Girls Weekend Getaway: Lessons Learned and New Adventures
Posted byBethany Johnson
I’m so excited I could scream!
Next month, my friends and I are doing a girls weekend getaway. As we plan, I can’t help but remember the first time I enjoyed a weekend away with girl friends.
It started smoothly enough. Our “leader” — you know the one, the natural go-getter who’s on top of it all — scored us a cabin in the mountains. Only, it wasn’t a cabin, it was like a million dollar mansion with a forest theme. When she first floated the concept, all of us besties were in. But as the date drew closer, a few of the ladies had stuff come up: one had to work, one ran out of cash, another had family matters. It killed us to see our numbers dwindle, but in retrospect, our group of five was the perfect size for memorable fun.
We met up to pile our gear (and ourselves) into the cars that would compose our little caravan. After a few selfies, we were off. Traveling together — while originally intended to save money — gave us the extra benefit of catching up and experiencing the road trip together. By the time we arrived at the lodge, our group was already feeling connected. As we each chose our bunks, we felt lighter, more relaxed and clear-minded.
“Guys, check this out!” shouted Cassie. Simultaneously, from another room came Shana’s voice, “Look what I found!” “What a view!” Angela exclaimed. Out came the wine, and, glass in hand, we poked around the property, admiring décor and critiquing book collections.
So Much Love
The sun began to set, and we all settled in. I’m talking stretchy pants, ugly T-shirts and favorite old slippers. Oh, and junk food.
“Want to do something I saw online?” our ringleader asked. We all agreed, curious. What was this? “It’s a simple activity,” she explained. “Each person takes a turn. When it’s Shana’s turn, for example, we each spend 30 seconds saying single words that describe her as they come to mind. Bethany, you go first.” Slightly startled, I agreed. What followed was one of the sweetest few seconds of my life. These friends of mine shot off the nicest words a girl could ever hear about herself. “Committed,” I heard from one. “Curious,” from another. “Generous.” “Intuitive.” “Funny.” As the words came, I fought tears. The list surprised me, and the descriptors were so many that I feared there wouldn’t be any words left for the next girl. But then, sure enough, my turn was over and we all focused on the next friend for 30 seconds of remarkably unique affirmation.
This exercise in encouragement served to start our time out on the right foot. For the rest of the weekend, we girls were (mostly) loving to one another. And when there was any doubt, we assumed the best of each other. Having started the weekend on such a high note, you might expect things to unravel from there. On the contrary, our affirmation game set the tone for a safe, happy environment where each woman felt comfortable being herself.
Tips for You
If you’ve never enjoyed a girls weekend getaway with your besties, put it atop your bucket list. As you assemble the crew and start planning, keep these pointers in mind:
- Do choose an interesting locale. No offense to the nearby hotel or community center, but your most memorable girls weekend getaway needs scenery. Tap your group for the “rich uncle” idea first, because occasionally, a friend has access to a family member’s second home or vacation rental. If your budget allows for a resort stay, do it, but choose the one that’s historical, quirky or off the beaten path.
- Do plan an activity or two. An unstructured weekend is restful, but working in a committed activity or outing (or both!) plants lasting memories that bond you and the girlies forever. We did a time of arts and crafts and a hike on the Appalachian Trail. There were tons of other things to do, but those separate ideas were optional. Narrowing it down together ensures everyone is at least somewhat into the scheduled activity, without trying to cram in every idea that gets tossed around.
- Do keep a few activities in reserve. Down time is precious, so don’t interrupt it unless the group gets bored. But do keep a few ideas in your back pocket just in case.
- Do thank others. When re-entering society refreshed, express gratitude to those who helped you get away. Partners who watched kids, bosses who lent flexibility and neighbors who kept an eye on your place should all be sincerely thanked.
- Do push the envelope as you dream together about future retreats. Kick around crazy ideas like an Alaskan cruise, a dude ranch weekend, or a voluntourism work-themed getaway.
Have you ever gotten away with the women in your life? What does a weekend getaway look like for you and your ladies? Share your stories and pictures on social!
Image Source: Flickr, Bethany Johnson
- Posted by Bethany Johnson
- On May 5, 2017