Let’s be honest. Taking time for yourself is kind of hard when you are in your own home or city. It’s easier to be distracted, easier to keep yourself busy and not really get rested up like you promised yourself you would the last 18 times you tried to relax. This is how I feel at least (any other Type A’s out there??). I knew that I had to get outta town so I could know what it meant to relax. And for, the first time in my life, I actually think I recharged and fully relaxed. I’m really terrible at having relaxing vacations. Usually, I’m traveling out of the country by myself getting no sleep and cramming as much as I possibly can into one day. Don’t get me wrong, I wouldn’t have it any other way, but I needed something different this time.
So, I stole away to the mountains of East Tennessee, a place that feels like home. No pressure to explore a new place, just time in the Smoky Mountains. Alone. It was one of the best things I have done for myself.
After some research, I decided to stay at Buckhorn Inn. It’s not too far tucked away in the middle of no where,yet there’s plenty of space and beautiful mountain views. The staff there are some of the nicest and most helpful people, which just made me feel even more stree free and relaxed. It’s a little swankier than the places I stay most times I get away, but this was a time to spoil myself just a little. I’ll definitely be back.
On property, there’s a a small hiking loop, a pond, gardens, and a prayer labrinyth. Absolutely perfect for what I needed.
Not to mention, I had the most wonderfully lovely room (with a view) that I spent my entire night journaling, reading, and drinking wine.
Now, the key for a successful solo relaxation retreat is simple. TURN OFF YOUR PHONE. Seriously, it will be ok. Instagram can live without you for 48 hours I promise.
Also, for me, relaxation almost always goes hand in hand with nature. Something special seeps out of my soul whenever I’m surrounded by trees, lakes, and mountains. I can’t help but actually take time to breathe and appreciate life. Because guess what? I really do love my life. I knew I could really say this and mean it when I truly accepted that I want to live my life more than I would want to live anyone else’s life. I spent my entire teen years and the first half of my 20s wishing I could live the life of someone else. Something was always better about other people’s lives than my own. But, when I came to the simple realization that I was blessed with a pretty cool life myself, I felt a huge release within me. No pressure anymore.
So, I challenge you to take some time alone, really alone. Get away, even if it’s just a day trip. Turn off that phone and soak in aloneness and you’ll realize that alone doesn’t always have to feel so lonely.