Do you ever think "I wish I had a job that allowed me more time to travel?"
I used to have that thought in the back of my mind. Well, I'm learning that I have to be careful what I wish for because this year has been chock full of adventures and trips!
Last Friday I leapt out of bed at 4am to escape cold, dark, chilly Chicago for the sunshine and turquoise waters of Los Cabos, Mexico for a long weekend. It was an incredible trip and I'm excited to share some of my pictures and stories!
My friend Kathleen and I traveled to Cabo together to celebrate the destination wedding of our mutual friend Deidre at Dreams Los Cabos Resort and Spa. This was our first time to Cabo and we had no idea what we were in for.
Well, after two endlessly long flights, a bajillion hours processing through customs, and navigating the gauntlet of overly ambitious drivers waiting to pounce on us at the airport (shit, I made eye contact... "do you need a driver? a ride? boyfriend for the week?" just keep walking), we made it to the edge of the Baja Peninsula and were greeted by our friendly airport shuttle driver Alfredo, who entertained us with stories and beers while he zoomed us down the highway to the coast.
And soon we arrived at THIS magical place!
The resort literally just re-opened a few weeks ago after being devastated by a hurricane last year, and it took our breath away.
The tip of the Baja peninsula is covered with craggy mountains, vegetation and cacti in a blend that reminded me of a cross between Cancun and Arizona, and the land edges up to the most beautiful turquoise waves of the Pacific Ocean and the Sea of Cortez.
Kathleen and I quickly settled into our new routine.
It's not hard to love your life when you're living in the lap of all-inclusive luxury and great service!
It was really fun to travel with a fellow Tone It Up girl because we have the exact same lifestyle quirks.
Our ideal vacation day begins by waking up early around 6am, ordering a "pre-breakfast" room service snack of toast, coffee and tea, and fresh fruit, and then wandering out to the beach for a HIIT workout.
Then we would get showered and dressed in our bikinis and cover ups before wandering down to the breakfast buffet for a mimosa-soaked feast.
Then comes a couple of quiet hours under our shady cabana listening to the waves and relaxing before a light al fresco lunch, and then meeting up with the rest of the wedding party for cocktails and an afternoon at the pool!
The wedding itself was absolutely magical. I've never been to a destination wedding before, and being there to celebrate Deidre and Howard with a small group of their closest friends and family was extremely special.
After we all sobbed our way through the ceremony, we were treated to champagne, appetizers, and a three piece string Mexican band before our dinner on the terrace overlooking the beach!
Seriously. I can't even believe these pictures are real.
We all sat around one gorgeously arrayed communal table.
And spent the evening drinking, eating, laughing, and celebrating with the happy couple!
I absolutely love love love weddings, but this one was really something extra special.
Kathleen and I made the excellent decision to spend an extra day at the resort after the wedding.
We loved trying out all the restaurants and making friends with the staff. I think they were amused by two young women traveling together :)
It's really hard for me to take a few days "off" to completely relax and unplug (and I admit I checked my email a couple times), but overall this trip was the first time I've ever taken an official vacation for myself.
It's surreal to be able to experience places like this.
Two years ago I would never have believed I'd be traveling all over the world multiple times a year, and I'd be feeling trapped by my 9-5, hoarding my limited vacation days to see my family for Christmas.
Now I'm in the middle of literally designing the lifestyle of my dreams, and I'm finally starting to believe that I am worth experiences like this. It's pretty crazy and a little overwhelming, and the process is long and hard, but I will never take it for granted.
Honestly, it's kind of hard for me to share this trip because I don't want to come off as bragging or "look at me, my life rocks!"
But quite frankly, my life does rock right now. I am literally happier than I've ever been. And I want to feel that happiness without dampening or second-guessing it.
Most of all, I want to SHARE this feeling because I want you to feel this way too.
For the first time in my life, hard work is paying off, I don't have to change to fit a mold or squeeze into someone else's expectations, and I am free to travel and design the life that I wouldn't even ALLOW myself to dream about even one year ago.
What are YOUR dreams?
And most of all, how do you want to feel about your life?
Giving myself permission to ask and answer both those questions has changed everything.