If you’re anything like me, your usual holiday includes your family.
In whatever shape that is, you all pack up and head off in search of adventure, fun or even just a week away from the everyday. Whether it’s local, further afield or overseas, it’s something you’ve all planned together.
Sure I’ve had the odd girls weekend away but that’s always been it. A few hours drive from home for a night or maybe two. But never more than that.
Until this week.
This week, my husband and children put me on a plane to Thailand and waved me off. I was travelling completely alone and would be gone for just over a week; all new, exciting and scary.
The thought of the week ahead all alone was cause for consideration; would I be bored, would I be lonely, would I be homesick, would I actually have fun?
Add to that the fact I was headed for a week of ‘detoxing’ and I had a lot to think about on the flight to Bangkok and then my final flight from Bangkok to Koh Samui, one of the beautiful islands of Thailand. Here I would spend my week at the Absolute Sanctuary Detox & Spa Resort … on my own.
A common theme.
It seems all my pondering was a common thread for almost everyone at Absolute Sanctuary … close to 90% of the guests had travelled there alone.
Denise from Northern California is a single-mum to one biological daughter. Their bond is obvious in the way Denise shares stories of her daughter; a true friendship grounded in love. And love she has aplenty; as her daughter grew a little older Denise realised she still had so much to give and welcomed two biological brothers into her home as foster sons.
Debbie has recently retired and has come to Absolute Sanctuary from Luxembourg leaving her grown children without their backup plan and her husband behind to fend for himself. During our morning walks from resort to the nearby beach, we laugh about whether he’s actually managing to feed himself!
Geeta spends half her time in India and half her time in London; fitting her life and her sons around a husband who flies in and flies out constantly. She positively glows when she talks about her two boys; she admits to finding herself virtually raising them alone (as all FIFO partners do) but smiles when she thinks how close they are because of it.
Claudia is not a biological mum; but spends her life with children as the centre of her World. Claudia is from Munich in Germany and authors as well as illustrates childrens’ books. We’ve spent hours beside the pool talking about stories in ‘the works’ and marveling at the incredible illustrations that are still waiting to appear in upcoming books.
I feel as though I’ve known these beautiful women all my life; although we’ve only spent the week together. We’ve stepped out of our everyday and it’s because of this we’ve cut through all the usual ‘taking time to get to know each other’ and have cut to the chase.
We’ve been open and honest about what we’re not happy with, why we’re here, what we want to achieve and what we’re going to do after our Absolute Sanctuary break to keep up the good work.
We’ve laughed our way through water aerobics, chatted endlessly on our morning power walks to one of Thailand’s beautiful beaches, bonded over an endless variety of soups in the ‘broth corner’, swapped notes on the programmes we’re undergoing whilst here and giggled as we’ve tried to stretch ourselves in every which way in our daily yoga sessions.
We’ve even all lined up on our sunbeds by the pool with our daily coconut filled with fresh, cold coconut water – the healthy version of an evening cocktail!
We’ve all connected via every means possible and plans are afoot to meet again.
Importantly we’ve all realised we’re here for the same reason; to take a break away from the everyday, kickstart our metabolisms, reset our health goals and to remember that as mums it’s just so important to treasure yourself as much as our families.
And to remind ourselves that sometimes, even if it’s only once in a lifetime, a retreat that honours you, your body and your soul is a must for everyone.
If you’d like to experience a week of luxury at Absolute Sanctuary for yourself (and a friend if you’d like), we are giving one lucky Mouths of Mums member to chance to do just that. Check out our competition to WIN here.