When was the last time you went on a retreat? By yourself? With no agenda, but just to be?
I can’t remember. All my travels have a purpose – writing conferences, mostly. Or vacations with the hubby, or visiting the family, or writing retreats with friends. But take ME on a retreat, with nothing planned? I am having difficulty wrapping my brain around it.
(I will say the closest I come to having gone on a retreat was when I visited Tehachapi, last December. I stayed with my brother and his gal, and had a wonderful time with no real purpose behind it, other than helping out some friends.)
Leonie Dawson put this thought into my head with her post about her retreat. Now, she has a 3 year old, and I don’t; so she had anxieties about leaving home that I don’t have. (My anxieties are
much weirder uh, different.) But where should I go?
Aside from where to go, the other question lingers in my mind. What would I do on a solo retreat? Leonie’s retreat didn’t quite go as she had planned, but it was just what she needed. Three nights and days of solitude and the sea and sunshine, which refreshed her and refilled her creative well.
My circumstances are a bit different, and I won’t be planning any three-night stays in a b&b on an ocean cliffside any time soon. (Or on a Boat, Bed and Breakfast…) But I really want to go on a retreat, so I am going to start small. I won’t be all alone, but I’ll have my days free and I won’t be at home for two nights. Two absolute musts, as far as I’m concerned.
I shall go prepared, but without plans. Which means I’ll take my camera and my computer and my drawing stuff, and see what happens. And I’ll meet up with my man at nights for a yummy dinner and great discussion about what we did that day, plus the comfort of not sleeping alone. Sooo…
But before I can go, I need to get the Guitar book edited and off to the publisher (fingers crossed). Which means I need to hustle! The last thing I want is to have a deadline looming over me while on a retreat. That is NOT relaxing, lol!
(By the way, welcome to the new look of the blog! My thanks to Kristen Lamb for the new tagline.)
Have you ever gone on a retreat by yourself, with no plans in place? Does that sound like
something you would ever do? If so, where would you go? How long would you go for?
Thanks so much for stopping by. Until next time, cheers!
Many years ago I took a cross country car trip by myself. From California I drove as far east as Kentucky (via the southern route), then west again (via the northern route) to Seattle and back down to Northern California. I covered over 5,000 miles, hiked the Grand Canyon by myself (stayed overnight in a women’s bunkhouse at the bottom), then went to visit each of my 7 sisters for a few days. It was something I’ll never forget. And I do sometimes take a Monday off, don’t tell my husband, and have a total ME day (he’s in the military so he’s not home every night). Enjoy your time! Can’t wait to read the blog about it!
Oh wow, Suzanne! This sounds totally awesome! Hiking the Grand Canyon by yourself sounds terribly romantic. I did take a couple of trips by myself when I was in my early 20s – once from Seattle Washington to San Diego, and then via bus from Billings Montana to San Diego. I’ve still got the (not always pleasant) memories…
I never went on a retreat and I’m not sure I would know what to do! Your blogs are always so beautifully executed.
Marianna, I’m not sure what I would do, either, but I look forward to finding out. No writing, that’s for darn sure!
Oh Christine, I really like, “Feet in the Sand, Eyes Full of Stars!” It’s perfect girl! A retreat huh? I am so over-due it isn’t even funny. But talking about funny, I lived in Tehachapi for fifteen years. lol. So I know it well my dear Wana friend. My husband built custom homes in Bear Valley Springs, Stallion Springs, well all over the place really. It was a great place when our boys were young. But when they were about to embark on their teenage years, we had to move out. The town was much smaller then and there was a lot of problems in the school. Thus we moved out. But it is a unique place. When we were there, the town still had apple, peach and cherry farms. But not now. It kinda lost its appeal to us. So here we are back in SoCal where we meet forty years ago. Love it! We’ll have to meet someday. Oh, keep in touch because Emma Burcart of Wana1011 is coming out mid June and wants to get together with all of us local Wanas and that includes you! 🙂
It’s funny that you lived in Tehachapi! I love it there. Glad I didn’t raise my kids there, but it is so beautiful and the people so nice. And I agree, we’ll definitely have to meet up one day. Do you go to any of the RWA chapter meetings around So Cal? Just an idea…
Oh, I didn’t mean to sound too negative about Tehachapi. I loved it when we lived there (1976-1991). But you have to know that the town was super small. There wasn’t even a stop light in town, or a movie theater, or a supermarket. And we were up and down the hill to Bakersfield or Lancaster all the time to shop or gather other supplies. Could you imagine the cost of gas today? I hate to think.
