I desperately needed a real vacation.
I love what I do. In that sense, I’m incredibly lucky. But it had been three years since I took a real vacation where I was unplugged. I’ve traveled over the past couple years but I was still on my phone responding to messages, sending emails at 11pm. Essentially, I was working abroad.
I wanted to be disconnected from my regular world for a week. Do some yoga, swim in an ocean, and surf a little.
I wanted to connect with nature, drink some beer, and meet some wonderful people without frantically hitting the “reply” button.
They always say “ask and you shall receive.” Last month, something magical happened.
My friend Martha had booked a trip to a surf and yoga retreat in Nicaragua. She was on a big project at work and was worried about the bad internet connection. Ultimately, she decided that she didn’t want to take the risk of being unplugged in case her clients needed her.
I could relate. At the same time, it was exactly what I needed.
Martha offered me her spot in the retreat. I waffled, my clients needed me too. However, I had been wanting to learn to surf for YEARS. Literally, years. And here I was being offered a mostly-free trip to do just that.
I checked my calendar, checked in with all my clients, moved some appointments, and accepted Martha’s offer.
Because sometimes we have to let magical things happen in our lives. I bought my plane ticket to Mangua and I was ready to go.
I was working till I boarded the plane, but the moment we took off, I left everything behind. I had to, because I had officially entered a scary but amazing world without wi-fi.
In Managua’s airport, I realized I’d be spending a whole week with total strangers, no phone to save me if things got awkward.
While I was nervous, I knew that Martha loved the yoga teacher, Melinda. And if Martha loved Melinda then she must be amazing. And if she was amazing, then the other people at the retreat would probably be cool too.
It turned out that Melinda WAS amazing and a super fantastic yoga teacher (you should check her out). The people at the retreat were also fantastic too.
It ended up being one of the best weeks of my life for the following reasons:
The people at the retreat, yoga, the villa, the food, nature, the ocean, the local people, Nicaragua as country, the Spanish language, feeling fear and doing it anyway!
I had finally accomplished my lifelong goal of surfing. It was as magical as I imagined.
After two yoga classes a day, surfing lessons, swimming, and walks on the beach, I was hardly worried about my emails.
Add to that a lot of sleeping, resting, and doing nothing combined with great meals and great conversations. It was exactly what I needed.
Pictures tell the best stories:
It was a necessary break for my body and soul.
It was time to reflect and look at my life.
It’s in these moments when we discover new sides of ourselves.
It’s these times when we realize the areas we’ve been neglecting.
And lo and behold, when I got home, the world was still turning. My clients were still my clients. Nothing had burned to the ground. The only difference was that I felt better, happier, and more rested. In fact, I was able to handle their needs even better than before.
We live in a city where everyone is taught to “grind” all the time.
Sometimes you need a break. For your sanity. For your productivity.
A week after I returned to NYC, I was carrying two heavy bags from Trader Joe’s. I was annoyed. I gently reminded myself, “You carried a huge surfboard up a hill with the sun in your face at 97 degrees for ten minutes and you smiled. Grocery bags are easy.”
Vacations not only give you a new perspective on life, but also new strength to deal with everyday challenges from carrying grocery bags to creating new strategies for your life.
Most importantly, they allow you to set the “refresh” button.
About Marina & Big Idea Lab:
Marina Romashko is a founder of the Big Idea Lab, an idea coach and a producer. She makes BIG IDEAS happen. She believes that you can Slow Down in NYC, and she helps others to do the same. Check out her latest Slow Down Retreat.
Ready for your own adventure? Is it time to press the "refresh" button? Check out Pivot Journeys upcoming trips for awesome adventures that will also help you take the next step in your career!