Two weeks ago, I travelled to Puerto Vallarta for an all-inclusive experience at the Grand Park Royal with five girlfriends. Although we all reside in Vancouver, I was the only Canadian in our group. My Australian, English, Filipino and Irish friends and I spent our days lazing on sun loungers beneath bright blue skies and listening to frothing ocean waves.
I read two books, sipped at least six margaritas and fell asleep in the heat twice. I relaxed without thinking much at all. Still, a few realizations crept up along with the tan lines and saltwater tide.
1. Taking a break is necessary
As someone who works online, my phone is constantly pinging with work-related issues. For the first time ever, I actually turned off all my notifications: Facebook, Instagram, my company messaging platform and email. I kept my phone on hand for photos but disconnected from Wi-Fi. I only opened Messenger when I was ready and wanting to look at a message. I think the lack of distractions helped clear my mind better than meditation.
2. Indulge in moderation
I’m not really a resort person. Buffets and endless drinks create an atmosphere of excess, which can lead to an upset belly and hangover. To avoid this, I tried to space out my drinks, only eat when I was actually hungry and chug all the bottled water I could find. Although I didn’t keep to my intentions every second, I did manage to make it through the entire five days without overindulging or getting sick. Ever since my year sober, I’ve realized I don’t want to drink and party like I used to—and I feel much healthier.
3. I love coming home
My own bed. My own bedroom. Water that pours from taps that I can drink! Cuddles with my boyfriend, coffee with my friends and walks with my mama. Sure, I could’ve kept the bartenders that served up endless iced caprinas and cheesy nachos, but I’d rather make fresh food in my own kitchen and pair back on the booze. I still love travelling, but I felt happier coming home—to my relationships, job, apartment, country—than I was leaving. Turns out I don’t need to travel to escape from my “real world,” because it’s awesome, too.
What have you learned from travelling? Comment below!