Anyway, I am not able to go to the RWA meetings Christine. Those that have known me longer know that I am allergic to fragrances. And that makes it very difficult for me to be around a lot of people with perfumes, etc. Thus the internet and online social networking like Wana has been a blessing for me, as you can appreciate. But thanks for the encouragement. It was a great idea. I know we’ll meet up soon! 🙂
I’ve never gone on a retreat, but funnily enough I was online today looking up places to go to get away from it all for one week this summer by myself. Sea, sand, a beach cottage, books and my laptop to do some writing and I’ll be sorted.
Enjoy your break, Christine.
Oh wow, Emma. That sounds fantastic! You’ll have to let me know how it goes. Cheers hon!
Love the new tag line and the new look of the blog. It is most excellent.
Hmm, a retreat by myself, Nope. Of course, all I have to do to have alone time is not go some place and then, I’ve got my alone time. On the other hand, I have gone with my seestor, years ago, to various places when she took the CPA exam. I was pretty much alone on those except for the evenings. At the last RWA National in NYC, I spent a day on my own going to museums and riding the subway and walking through Central Park.
I guess that I tend to include solo retreats into my life on a regular basis. I also travel solo for work and the evenings in a hotel are retreat like too. Good lord, I really do live my life exactly as I want to. Love it!
Maria, I totally agree with you that hotels (even when for a conference) are retreat-like. I am such a herd animal that I tend to gather people with me when I go somewhere. I love your paragraph there, and especially the realization that you’re living life exactly as you want. That’s totally awesome! HUGS you!
And thanks for liking the new blog look!
Twice now I’ve gone to my time share in the desert by myself expressly to write. A week is a long time to be alone, so I had hubby come down for a couple of nights the first time, and a friend visited for some SPA time the next. I found I worked really hard all day, but by late afternoon, I’d clean up and head down to the poolside bar for a glass of wine and appetizers. I’d take my Kindle and read or people watch. After spending so much time alone, it felt strange to be around people again. 🙂
I don’t have children in the home or a job to worry about these days, so this stage of my life is a perfect time for personal retreats.
Good luck! Promise to blog about it. 🙂
Ah yes, Lynne, the hide-away-so-you-can-meet-deadlines retreat. I look forward to doing those one day. But have you ever gone somewhere by yourself to just – be? Without a writing agenda? I haven’t, not by myself. One day I will. In the meantime, I’ve got this mini-retreat to look forward to. And of course, I SWEAR I will blog about it!
Love the blog, love the tagline! LOOOVE the idea of a solo retreat. With the little guy around, my solo retreats can be measured in hours rather than days, but over the Memorial Day Weekend I snuck off to Burke Williams to get an 80 min. massage thanks to the gift certificate from my mom and a special Burke was running. It was heaven!
Sam, sometimes a few hours in the day can be our retreat. Better than nothing, right?!
I’m always travelling alone, but usually meet up with others once I get to wherever. The last time I did a solo retreat, something just for me and not writing related, was a one week trip to London. It was fantastic to set my own pace, to not have to worry if I wanted to spend an entire day in a museum as opposed to a friends two hours. I took in Broadway matinees, ate high tea at The Dorchester, and stayed in a wonderful hotel. Instead of going out in the evenings alone, I took that time to swim in the pool, use the wonderful gym room, and generally unwind. I’d do it again in a second but I need more pennies.
Love the look of your new house. ; )
Thanks for loving the new look! And I would LOVE to go to London alone…what an adventure! I am envious…
I’ve had this to-do on my list for about a year. A big-ass trip to Ireland and Scotland, ALL BY MYSELF. The family thinks I’m nuts, but I know this way I’ll be completely open to soak it all in, nudist reacted by anything but where the spirits take me. I LOVE traveling alone.
When are you going? That sounds like a BLAST, Rhenna!
I’ve never had an issue with being by myself. I used to regularly go camping by myself at a local lake. I had a pop-up tent and a cooler of food and a hibachi to BBQ chicken. It was very relaxing.
Now, I probably NEED to get away like that, but I don’t know how I’d find the time. The closest I come is going away to a hotel for a few days to write. For me, to be able to sleep in without dogs or cats who need tending to is a retreat in itself!
I go on a retreat by myself when I have a private riding lesson 1-2 times per month.
I ride in a group on a weekly basis which is very nice but I really appreciate having the riding manege to myself together with my instructor and a favourite horse. I do not own a horse myself but i have a few firm favourites at my equestrian centre where I have been riding for the past ten years.
How cool – yeah, that sounds like an awesome retreat! And on a weekly basis, to boot – gotta love it!
Of course the riding is done by my MOM and not by me! But I allowed my Mom to use my wordpress account to reply to this interesting post. i might add that I am an expert at going on a retreat for one! As soon as my Mom is off to work I take over the bed and have a nice long snooze- and so do the rest of the cat family….
I went backpacking alone once. I even hitchhiked a little to get to the trailhead. Don’t think I would do that again; I’m too aware of possible consequences. But oh, it was heavenly. I got a visit from some mountain goats and I sang a song to them.