The importance of family-free travel #BeachesMoms

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sister travel 5I love my husband. And I love Max. My sister loves her husband and her girls, of course. But we left them at home while we went on vacation and I’m so thankful we did. Katie and I had the opportunity to travel to the incredible Beaches All-Inclusive Resort in Turks & Caicos for the Social Media on the Sand conference, and as a bonus we got some much-needed sister time.

Beaches is the family-centric branch of the same brand that runs Sandals, the couples-only all-inclusives, so yes, there are times we wished we had our families with us. But overall, the benefit of the time for the two of us was far more important and valuable than we could have imagined.

We were together for probably 90% of our lives until I moved out at 18. We’ve often said that my moving out was the best thing that ever happened to our relationship; we had to make an effort to spend time together, so it was on our terms. We weren’t forced together when we didn’t want to be. We finally became friends instead of just sisters.

This isn’t to say we don’t have our drama. When you’re as close to someone as sisters are, it’s going to happen. It just will. We know ALL of each other’s buttons to push, and sometimes temptation is just too great and clashes will happen.

But to go somewhere like Beaches, with no real “grown-up” responsibilities?

sister travel 3Incredible.

When we arrived, as the concierge gave us a tour of our suite, I noticed a little bottle of Palmolive next to the kitchen counter. “Oh how cute! They think we might want to wash dishes!” We were there for two reasons: The conference and the relaxing.

Sitting at a swim up bar, ordering drinks in ridiculous neon colors, with pineapple and cherry garnish and topped with the longest bendy straw I’ve ever seen, we laughed and took silly pictures and splashed and just connected.

With no kids to keep an eye on, no husbands to feel like we were neglecting, we were able to focus on just being in the moment with each other, and we had an amazing time.

We sang karaoke like we did in the old days, when we were sharing an apartment and visited the local pub 5 nights a week to sing.

We tried new foods, like escargot!

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Leaving on this trip was pretty stressful for Katie. She’s got three girls at home, and this was her first big trip away from them. They were a little freaked out at the prospect of Mommy flying off on an airplane, and it took her a bit to settle into this role of off-duty mom.

But, I reminded her, it’s important to set this as a good example for her girls. We talked about how she should send her girls off to a resort like Beaches, maybe when her youngest turns 18. (Total bonus for Katie of all three girls having birthdays in a three-week span! Easy to make a big trip a combo gift!)

In leaving her girls behind, she modeled something else, something important. Adult sisterhood.

By day three, we were taking mental notes on the things we want to show our kids and husbands when we come back; I’ve already changed my previously planned 40th birthday party celebration from an Alaskan cruise to a Beaches vacation. (July 2017, if you want to come with us!)

Katie and I were able to connect in a way we haven’t in an embarrassing number of years. No barking dogs or whining kids, no door-to-door solicitors or groceries that needed to be bought. It was just us, and it was glorious.

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One Comment

  1. What a delight! I just spent 24 hours with my favorite sister-in-law in a city where we met to hang out for the day and night. It was wonderful to have us both in a city where we had no responsibilities, no husbands, no kids, no work. It was just us, and the city and great warm Indian summer weather! We ate when we wanted to eat, drank (too much!) when we wanted to drink and slept when we wanted to sleep. But most important we wondered the city, exploring with no destination in mind. Just talking and sharing and shopping and talking!

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