How I accidentally turned a girl’s trip into a professional wellness retreat.

My best friend Katrina and I embarked on a weekend getaway. The goal- no kids, no boys, just girl talk, long walks on the beach, and lots of time at the spa. What I didn’t know was this trip was going to uncover the key to being successful in my personal and professional life.

Katrina and I in Aruba

We had no agenda

Anyone who has attended a corporate retreat knows the structure well. Hopefully, the meetings are being held in an exotic location, so you book your trip knowing exactly what to expect while surrounded by paradise. Your agenda is full of structured sessions with different tracks to build knowledge, skills, and connections. After a day full of sessions, networking happy hours, vendor dinners, and special events that take you late into the night, you leave exhausted, but hopefully motivated and inspired to return to work with new ideas, goals, and strategies to succeed. This trip was meant to be the exact opposite. We had no agenda, all we knew was that we wanted to sleep in, eat good food, drink wine, and spend as much time as possible being pampered and that is exactly how the weekend started.

Upon arriving late in the afternoon @HiltonAruba, we were greeted with a sparkling adult beverage and whisked away to our suite to change into our swimsuits. We immediately hit the beach to dip our toes in the bright blue waters of the Caribbean Sea. We visited the spa to ensure our reservations were set for the next day and headed to an amazing dinner at the Sunset Grill. Following dinner, we both agreed we were craving a good night’s sleep and called it a day.

We reflected on the past

Day two started with Yoga on the beach. When our instructor didn’t show up, Katrina jumped into action and led several guests in a “sunrise salutation” and then the two of us headed to the spa for our massages. As we emerged from our hour of pure bliss we entered a beautiful relaxing sanctuary. We sat down for the first time in months, if not years, feeling completely relaxed. Hot tea in hand wrapped up in plush robes, we settled into our oasis. What happened next was not planned. Katrina and I started to reflect on the previous year. We discussed what went well, what didn’t, and what we would like to change? We talked through some of the successes and failures of the previous year while just being there to listen to each other. Our day ended with more beach walking, dinner on the beach, and again a much welcomed good night’s sleep.

We began to set goals

Day three of our Aruba getaway surprised us even more as we both were eager to talk about what this next year would have in store for us. So much for clearing our minds and not thinking about anything. After having the opportunity to reflect on the previous year we sat down with pen and journals in hand and began setting goals for this new year. We focused on family and professional goals and wrote down each one we wanted to accomplish. With each goal came a “to do” list of the actions we needed to take to achieve it. As our trip came to an end, not only had we accomplished our original goal of the getaway, but we flew off the island-inspired, energized, and with a strong understanding of what we wanted to accomplish and how each of us was going to do it. Our trip not only provided the much needed rest and girl time we had been craving, but it helped us to understand how taking the time to invest in our personal wellbeing helped us to become even more clear on our professional goals.

We achieved success

2019 was one of my most successful years personally and professionally. I achieved every single one of the goals I wrote down during our trip. Keep following my blog here and follow me on Instagram @emergebrighter and I will share more of my story and what you can do to successfully achieve all of your goals too!