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Traveling + Friends = GOOD

Our friendships are a very important component to our lives that is all too often pushed down our priority list. Maybe it is because we are overwhelmed at work, plunge into romantic relationships, have children or move away.

Whatever the reason, many of us have a nagging feeling that we would like to reconnect with our friends. And the question is, what do we do when a comment on Facebook – or even a lunch date or a drink – just doesn’t feel like enough?

That’s right. It’s time for a girlfriend getaway or “man-cation” or whatever term suits the gender of you and your friends.

The experience of going away with friends transports you into another reality the way other trips cannot. Tensions with your significant other, family obligations, work to-do lists and home to-do lists are not on your radar. And with all those stresses from everyday life left behind, it’s vacation time!

Such a trip can be quite therapeutic. And I say this because I just got back from a girlfriend getaway and experienced the benefits first hand.

On a whim, one of my girlfriends from grad school suggested a trip. It had been about two years since we were hanging out regularly. And so, we all jumped at the opportunity.

Just the planning part itself was exciting. It took a few weeks and a get-together to nail down Tulum, Mexico as the location, decide on a budget and come up with a loose activity list.

And then one day, it was the morning of our trip.

As I jumped in a cab to get to the airport, I suddenly had a flash of anxiety, thinking about how we had indeed lost touch. And now I was going to be spending several nights with them in close quarters, sometimes sharing a bed – and in a foreign country, no less.

I started to brace myself for what could be a rather irritating voyage. I had no idea what kind of travelers they were. What if strange quirks revealed themselves while away? Was everyone going to rely on me all the time because I was the only Spanish speaker? Would I get annoyed with them? And on my mind went.

But despite my initial worries, what I discovered on the trip was not only that these girls were some of the best travel companions I’d ever had -because we just like doing the same things and had similar preferences when it came to accommodations and food- we reconnected as girlfriends, and became closer than we had ever been before.

And boy, did it come at a good time in all of our lives. We discovered that we are all struggling with similar crossroads. We are each trying to get our careers off the ground, have varying degrees of boy trouble, and are deciding on where next to live.

Our candid conversations, venting sessions, bouts belting out Adele lyrics, tropical drinks, exciting travel adventures and our generally unruly behavior helped me put a lot into perspective.

Overall, it was so great to just have fun, and be crazy girls again. I came home from that trip feeling stronger and happier than when I left.  And now, I have a renewed support system in my wonderful girlfriends that was somewhat untapped before.

In all honesty, if we hadn’t gone away together, we would not have reconnected as we did. So, thanks travel!

There we are on the beach on our first day.

When is your next trip with your friends?

  • C A Thomas
    March 15, 2012 at 6:22 pm

    Great advice and also very touching.
    Indeed – Thanks Travel!
    How “Unruly?”

    • travelwkate
      March 15, 2012 at 8:07 pm

      Thank you for such a sweet comment. Believe me, I didn’t do anything you wouldn’t do 😉

  • Alexandra Nikolchev
    March 15, 2012 at 11:26 pm

    I was on this trip 🙂 It’s true! The escape to a new place, with the idea of decompressing and reconnecting with friends makes life a whole lot richer. We all agreed, daily life can get confusing, routine, and hard. And, because of these routines, we don’t get to hang out enough! Going on vacation to simply relax, and just be ourselves together was so refreshing. And in understanding my friends through travel, how we enjoy life without a schedule, explore and handle unfamiliar situations, I have a renewed deep love for these women! Having a support system of at least a few deep connections is so important, especially at times of crossroads, and I am excited to know we will be each others lifelong lifelines! Thanks for the article Kate! Love you and can’t wait for the next getaway…

    • travelwkate
      March 16, 2012 at 7:24 am

      Love you too!

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