Solotrip: Long Beach, Washington
I’m what you call an ambivert. I love being around people and sharing my life with them but I also require some pretty dedicated alone time. When you love being with friends and there’s a lot going on, it can be hard to find the time to recharge. Even when I do come home, I’ve got my man there so it’s not real alone time. Sometime over the last year I realized I had been burning my candle for too long and I needed to find some time to get away. To avoid going bonkers, I decided I would take one night away a month for a year to go on solo adventures. There will be some exceptions where I bring one good girlfriend. We won’t go to party, but rather to find peace together, to meditate and do yoga, to dive deep into or completely avoid our bigger life problems.
If it’s not in the calendar, it doesn’t exist.
To hold myself accountable, I mapped out 12 weekends of my year where I was expected to go somewhere out of town. There are a lot of things I have yet to experience in Washington so I figured this would be a good way to start checking them off my list.
Being an observer.
I spend so much of my time and energy serving others, it’s in my nature. I’m constantly making sure those around me are content and taken care of. My intention for my trips is to simply be. I go as an observer of my surroundings and my mind. It’s not a time to catch up on work or promote my businesses. And there is most certainly no social media permitted during these adventures.
Preserving my independence.
My man always knows when I’m going out of town and where I’ll be but communication is limited. While I’m out venturing, he is not to attempt to communicate with me unless it’s an emergency. On the other hand, if I feel I want to talk with him, I’m allowed to reach out. But, there is absolutely no humdrum conversation. He can’t ask me where I put his socks or when we’re supposed to run to the store. When we talk it’s focused on building our connection and sharing our experiences.
Solotrip No.1 – Long Beach, Washington
September 26 + 27
September was my first solo adventure. I chose Long Beach, Washington as my destination. I’d booked a trip last spring but cancelled it for a reason I can’t remember anymore. I grew up on the ocean yet I somehow hadn’t made it to the Washington coast yet. This needed to change immediately.
I found an affordable hotel that had beach access. When I found out I could bring my dog for an extra $15, I brought my orange fluff, Yukon, with me. Here is some of what I got out of the adventure.
We had a few hours drive from Seattle to Long Beach but it was beautiful. I caught up with 101 outside of Olympia and just soaked up the tree-filled drive. About an hour outside of Long Beach, in an area with no cell service, I got a “Check Engine” warning on my car. It seemed unlikely that a garage would be able to help me at 5pm on a Saturday in a small town. Thank goodness for AAA because they came to the rescue. I was given the go ahead to drive it back to the city and deal with it there.
With car troubles behind us, it was time to head to the beach!
Cool patterns in the sand.
The look of true love.
Yukon was the best beach buddy I could have ever asked for. It was like watching a little boy. It was clear to me that not only was I having a great time but he was having a BLAST! When he’d spot a group of seagulls he’d run through them. My face hurt from laughing at this silly furry creature all day.
As I walked up and down the beach being my usually silly self with my extra silly pup I noticed moments of self judgement. I wondered what people thought of me, what I ought to be doing instead, how I should be behaving or dressing. As I recognized these thoughts, I let them slip away. It left me wondering, how would this experience feel if I lost all judgement. If I just operated with the mentality that everything I was doing was enough, not good or bad, would I enjoy myself more? So, I dropped the judgement and just behaved exactly as I wanted to. I was liberated to simply enjoy where I was and what I was doing.
After walking for miles up and down the beach, it was time to rest in the dunes and catch the sunset.
After a few hours of walking, the sun began to set.
I was so caught up in the sunset until I turned around and directly behind me was the Super Moon rising. I was so overcome with joy, wonder and happiness that I started to laugh and yell in excitement.
Letting those rays hit me hard.
Even doggies like sunsets.
We arrived at the beach just after 5 and the sun didn’t set until 8:30. That time flew by and it was incredible.
Once the sun went down we walked back to the hotel. Yukon was absolutely exhausted and couldn’t eat a thing. I was starving so I grabbed a crab melt from a restaurant in town. I didn’t stay conscious for much longer after I was fed.
I woke up the next morning and had to let the dog out. I was thinking I’d start my day with some journaling and some yoga but I noticed the sun hadn’t come up yet. So, we walked back down to the beach.
I stood in the same spot that where I had watched the sun set the night before. As I watched the light come up above dunes, I realized that I had never in my life watched the sunset and the sunrise from the same place. I had always missed one or the other, usually both.
A 180º view of the abundant beauty of a beach sunrise.
This is the face of pure happiness. As the sun rose I felt the light warm my skin. It was at this point that I became overwhelmingly overcome with gratitude.
The waves lit up as the first light broke. I took Yukon for a walk as the sun kept creeping higher. I had tears streaming down my cheeks and my heart was bursting out of my chest. I was surrounded by so much beauty. I have never felt so much gratitude in my life. I was not only grateful for the natural beauty around me but that I had made the choice to be here. It wasn’t an accident or a coincidence. I had placed myself in this environment with full intent and it felt better than I could have ever imagined.
Before hitting the road, I made a stop at a fun beachside restaurant for some much needed coffee. It was time to drive home in time to catch a Thievery Corporation concert at the Showbox.
Life is good.