Eat, Pray, and Twerk
I reclaimed my time. I had some stored vacation time from work and I decided to take the plunge. I'm talking about a vacation: a word that had become foreign to me this year due to overwhelming work, anxiety, and the feeling that things would fall apart if I was to leave for an extended period of time. After all of the therapy and self care I had practiced this year, I decided that a trip to Greece was just what I needed.
My friend Victoria sent an out an email in early in February stating that she had bought a ticket to Greece on a whim and invited all of us along to celebrate her 30th birthday. Who wouldn't want to go to Greece?!? My mind started racing in its usual routine with thoughts like "I can't take off for a week, I have so much going on" and "I won't have the money to go". By the end of the day, I had already talked myself out of going. As the months went on and I realized I needed an outlet, I made a final decision that I was going on this trip because I deserved it.
From the moment I stepped off the plane, I decided I was going to fully unplug and soak up this experience. We were spending three days in Athens and then flying to Santorini for two days and the sights were breathtaking. There was Wi-fi in the hotel but other than that, I allowed myself to not worry about having access to the Internet unless I really needed it. I felt free and liberated. Our first night out in Athens was filled lots of good music, warm welcomes from strangers, and a lot of free liquor. This set the tone for the rest of the trip and for the first time in a while, I let go.
For the next week, I ate good food, I drank really expensive wine, and I twerked any chance I got. Who wouldn't??? I was in Greece, and it's not like people there would be remember me anyway. I allowed myself to be vulnerable around friends (which is tough for me), had genuine girl conversations, and really took time to tune everything out and think. The experience alone was therapy enough. Why did it take me so long to do this? Why had I denied myself this freedom? I vowed right then and there to never do that again.
Everyone should have vacation time included in their self care routine, and I'm not talking about taking a trip home to be with your relatives. I mean going to another location where you can relax and unplug. I know everyone isn't able to take a trip overseas, but I suggest even going to another state. It's vital to mental health, and it's important to end this stigma that black people don't travel.
We owe it ourselves to stop and take a break. We attempt to save the world everyday and there is usually no one around to take care of us. Do yourself a favor. If you have the free time, take a leap and buy that plane ticket, book that hotel room, and go. You deserve it, and your body will thank you later.