A couple of weeks ago I did something a little out of character. I went to Florida and hopped on a cruise ship to the Bahamas. I declined to buy the wi-fi package on the ship, so I went three days without hearing from or speaking to my family.

It’s out of character for me because I’m a natural worrier. I worry about my kids when they’re not with me, and I even worry about my husband sometimes too. Some mornings I call him at work just to have the peace of mind that he made it there safely. I know it’s probably a bit much, but I try to keep it to a minimum – or at least keep it to myself.

When my high school reunion was planned to be a cruise to the Bahamas, of course I wanted to go! I happily booked my room right away, but I knew that I would have to go alone because flying my whole family to Florida is a little too pricey for us right now. My husband and mom both encouraged me to go for it, and I’m glad they did because I needed a break. It wasn’t until it got closer to the date that I realized I would be completely without contact for a few days.

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I left my husband and my two oldest boys in California and headed to Florida with my 13 month old. He had the pleasure of staying at my mom’s house and being completely spoiled and doted on for a weekend. I met up with some friends and we headed to our ship. In the few minutes before our ship headed into international – and phone signal-free – waters, I was on the phone with my husband, making sure he knew my cruise line and room number in case of an emergency. I reassured him that I would try to find some free wifi when I could. (Really I was reassuring myself.)

After I turned off my phone I spent the next few hours thinking about my family while the guests all partied loudly on the deck to celebrate the departure. But then, something happened and I stopped thinking and worrying. I was keeping busy on the ship with food, non-alcoholic drinks, activities and friends. I spent an entire day relaxing on a beach in the Bahamas, without a care in the world, wishing I never had to leave. I had fun.

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When I posted the pictures from my trip, friends remarked at how great I looked and how I was glowing. I couldn’t help but tell them that a weekend without kids will do that to you – and it will. I slept great, even in the tiny cabin of the cruise ship. I ate food while it was still hot and without having to help anyone else first. I had uninterrupted conversations with other adults. And best of all I had like five showers, all to my self, in the span of three days.

If you’ve never had the chance to take a vacation alone (or with a few friends) you need to do it. Leave your spouse and kids at home, turn off your phone, and take a couple of days to catch up on life. Even if you just go to a motel down the street and watch TV in bed the whole time it’s worth it. You’ll come home refreshed, relaxed, and renewed. And you’ll love your family just a little bit more.

Have you ever taken a vacation without your family?

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