t love my girlfriends – because I do. I think it’s just that I like being at home with my family. A lot. And as I’ve gotten older, I have realized that I’m way more of an outgoing introvert than I ever realized. Honestly, the thought of hanging out with anyone other than my family for too long seems more draining than exciting.
There. I said it. Sorry girlfriends. Please don’t take it personally. It’s just how I’m wired.
And, life is so crazy insanely busy and sometimes exhausting in this stage, so the amount of effort it takes to actually put a trip together is way beyond my capacity right now. And let’s not forget the cost. Life is becoming increasingly expensive as the children are getting older and we are a family with four children and one income – Need I say more?
It’s for all of the above reasons that I had determined I was not a girl’s trip kind of girl. Friends would bring up ideas and I would nod in agreement, but never say much and I most definitely would never consider following up on that fabulous idea they had.
Last summer, a friend of mine who I had not seen for awhile invited me to meet her halfway between her home in Virginia and my home in Tennessee for an overnight trip. I missed her terribly and decided that the drive was well worth it to be in her company for 24 hours. Plus, it was only 24 hours. I could totally do that. It was quick. It was cheap. It was my kind of girl’s weekend. And we had a complete blast.
And then it happened again. In December, three of my girlfriends decided to make a trip to Nashville for a – you guessed it – girl’s weekend. This was an easy one to agree to. They were coming to me so I didn’t have to pack anything. I didn’t have to leave my home. The planning was simple – When are you arriving? When are you leaving? Is there anything special you want to do? Done. The cost was minimal. And the amount of time was one weekend. Totally doable.
They arrived a couple of weekends before Christmas and we did all the things girlfriends stereotypically do when they get together for a weekend. We ate, shopped, talked, cried, laughed and talked and talked some more. It was heavenly.
And slowly, but surely, I felt something inside of me begin to shift. Maybe this girl’s weekend thing wasn’t so bad after all?
Fast forward to a month later. I had a plane ticket that was going to expire in February and one knows you do not let a free trip go unused. That would be foolish. I contemplated what to do with my free trip. I could go anywhere in the United States. It was too expensive for my husband and I to take a trip together and I really didn’t feel like going somewhere alone.
Could it be that another girl’s trip was in my future? It was starting to look like it.
I sent a text to my best friend from college who I hadn’t seen in way too long and asked if she would want to go away for a weekend. To my surprise and excitement, she agreed.
On my Birthday weekend, I found myself flying to sunny San Diego to spend a weekend with my college roommate at her sister’s beautiful home perched a top a hill overlooking the mountains, with the ocean beckoning in the distance.
For the next few days, we did all of those things girlfriends stereotypically do when they get together for a weekend. And once again, amidst the eating and shopping and talking and laughing – I found myself understanding the allure of the girl’s weekend.
It took baby steps – from 24 hours, to a weekend in my town, to a trip across the country. And friends who were willing to show up – something I am learning the importance of.
Yes, I am an introvert who loves to talk to people – but not for too long. Yes, I love being at home with my family. But I am learning it is possible to be a homebody introvert who also enjoys the occasional girl’s trip. I am living proof of a mind transformed.
There is something about being in the company of your closest friends that feeds your soul in a unique and magnificent way. We need our friends. We need their ears to listen, their heads to nod in agreement and sometimes their shoulders to cry on. We need the belly laughs and the window shopping and the ability to stuff our faces unabashedly.
We need our girls. And they need us.
Am I saying I am going to start searching out friends and booking girl’s trips on a regular basis? That may be going a bit too far. But, I am definitely more open to the idea. The next time a friend brings up the idea of a trip and I start nodding, it will be with more of an open mind and the willingness to look into the possibility of taking that trip. It will be with more of an understanding of the possibilities that await just from saying yes and showing up.
I now see the value in these trips. I understand how refreshing it is to get away and spend some time with your gal tribe. It is good to take a pause from the routine and take a moment for yourself in the company of those you love.
If you are a regular girl’s trip taker, I say kudos to you. And if you find yourself like me, not really having much of an interest, but nodding to be polite while your friend’s voice is sound a bit like the teacher in Charlie Brown, I say give it a try.
Start with an overnight trip. It doesn’t have to be a week long excursion across the pond. A little time goes a long way.
Especially when that time involves taking a much needed break from the day-to-day grind to sleep in, eat amazing food and talk until you’re blue in the face to some of your very closest friends – your gal pals who totally get you and love you for who you are.