I recently took a trip to Mexico all by myself. If you know me, you know I am almost always never alone. I am always surrounded by people. Family, friends, colleagues, my dog, etc. But this time, it's just me, myself and I.
Ask me a few years ago if I would ever think of doing something like this and my answer would be a resounding no. I could never imagine going anywhere without anyone especially not without my kids. Not unless it's for work and I have no choice. That's different; the agenda is set. This time, it's just purely for me and nothing else.
Here are a few things I realized during the trip:
1. The world will continue to revolve without you.
We sometimes worry about going away especially moms for fear of things falling apart. Double that if you're also an entrepreneur. All the what ifs. The fact is, things will just be fine. The key is to have faith and trust within your family and all the people around you. Things will get done. Maybe not exactly the way you do them, but they will happen.
2. You will appreciate your life more.
Heard of the term, "You'll miss me when I'm gone." The feeling is the same once you're pulled from your regular routine. Waking up early to take out the dog or make your kids breakfast can be annoying but once you stop for a bit, you start missing it. You then think about how you appreciate those mornings where you can just talk about anything and everything with your kids over cereal or playing tug with your pup. It's those simple moments in life that you begin to miss, and it puts things into perspective.
3. Your kids will miss you, and you will miss them, but you will all be just fine.
The second day of my trip, during my FaceTime call with my kids, they both started crying telling me to just come home cause they're missing me terribly. I felt the same, but I had to show a brave face and explain to them that I really needed the break. They eventually understood and stopped crying but not without me having to promise to take them to a tropical destination soon. Eventually, they got excited about my daily activities, and we would exchange stories of each other's play dates. And the reunion was oh so sweet.
4. It's nice not to worry about anyone.
In all our previous trips, I am continually thinking about everyone. Packing alone could cause me serious anxiety cause God forbid I don't bring enough clothes, and we would all be walking around pant-less. I also always have to constantly check if the restaurants would have enough options for my kids to eat. I also have to make sure they have sunscreen all the time. Check if they're too hot, too cold. How comfortable are they? Will they have enough entertainment during the flight to make sure they don't get bored? How long is the line up at the border? Etc. etc. etc. This time, there's none of that. Don't get me wrong, I love travelling with my family, but I also appreciate that at this time, I didn't have anything to worry about except for myself.
5. You will finally be able to hear yourself think.
In this day and age of gazillion distractions, it's very hard to just focus on your thoughts. During this trip, I forced myself to spend time just listening to my thoughts. Just embrace the stillness and calm. I would wake up every day very early, walk and do yoga by the beach. Just appreciate every breath and how fortunate I am to be able to do something like this for myself.
6. You become braver, and you push yourself more.
I will be the first to admit that I don't look approachable. My face somehow gives out this vibe of don't talk to me not unless I want to talk to you. I think it's what kids refer to nowadays as having a resting b*I@4 face. Yeah, I have that. So it took a lot of courage on my part to take the first step and just start talking to people. I know it can be uncomfortable in the beginning. During my first night, I made friends with a mom and dau