I've traveled plenty in my life -- as a kid, as an adult on business, as a person seeking adventure with spouse, friends and family. But never alone on vacation.
So being here in Maui on my own for four days ahead of a four-day business retreat: well, that's a first.
I didn't exactly set out to do it this way, but I kinda did, and it's been SUPER interesting to observe what this is like, how this feels, how much space this allows me to listen in on what I want and have the latitude to execute on that.
Not too shabby for 53.
Sure, I wish I'd done this sooner. On the other hand, I might not have been ready. I'm ready now. Ready to be here, on my own terms, staying in a low-brow hotel on the beach that contrasts pretty sharply with the 4-star accomodations the retreat will deliver. Ready to be organizing my time however I like, without consulting anyone but myself. Ready to go run, come home and snorkel, take myself to breakfast, then spend 4 hours in my room, writing.
It's been a long time coming.
Here's the thing about a solo vacation. It would be easy to fill it up with stuff: with excursions, with other people, with HGTV (not gonna lie). With any other number of ways to keep things noisy, so noisy that I can't hear the voice I came here on my own specifically to hear.
That voice inside me, that more and more guides me. Call it wisdom. Call it intuition. Call it what you will. I came here to hear it.
As a person building a business, I was craving this break, honestly. The chance to step outside my normal day-to-day (even though, natch, with wifi, that day-to-day is right here if I want it), to take myself somewhere different and shoot for a bigger goal. Think in a big way, on my own, in this quiet, about where I'm going and what I really want. Yes, 2nd quarter planning, and yes, working on the book I've been wanting to write, and YES, masterminding a new offering I want to put out in the world. All without having to make my bed, or walk the dog, or deal with the usual responsibilities of my life.
It's heady to have this much freedom.
It feels good, and it feels like I earned it, and it feels like a distinct privilege, too, one that I won't squander.
Sure, sometimes I feel a little nervous about it. Sometimes I wish I had my husband here with me, especially yesterday when I saw the cutest little eel while snorkeling and wished to be able to point it out to him, so we could talk about how damn cute it was and laugh. But mostly it's making me feel even stronger, to be here on my own, to know that I made this break FOR ME.
To take this time to get quiet and listen in on what I want. Then I can get home, with my plans, and make all that shit happen.
I'm wondering about instituting this as a regular practice, how I might benefit on an annual basis by some time away alone. To create my own small retreat, a chance to get away and think and dream and grow. Based on how this one's going, I'm thinking YES, nothing could be better for me. It won't always be in Maui, that was just lucky this time. I just need access to animals and nature, and good wifi. I'll bring the ideas. And the coffee.