How To Have a Wildly Authentic Summer Vacation

Jul 11, 2019

Dear Imaginative Woman,

My ideal vacation is sitting in a beautiful spot and reading books for days.

I don't like to do too much driving or activity. I love a full-immersion rest.

My husband, however, loves vacations full of activity. He wants to learn, explore, and be on a full-immersion adventure.

For years, I've done vacations with my husband as big adventures, because once he starts talking about the things we can see in the world, I don't want to miss out on any of it!

We've seen humpback whales breaching off the Pacific Coast. We've walked through castles in Spain, and we've explored the mountains of southern India.

We've done a lot of incredible things, and it's been amazing.

 

Yet, all these years, I've had a soul craving for uninterrupted time on a lounge chair with a book and a cup of tea.

I've wanted to be surrounded by flowers and the sound of ocean waves.

And finally, this summer, I decided to make it happen.

A few weeks ago my husband and I took a trip to Hawaii to celebrate my 40th birthday (woohoo!), where I prioritized the way I wanted to be on vacation.

 

In order to make my wildly authentic vacation come true, however, I had to plan it just right, and this started with acknowledging a couple challenges in my way.

First, I knew my husband would be miserable if he wasn't out adventuring.

Second, I knew I wouldn't have much fun with a grumpy husband.

So, here's what I did:

  • I invited two other couples to come with us. I knew the group would be a great mix of friends who would love relaxing and adventuring.
  • We all stayed in separate houses, but not too far from each other. I'm an introvert, so I wanted the place we stayed to be completely private, but I also wanted to be close to our friends.
  • We went to the Big Island, because I knew it would offer enough interesting things for my husband and enough chill beaches for me.
  • I told everyone about the vacation I envisioned, preparing them ahead of time.

 

I told them I wasn't going to make any plans. My dream was to read, go snorkeling, read, eat dinner, repeat.

I let them know my husband was interested in exploring and learning, so he would be the one with all the big ideas.

They knew they could join me for relaxation or my husband for touring around.

They knew everyone could do whatever they wanted with or without other people.

There would be no social pressure or hurt feelings, because this could be everyone's wildly authentic vacation.

And guess what? We had an amazing time!!

 

Sometimes we were all together, because what we did that day was what everyone wanted, and other days everyone took time to themselves to relax or adventure.

Most of the time I was reading on my lounge chair on our lanai. I read three books!

  • The Patron Saint of Liars by Ann Patchett
  • Always Another Country by Sisonke Msimang 
  • The Moth Presents Occasional Magic edited by Catherine Burns

I went out a few times for fun days, especially for swimming, but my best day was the day I didn't leave our condo at all.

I sat in the lounge chair pictured above, while everyone else went on a big drive to Volcano National Park.

I had a little bit of FOMO (fear of missing out), but whenever I checked in with my gut, I knew staying back was the right move. And it totally was!!

My soul was completely nourished by the end of the day.

  

I'm so delighted with how things went I wanted to tell you all about it, and to share my new recipe for creating a Wildly Authentic vacation:

  1. Spend time imagining your dream, what do you really want for your vacation? Set aside what other people want while you do this step.
  2. Consider the realities at play. What do you already know is going to challenge your dream? This will probably be other people's expectations of you or others' clashing vacation styles.
  3. What can do you to lessen the challenges? I invited friends and made sure we were in a location where my husband and I could both have our ideal vacation.
  4. Set clear expectations before vacation about what you'll be doing. You can let others know your Wildly Authentic plan, and let them know they can do their own thing too.
  5. Say no when you really don't want to do something, even if it seems like an adventure you're afraid you'll miss out on. I have not regretted my day alone reading!!
  6. Say yes sometimes too, especially if it's something your True Self really wants. I loved going out and snorkeling in the reefs. This was a big activity, but it made my True Self shine.
  7. Seek progress not perfection. Having even one day that is exactly what you want might be amazing progress for you! This vacation was a long time in the making for me. I experimented and tweaked logistics on many different trips before coming up with this plan.

 

So, here's my question for you this week:

If you could have things go exactly how you wanted on your next vacation, what would that look like? Follow the steps above to make it happen!

Love,

Emma

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P.S. Last week I launched The School of Wild Authenticity's first online course! If you feel disconnected from your True Self and have no idea what a wildly authentic vacation would look like for you, take Find Your True Self Again: a 5-week self-paced online course.

This course is designed for women who are busy and exhausted. Each day has a 10-minute, easy to follow, lesson that will help you connect to your True Self. By the end of the 5 week course you will remember who you are, feel more vibrant and alive, and be ready to say what your ideal vacation would be. What a great way to spend the summer!

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