Travel as Self-Care (or How I Learned to Take a Momcation)

Thursday, October 6th, 2016 | Posted under Personal, South Carolina, Travel General

Well, hello there! I’m not even going to look at the last time I posted. You shouldn’t either. 🙂

I’m going to talk about something that’s probably hard for some of us to include in our every day lives: self-care. Self-care means different things for different people. For some people, it’s getting sleep (aaah, you lucky people!); for others it’s curling up with good book or going to the spa to get that massage (I also deem you folks lucky).

I will be fully up front and let you know that I am the worst at taking care of myself. Everything else gets my time and attention over taking care of me. It’s bad habit, and it’s hard to break once you get in that cycle of not prioritizing you. I recently read an article about work life balance that resonated with me and my life these days. It seems for many people, you can only really concentrate on certain areas of your life at the expense of others. You can choose between work, family, working out, sleep, or friends, but most people can probably only truly focus on three. Crazy right? Work-life balance can be so difficult and so we have to choose areas of our lives to direct our energies. While this article focused on entrepreneurs, I think it’s applicable if you have serious demands on your time from some aspect of your life whether it’s a demanding job, or serving as a primary care giver for a loved one, having health problems, or anything else that can push us to ignore our well-being. It’s a struggle.

For better or worse, travel is my version of self-care. When I travel, I get in touch with a part of myself that I don’t get to nourish too much these days: I get to connect to my sense of adventure. I experience new tastes, see new people, and most of the time I get to relax. I’m one of those people that craves variety, newness, and being a fish out of water. The challenges and emotional aspects of travel make me think more about who I am and my place in this world; things that I don’t always have the time to spend thinking about for a few hours or even a whole day. Although I’m fulfilling other aspects of my life and feeding my identities being a wife, mother, worker, friend, and whatever other roles I have in this world on a daily basis, I need to travel to keep my equilibrium and to bring me back to being me.

Travel as self-care isn’t the easiest for me these days. In addition to just figuring out how to get time from work, I’ve got to figure out how we manage child care for the time I’m gone, and I’ve got to make sure that our household keeps running without me. It’s just the reality of my life. Even with all of the planning involved, though, I’ve managed to find some time for a short escape in 2015, and I’ll be going on another one very soon. I’ve dubbed theses little trips “Momcations”, but if travel is your version of self-care, name your getaway whatever you want!

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Me During my First Momcation

Unfortunately, my mode of self-care means that I need to make some time and space, and (lets be real) money available to making it happen, but I’m trying to force myself to create space to reconnect with me. That means that I travel WITHOUT my husband and child. I love ‘em. I really do. But a Momcation means that I put me first for a few days, and they stay home. 🙂  I don’t worry about what’s for dinner (reservations for me at a table for 1!) or who else needs comfort that day. I do that pretty well at home, and I can continue to do that when I get back.

My first Momcation was to Charleston, South Carolina in February 2015, and I had a great time. I didn’t see much more than downtown Charleston, but between indulging my inner history geek walking through its historic streets, eating some of the tastiest Southern and Southern-inspired food, and SLEEPING (!), I had a great time. Some pics are below. I’ll let you all know a bit more about Charleston over time, but I highly recommend this town for a few days or a long weekend.

Downtown Charleston House

I loved just walking and admiring the houses in historic Charleston. 

Shrimp and Grits SNOB Charleston

Shrimp and Grits for lunch at SNOB

Outside Kitchen Historic Home Charleston

Laundry room at Heyward Washington House (I think), an 18th century historic home

So what do you do to take care of yourself? Is travel your means of self-care, and how do you make sure you get enough of it? Anyone been on a Momcation or something similar?

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