solo-cations + why i’m planning on making them a regular thing
hey guys! it’s been a few weeks, but glad to be back. i took some much needed time to step back [from a few areas of my life] and just try to relax… which is what i want to talk about in today’s post!
after a very, very eventful spring and summer [seriously, i don’t think i stopped going going going from the end of march until the end of august]… i was just craving an escape… alone time… away from LA. labor day was approaching, and since i didn’t have any plans and the majority of my friends were going out of town, i figured this was my opportunity to chill the f*ck out and lay low.
i’m the type of person that wants to do all of the things… and i knew that even if i told myself i was going to have a chill, relaxing, productive weekend in LA that there was just no way that would actually end up happening. the minute i get an invite to a party or anything… i have a very hard time saying no… because i legitimately want to go! i’m not a “yes” girl in the sense that i agree to do sh*t i don’t want to do… i just, ya know… get #FOMO and love my friends and being social and out and about… which is typically fine… but sometimes i do just wanna relax, too.
so, i figured a little escape from LA was my best bet… so, i went to airbnb, found a room in a cute little cottage in dana point [about 60 miles south of LA right on the beach] and booked it. done and done. on the books.
and wowowowowowowwwwwww was it exactly what i needed. first, let me just say that dana point is so effing cute. it’s such a quaint little beach town with everything you need [or everything you do not need] for a relaxing, rejuvenating weekend.
i walked around the marina each night and watched the sunset [and ate ice cream for dinner bc #vacation]… i went to the beach… i sat on the porch of my airbnb and read every morning… i went to yoga in lantern bay park… i meditated every morning… i journaled… i stumbled onto live music in a little plaza and enjoyed that for a little bit… worked on some blog stuff… it was great.
i haven’t traveled solo very much [the only other time i’ve traveled alone was during the 2nd half of my trip to australia, when i visited brisbane and sydney] and although i definitely prefer traveling with other people, there are a few benefits to what i’m now referring to as the “solo-cation”:
1) you can do whatever the f*ck you want, whenever the f*ck you want. i can’t tell you how nice it was to be able to sleep in, and then wake up with no plan. usually when you’re on vacation with other people, there’s some kind of a game plan in place… a set time to wake up and be out of the hotel… places to go… things to see… which is all great, but sometimes you just wanna do you, ya know? on a solo-cation, you can do as much or as little as you want, and you can change your plan at any time, no questions asked.
2) it gives you a chance to actually recharge. ever come back from a “vacation” saying, “wow, i need a vacation from my vacation”? usually when we’re traveling with other people, we’re very gogogogogogo… probably drinking [at all hours of the day]… staying out late… having big group dinners… talking and talking and talking… which is all great, but it’s also exhausting. when you’re traveling solo, you have time to yourself. you can listen to your body, and do what feels right for you. honestly, it was so nice to not have to talk to anyone for almost 48 hours… and i mean that in the most loving way possible!
3) being alone is actually a good thing. society has lead us to believe that being alone is a bad thing… but i absolutely disagree. think about it… if you’re not okay being alone… with yourself… what makes you think anyone else is going to want to be around you? yea, of course, going to a restaurant by yourself can seem or feel “weird”… but it really isn’t, i promise you. once you get over the idea that people are staring at you, or feeling like a loser because you’re alone… you’ll realize that it’s actually pretty great… and good for your overall mental health and well-being, too!
so, for these reasons, i’m officially making solo-cations a regular thing. i’m thinking 2 times a year… maybe fall and spring… since those seem to be the least busy times of the year for me. even if i just head somewhere close by in so-cal, taking a few days to get away from everything really had a positive impact on my mindset and feeling of overall well-being… and i can’t wait to do it again! you don’t have to go far from home to feel the benefits.
i would love to know… have you traveled solo before? if so, how did you like it? where did you go? where should i go for my next solo-cation?! tell me in the comments below… and have an amazing weekend!
3 tips for a zen vacation
so… i’m leaving for cuba tomorrow… CUBA. i literally never dreamed this day would come… that i, as an american citizen, would EVER be able to visit cuba… so i’m pretty damn excited to say the least! i’m desperately in need of a vacation, so in keeping with the theme of the moment, i thought a travel-related post was necessary. let’s get right to it.
the term “vacation” has lost a lot of its meaning in 2017 america. i’m always reading about how many people don’t use their vacation days, how few vacation days many employers even offer in the first place, and how even when we do take vacation, we have a hard time actually vacationing…
you know… we check our email, we take work calls, we text with our bosses… some people will actually sit in their hotel room and work remotely because they feel so strongly that they can’t get away or everything will fall apart.
thankfully, i’ve never been one of these people. i love travelling, understand the importance of taking a break from things to reset and recharge, and just generally love being able to live life for a week or so a few times a year as if i have no real responsibilities.
