For about eight years, I have attempted to organize and take a girls’ trip. We have been successful MOST years, and we have done a few different things – including staying in Eleuthera, Bahamas multiple times and taking a cruise. Our numbers have ranged from 4 of us to 11 so far. In 2020, we are going to our first all inclusive in Punta Cana, Dominican Republic and for this trip, we are up to 28 ladies!!! It should be an amazing week.
Before I begin, let me start off by saying this isn’t about dad-bashing and why moms/women are the only ones that deserve a “break”. Dads and father figures TOTALLY deserve a break and I encourage that! But since I am a woman, I can really only speak from that perspective, so while it may seem like I am saying moms need a break because we do so much more than dads, that’s not totally true – although some DO do more than their significant others – or just DIFFERENT things. When it comes down to it, it is typically the men at home holding down the fort so the moms CAN go away – so for that and so many other things, I am truly grateful.
But let’s face it! Women do a lot! I have a wonderful husband and I praise God every day for him. But when it comes to the running of our home and keeping everything in smooth working order, that falls mostly on me. I am the shopper, planner, chef, banker, appointment maker and taker, housekeeper (for the things my children do not do for chores), gardener, business owner, secretary and more. I don’t resent this lot I have willingly accepted, but I do get tired of feeling like I do “everything”. I am sure a lot of it has to do with my Type-A personality and things having to be a certain way (my way), but that is the way of it and I either embrace it or it breaks me. Enter the girls’ trip!
I am so lucky to have a wonderful group of friends that truly care about one another and each other’s lives. These ladies are people I can count on when the going gets rough and if you live in the real world, the going gets rough sometimes! Relationships, marriages, raising kids, work, self-worth…these are all things women deal with and they are hard. Many talks have been had at sunrise on the beach in Tarpum Bay, Eleuthera about feelings of shortcomings as wives, mothers, daughters and friends. Beach therapy has saved some of those relationships and continues to work to preserve others. The opportunity to spend precious time with other people who can relate to our most personal experiences on some level is priceless.
But it does cost. Our girls’ trips have been kept at around $1000-$1200 each for a week. So many women have said, “Oh I wish I could go but I just can’t afford it.” And for some, that is true. People who raise a family on one salary, are still paying college loans, have had extra bills lately or unexpected expenses. I get it. But some people say they can’t afford it but really what they mean is, it isn’t necessary in their lives. Rather, they would prefer to spend the $45 every two weeks on their nails or buy a new iPhone every time it comes out, or get Starbucks four days a week or whatever it is they CHOOSE to spend money on. And that’s cool – for those people, those expenditures might have the same soothing effect as my once a year girls’ trip. But for me, I want to go someplace (almost any place) where the only person I have to tend to is me. I only have to pack for me; make sure I put on sunscreen and not everyone; skip a meal if I want; read in bed until 10am if I want; only do my own laundry and not have to clean up after anyone! To me, that is worth the $20ish I have to save per week to go on my girls’ trip every year.
Every year, the ladies that are able to attend changes slightly, but I have some steadfast girls’ trippers and I am thankful for them and the close relationships we have formed on the beaches of the Caribbean. I look to these ladies for help, guidance, celebration and they make up the core of my village. These are also relationships that have taken work and as I have experienced with so many other relationships, it is worth the time and effort for those we care about.
I hope you get the chance to take that friends getaway – that time of rejuvenation, reflection, growth, self-evaluation and a little indulgence. When you return to your families, you will do so with a fuller heart and a patient soul – ready to take on the world like the wonder woman that you are! Here are a few photos taken on some Girls’ trips so far – most of the photos we take are group selfies so these are just some of the picturesque places to preserve the privacy of my friends.