Back in my 20s, getting together with my girls was a no brainer and required zero advance planning. We were all broke and living in Washington, D.C. where thankfully happy hours were plentiful and prices, at the time, were dirt cheap. Reliably, around 4 or 5 p.m., someone in our group chat would send a text message which usually said something like "should we grab drinks?" and most of us would immediately respond with a yes.
We'd get off of work around the same time and either walk or catch the metro to the meeting spot. Once we arrived, we'd settle into our seats, order a few cocktails, appetizers (cause they were on happy hour and all we could afford) and spend hours talking and laughing about everything. Now that we're in our mid-30s and all my girls live in different cities, I look back on that time and think about how lucky we were to have each other the way we did for so long.
Now, everything is so different. Some of us are married with kids, others are kicking ass in our career fields and others are chucking deuces to America all together and moving abroad. I'm so proud of my besties but to say that seeing each other regularly is the easiest thing in the world would be a lie. We are all crazy busy and pulled in so many different directions that it's hard to find the time to get together.
This may be controversial, I believe that my friendships are just as important as my marriage. That might sound crazy to some folks and that's okay, but for me, my girls help to ground me firmly in myself. When I have nothing else to give they pour into me, bolster me back up and help me carry the weight of my burdens. I love my husband and I absolutely adore my daughter, but they can absolutely be a drain on me. But my girls? They remind me of who I am and I know I do the same for them.
That's why I think it's essential to take a trip with your friends as regularly as possible.
Life can be hard man. Having a group of people around you who love, support and protect you is a blessing--one that I think most of us don't prioritize because we also have a hard time prioritizing ourselves as women(BLOOP!) But can I encourage you to make a shift?
Here are three good reasons to call up your girls and plan a trip ASAPLY!
+You Get To Deepen Your Relationship
We're at a stage in life where things really are moving quickly. Spending dedicated time with your friends away from the responsibilities of work and family means you actually get to pay attention to them and catch up, in a meaningful way, on what has been going on in their lives. This is also an opportunity for you to be real and vulnerable about what is going on in yours. Basically, this is one big chance to show up for each other in both literal and figurative ways.
+You Get To Be Young and Silly Again
Remember back when you had zero responsibilities and could just get drunk in the middle of the day for no reason? Yea me too and it was so much fun. After two years of living with this pandemic and all the bullsh*t that America throws at us on a daily basis, you deserve sis. You deserve to feel fancy free for a bit of time and who better to do it with then your core group?
+You'll Come Home Happier
You know that feeling when you come home from vacation and you just feel so zen? That's how you'll feel after a trip with your besties. I always come home feeling emotionally lighter, financially poorer, but incredibly happy. For weeks afterwards my capacity for b.s. is just higher. I snap at Shep less and have so much more patience for Nola and just the general ups and downs that life throws my way.
So where should you and your girls go?
There really are so many options and your trip can be as extravagant or not as you want. Have you been wanting to check out a nearby city? Do it. Want to plan a trip where all y'all do is wine taste (can you bring me along please?) there are so many wine regions in the U.S. to check out! Is hoping on an international flight more the vibe? Grab those passports and head out right now. There is no wrong way to do it, but if you're looking to stay stateside, here are a few of my favorite destinations!
My love for this city truly knows no bounds. In fact, in a few weeks I get to go back with my bestie before she heads off to London for the long haul. I wrote this guide two-ish years ago and it needs some updating but it's a solid start.
Louisville was the first city I ever took a girls trip in and I've been back four times since. It's a cool ass town with lots of whiskey, delicious restaurants and a decent art scene. What more do you need to know? I wrote an entire guide on it here.
-Willamette Valley, OR
If you're looking for a good spot to taste some of the best Pinot Noirs in the world head to the Willamette Valley. I went with a group of friends right after I got married and it was one of the best trips of my life. Oregon is absolutely beautiful and the Willamette Valley is legitimately one of the more stunning landscapes I've ever seen. We went to several vineyards and sampled our body weight in Pinots. All of us also came home with cases (yes as in multiple) of wine. 'Twas divine.
Grab your chunkiest cable knit sweater and head to Seattle for some of the best coffee and seafood you've ever had in your life! Think roaring fires, rich red wines and chic restaurants on practically every corner. Seattle is definitely a more lowkey destination, but if you're looking to really dial in with your girls, this might just be the move.
Who doesn't love a good glass of wine? Why not head to Napa with your nearest and dearest and introduce your palate to some of the most incredible grapes in the world. Napa has long been a destination for wine aficionados and for good reason. The town has a few Michelin starred restaurants, cozy bed and breakfast spots and sightseeing in the country.
It can be expensive as hell though and if your budget doesn't totally allow, try out Solvang or Paseo Robles instead. Both spots are in Southern California and about a 2-3 hour drive from LAX airport.
-Palm Springs, CA
Palm Springs is like Las Vegas but kitcher. If you like hot ass weather, time spent floating in the pool and a retro 1970s Vegas vibe, this is absolutely the move. There are some groovy restaurants, bars and shopping to be had. You won't regret it. Oh, but make sure you bring a lot of sunscreen.