so, if you’ve ever found yourself doing any of the above… or even if you’ve actually taken your vacation days, decided to check out, and had crippling anxiety over not knowing what was going on back home to the point that you couldn’t even enjoy your vacation… you’ve come to the right place.
here are my 3 tips for a zen vacation:
1. pack a journal. journaling can be really therapeutic. putting pen to paper and just writing, not even about anything in particular, can do wonders for a racing, anxiety-ridden mind. i always pack a journal when i go on vacation, and it serves a few purposes. first, i love being able to write down all of the amazing experiences i’m having, so that i can look back on everything in detail years later. sure, pictures will help keep the memories alive, but those little details can easily be forgotten. second, it’s a great way to pause, take a step back, and really start to process and get clear on things that might be going on in your life… ya know like your feelings, emotions, where you want to go with your life, if you should or shouldn’t break up with your boyfriend/girlfriend, if you should make a big, risky career move… whatever. i also love the practice of using a gratitude journal to put things into perspective and remind myself how great my life is, even when things aren’t going my way.
2. swap out your daily coffee for tea. as a society, we seriously rely on coffee to get us through the day. when you’re on vacation, you should be relaxing. sleeping in and going with the flow. sure, you might have tours or dinner reservations at specific times, but other than that, vacation is about taking it easy. instead of running to the closest starbucks to get your daily fix, pack some herbal teas instead**… especially those of the calming variety [think chamomile, lavender, ashwaganda]. it’ll help to ease the mind and reduce all of the stress you have about not being at work… which will help you be more present in the end.
[**of course, if you’re going someplace like columbia, italy or bali, where coffee is a huge part of the culture/cuisine… DRINK ALL THE COFFEE YOU WANT.]
3. get off your effing phone. i get it. we all want to be connected to our friends and family. we want to share all of the cool pictures we’re taking at all of the amazing places we’re visiting. [#doitforthegram] but, if you truly want to enjoy your vacation, if you really want to experience the culture of this new, exciting place you’re visiting… get off your effing phone. you don’t even have to go totally off the grid… [i know, scary thought, right?] even just limiting yourself to only checking social media in the evening when you’re back at your hotel can make all the difference… i mean… do you really wanna find yourself standing in front of the taj mahal or at the top of the eiffel tower scrolling through effing facebook or answering a work email? i don’t think so.
i’m planning on going 100% dark in cuba… my phone is going into airplane mode from the moment i step on the flight to havana, and staying that way until i land in LA next week. i’m really craving a little disconnection, and since wifi is hard to come by in cuba, this is the perfect opportunity to just go for it.
what are your favorite ways to check out and really keep it zen when you’re on vacation? do you have any cuba recommendations?! leave them in the comments below… and i’ll see you on the otherside… adios!
5 reasons we all need yoga right now
life in 2017… it’s interesting, right? the world is a really, really crazy place right now.
there’s lots of change happening and many of us are getting caught up in the moment of everything… we keep scrolling through the comments of those truly awful facebook posts [i’ve literally lost all faith in humanity doing this]… we’re cutting people out of our lives when their opinion doesn’t align with our own… sometimes, we’re just curling up into a ball, crying our eyes out, and telling ourselves that we should just give. the eff. up. that it’s all a waste of time and we have no control over where anything is going.
it’s easy to forget the big picture. it’s easy to feel hopeless. it’s so easy to be afraid of what’s ahead. but does feeling this way help us rise above the bullsh*t and continue to move forward, both on a personal and societal level?
i’m guilty of feeling all of the things i outlined above. i go through periods where i feel paralyzed by my anxiety… moments where giving up seems like the best option, because why fight a losing battle, ya know? and this applies to my feelings on my personal goals, my professional goals, and where i wish society would go as a whole.
my anxiety pretty much encompasses everything. it’s not picky. if i can worry about it, i most likely will, sooner or later. but there’s one thing that always, without fail, snaps me out of it. one thing that brings me back to the present moment, brings me back to my power…
probably not very surprising, considering that yoga works wonders for a lot of people, and i’ve talked about what it’s done for me personally here many times before. but sometimes, we do need that friendly reminder to put us back in our place.
a few years ago, i wrote an article for elite daily titled “5 reasons why all millennials would benefit from practicing yoga” that really hit home for me when i was writing it… and i think it resonated with others too – it was shared almost 300 times!
i wanted to share it here today, because i think all of these points are still valid… for everyone, not just millennials [although they may hit a little closer to home for us than other generations].
