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30A Exhale

Is there anything more relaxing than the sea?

I spent last weekend on Florida’s Emerald Coast, having been invited by a dear friend and neighbor. There were five of us along for the girls’ trip, all triple-vaxxed, masked and rapid-tested before traveling and gathering together. We ate great food, drank good wine, and laughed…a lot!

While it was chilly, the beach was gorgeous, with that sparkling white sugar-sand the 30A area is famed for. We took long walks, hunted for shells, and kept a keen lookout for dolphins near the shoreline. We read our books, poked around the farmers market in Rosemary Beach, had long chats and watched movies. One night we cooked in, another evening we opted for takeout. It was easy, breezy and a much-needed break for us all.

The only thing missing? The planning. Which was what made this trip so perfect.

Let me explain: I like to have things mapped out, buttoned up, and nailed down. This applies to my work, my family, my play, and yes, even my vacations. I’m the person who once had a to-do list post-it noted on her iPhone, and on the road, I’ve been known to schedule each day nearly to the hour, even if it’s denoted as “free time.” Even on vacation, I’m a hard charger…and often feel as if I need a vacation once I return from vacation!

A dear friend who joined in on our 30A jaunt shares my planning proclivities, and in the days leading up to our travels, she asked if we should meal or menu plan before-hand. To be fair, I had considering pinging the group to suggest activities each day. She and I were certainly on the same wavelength in this regard.

In the subsequent e-convo that followed, our incredible hostess suggested that we set aside the plans. We were going to hit the grocery store for supplies, of course, but that perhaps there was no need to plan every meal, event, or moment.

“I love that this isn’t a work trip, so there is nothing truly essential except for sweatpants.”

Ok then. I can read the room—or in this case—the text stream.

And it turns out, nothing was essential except for sweatpants, and perhaps sunscreen. We had no set schedule, no mouths to feed save our own, nothing that had to get done except enjoying each other’s company, and the beach of course. Letting go of the part of me who craves a schedule was relaxing, restorative and a wonderful lesson learned.

Sometimes, truly….the best plans are no plans at all.

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