And I already knew that...
Recently I’ve read several articles on how girl's trips are good for your health, and I have to admit, I get sucked into every story I find on the subject.
I’ve been fortunate to experience several girlfriend getaways with friends, as well as my sister (my best travel buddy ever!). Travel planning has been in my blood forever! I decided to interview one of my dearest friends, Tammy. Our destination was Kauai. I was curious if our trip had the same positive effect on her as well. Judge for yourself!
Erin: I have a HUGE favor to ask. I am writing a blog/article, and I was going to feature our trip to Hawaii. Would you be willing to write a little bit to add to it? The article is going to be more like a story on why you need to travel and get away with girlfriends...
Tammy: Sounds good to me!
Erin: You ROCK! Thank you!
Erin: What were your expectations, traveling to Kauai?
Tammy: I wasn't really sure what I was in store for. I knew I would have the time of my life because I was with my best friend. I knew I was thrilled with the idea of adventure. I guarded my expectation of the postcard quality beauty because I've seen "blue water" images of our MS coast. Lol
Erin: I knew what to expect, having grown up there. That was my first big getaway with a friend, though, and I was really excited to introduce you to my childhood home!
Erin: What did you hope to gain from your visit?
Tammy: What I hoped to gain were fun and relaxation. Spend a vacation with someone I could be myself around. Enjoy the sights and culture.
Erin: Love, love, LOVE! I looked forward to relaxing, too. I had been working 14 hour days at that time and needed sleep. I don’t remember sleeping in at any time, though. We were up at the crack of dawn every day it felt like. We didn’t want to waste a single minute!
Erin: What were you hoping to see?
Tammy: I was hoping to see the beautiful tropical flowers. You know I love flowers! I was looking forward to the beaches; hearing the waves. I wanted to see everything there was to see. I wanted to enjoy the Hawaii experience; to do it all!
Erin: I think you accomplished that! We were on-the-go, non-stop. Except for our long, in-depth discussions with Uncle Bobby!
Erin: Do you remember how you were feeling prior to leaving? Like, the week before?
Tammy: The week prior to leaving was a roller coaster of thrilled to even have the opportunity. This was stuff people dream of but few have the opportunity! It was surreal! Sad thoughts with leaving family behind mixed with some anxiety of generalized unfamiliarity came and went. It was hard to leave Clint. (Note: Clint is Tammy’s oldest son.)
Erin: I think that was about the time I realized we had a really long layover at LAX, and we started talking about checking out Beverly Hills, wasn’t it? That was a whole different adventure! I wasn’t nervous. I was anxious to get on that plane!
Erin: What was the highlight of your trip? Culturally? Best food? Favorite activity or site? Tammy: The highlight of my trip... Oh, we did so many things... The snorkel off of the Na Pali Coast, the helicopter over the mountains, the waterfall hikes, the cave swims, glass beach, the island-hopping adventure, the hospitality of friends... The whole trip was the most amazing experience I have ever had. Sharing that with you is what made it all that it was. Being one’s self, no real schedules, no rushes... Easy adventure. So, culturally-- the pace. I loved the relaxed pace. Friendly people everywhere. Best food-- the first time for Mahi-mahi. YUM, but I loved all the tropical fruits and drinks! Activity? Toss up. I loved the group snorkel. I felt like I was having a real-life Jacques Cousteau experience. The helicopter ride took my breath away (and pushed my personal fear limits over the cliff. But honestly, the times we had in our little buggy car going to secluded places brought the most personal memories to me. (waterfall, cave, shopping)
Erin: The catamaran ride around the Na Pali is always amazing! Especially snorkeling… You never know what you will see underwater. Honu (sea turtles), magical fish. I don’t remember… I seem to recall seeing a humuhumunukunukuapua’a. Dolphins… The “Blue Room”? I had never actually been there before! I was shocked at the beauty of it (and how shockingly cold the water was!). While I LOVE the idea of “Hawaiian Time”, and just taking everything at its own due pace, but it can get frustrating. I ALWAYS recommend a helicopter ride on Kauai. There is so much to see that isn’t accessible by car. And, you introduced me to mudslides at the Hard Rock Cafe, during another little “side adventure” to Waikiki!
Erin: The biggest piece of advice for someone traveling to Kauai?
Tammy: Take your best friend!! … It's going to rain. After all, it is a tropical rainforest. … Take time to listen to the tree frogs and geckos. … Smell the flowers. … Take it all in.
Erin: I couldn’t agree more! And… Put your watch in your suitcase and ignore the television. Just BE.
Erin: How did this trip change your life?
Tammy: Everyone needs to experience the laid back atmosphere that Hawaii has to offer. People sit and listen and interact in ways that make you feel special. They make you feel as though you are worth their time. Here, we seem to get lost in the hustle and bustle of life. Getting away from that enlightened me and changed my outlook. I also have a great stock of memories that would have never been possible without a friend like you! Thank you for including me!
Erin: We need to do that again! Where to next time?! Tammy, thank you from the bottom of my heart! We SERIOUSLY need to go on a girl's trip again!
PROOF! A girls-only getaway lets you fully enjoy a new experience without worrying about what someone else is doing every second. Sure… Vacationing with family can be wonderful, but consider how much time is spent making sure your kids are wearing sunscreen, worrying about whether they’ve eaten anything healthy since you left home, or panicking your hotel will throw you out because your toddler is screaming after midnight. It’s not your responsibility what your friends eat for lunch, if they don’t apply enough sunscreen (unless they end up in the ER!), or whether they will respect the hotel’s “quiet hours”.
“Girls trips” may also improve cognitive thinking. If you are usually reserved or quiet, for example, traveling with an outgoing friend will make engaging with locals easier.
Besides, it’s just fun to get away from the daily grind with your best girlfriends! You don’t need a scientific study to tell you that. So, go ahead and give me a call to book that beach trip with your besties... Don't forget to share this newsletter with those peeps so they know you really are just looking out for their health! Your body and mind will thank you later!
Erin Smith ~ Affinity Group Travel Advisor