… and then go hit the mat… and take this little piece of yogi wisdom with you…
friday favorites: an LA edition
happy, happy, HAPPY EFFING FRIDAY, EVERYONE. is it just me, or was this week… weird? i literally had no idea what day it was for the majority of the week, and the days just seemed to craaaawwwwwlllllll. makes friday feel that. much. better.
it’s been a while since i’ve done a “favorites” post of any kind… and i felt like it was a nice way to end this long, grueling week.
and since i’ve been living in LA for about a year and a half [it will be 2 years in july… excuse me… WHAT?!] i thought… why not do a post about the things/places i’m loving in LA right now? i have to say that i really feel more at home here than i have anywhere else, so it really just feels right, ya know?
1. beaming. beaming is an amazing little superfood bar with several locations throughout los angeles. they have everything from smoothies to cleanses to nut butters to granola mixes. and everything is amazing. i recommend the kale-fornia smoothie [because duh]. they even have an online store for those of you not local to LA!
2. archlight culver city. a movie theater? yes. why, you ask? because they have a full bar in the lobby… and you can take your drink into the theater with you. talk about really transforming the experience of going to see a movie on a sunday evening! it’s possible that they do this in other theaters, too, but it’s the only one i know of so… there ya have it! i guess you could call this ~*soLA?
3. playlist yoga. this was a studio i had heard a lot about before i even lived in LA, but it took me way too long to actually try a class there. now, i’m hooked. all of the instructors are amazing, the music is LIT AF, and the lockers are all labeled with the names of musicians [think bey, kendrick, calvin, biggie]. maybe i’ll do a full class review one of these days!
4. my favorite murder. okay, so this isn’t specific to LA, but the hostesses do live here, so i’m counting it. my favorite murder is the podcast i’m currently bingeing. literally, cannot get enough of it. they cover a couple of different murders stories each week, walking you through all of the details… and they also manage to make it absolutely hilarious [in a non-offensive way]. if you’re into true crime, you’re probably already listening to it, too, but if you’re not… what are you waiting for?! oh, and their tagline is “stay sexy, don’t get murdered”… that’s all.
5. the weather. again. finally. the past few months have been pretty sh*tty here in LA, weather-wise. i know, i know you don’t wanna hear it because angelenos are spoiled and basically always have perfect weather, but GUYS. when it rains almost every day for 2 months and is grey and colder than usual… in a city where the weather is literally always perfect… it really takes a toll on you! don’t like it? don’t care. haters gonna hate, i guess. this past week has been absolutely gorgeous, and now that all of the rain has turned LA green… i’m more ready for summer than ever. can’t wait to get out and do some hiking this weekend!
what are your favorite things to do, places to go, food to eat in your city?! share in the comments below! and would also love more LA recs!
self-love on valentine’s day
happy friday, every one! i hope you all had an amazing week and have fun plans in store for the weekend.
valentine’s day is next week, so naturally that’s what we’re gonna talk about today… but i didn’t make a gift guide… i don’t have any unique valentine’s day date ideas… there are tons of posts like that out there and i feel like doing something a little different. so, instead i want to talk about the importance of self-love on valentine’s day and why it’s so important… whether you’re single, dating, or committed.
self-love. it’s one of those buzzwords that’s all over the wellness world. i know… it sounds cheesy AF, but there’s a reason you’ve been hearing it everywhere. and that’s because it’s effing important. why?
because you have to love yourself before anyone else can. you have to treat yourself with respect if you want anyone else to treat you with respect. you can’t expect to have an amazing, loving, supportive relationship with someone else if you don’t have one with yourself first.
it’s a pretty straightforward concept. it’s kinda the sibling of the golden rule, right? “treat yourself the way you want others to treat you”… i like that.
here’s a few examples of what happens when you put yourself first and show yourself some love:
- your health and happiness levels will go through the roof
- your relationships with others will improve
- you’ll gain a true sense of who you are, not who you’re “supposed” to be
- you’ll set boundaries for yourself and others [aka you’ll take less sh*t from people]
- you’ll stop sabotaging all of the good things in your life
- you start to realize the role you play in manifesting your experiences… both good and bad
so, regardless of what your “status” is on valentine’s day this year… as justin bieber once said… baby, you should go and love yourself. [the context is different here, but whatever, any excuse to quote the biebs, amiright?!]
have valentine’s day plans? that’s great! but you should still make a conscious effort to appreciate yourself. it’ll set the tone for your relationship and how the person you’re with treats you, whether you’ve been dating for 3 weeks or 3 years.
if you’re single, buy yourself that necklace you’ve been eyeing for ages or go to dinner at your favorite restaurant. if you don’t do nice things for yourself, how can you expect anyone else to ever want to do nice things for you?
personally, as someone who’s single on valentine’s day this year, i bought myself a new pair of sneakers and am getting a [much needed and way overdue] massage tuesday after work… then i think i’ll crack open a bottle of wine and catch up on summer house…
and i cannot wait.
how are you going to show yourself some love on valentine’s day? would love to hear your ideas in the comments below!
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