I just celebrated a birthday. I celebrated in a BIG WAY, and bought myself a vacation package to the Island of Kauai, the smallest and by most accounts the most spiritual of the Hawaiian Islands. This was a huge trip for me.
Now, if you’ve followed my blogs for a while now, you may be thinking, how is this a huge trip for you Leah? You’ve been a nomadic gypsy for a few years now, you’ve toured with rock bands, and you’re always off on some road trip or another… how is this any different?!
Well, I’ll tell you. This was different for a few reasons. 1) It was my first visit to Hawaii 2) It was the first time I’ve been off of the Mainland and 3) This was literally my first adult vacation that didn’t involve some sort of work responsibility and/or family obligations. IT WAS A REAL VACATION!
The weeks leading up to my vacation were extremely busy with travel and big career moments. I was invited to present my #AllShapesandSizes panel at the first every Women’s Fest curated by Women in Film at Digital Hollywood, I travelled to Memphis for the 150th Anniversary of The Sultana disaster and a private screening of our feature length documentary Remember The Sultana, and I shot and produced a short film, starring me, based on real circumstances in my life! It was a busy month! So busy, that I couldn’t focus on my vacation plans and packing till about 48hours before departure.
I went thru my clothes and packed my brightest outfits. Some jeans, some skirts, and any bright top I could find. 24 hours before departure it hit me. I’M GOING TO A TROPICAL ISLAND!! Nothing that I had packed was appropriate for TROPICAL FUN, nothing! I took a deep breath, I pushed the voices inside that tell me I should be covering up my body in loose, baggy, darker colors, and I reached out to a few beautiful, curvy girlfriends, who live out loud in bold, bright, colors! I gleefully accepted their gorgeous loaners, AND went and bought myself TWO new bathing suits. One grey and sporty for all of the activities I had planned, and the other bright blue/turquoise with a sexy Marilyn Monroe era style to it. And guess what?! I wore it all!
I landed in Hawaii and it was as if I was on another planet. I planet where I felt like a beautiful, sexy, goddess. A planet where I wore bright, tropical dresses, form flattering clothes, and bright blue bathing suits all day long.
My first night there I inquired about local restaurants and was told that at that time of night, 10pm (I’m on the island of Kauai, everything shuts down at 9pm), my only options were McDonald’s or Taco Bell. Now for those of you that don’t know, I’ve been struggling with binge eating and body issues for a few years now, struggling to eat clean, and stop poisoning my body and pushing down emotions with crap from fast food restaurants. McDonald’s in particular is my arch-nemesis, my heroin, and my enabling best-friend. When the groundskeeper told me that those were my only food options, I nearly vomited in my mouth. I had such a strong physical reaction to learning that these “demons” had followed me to my paradise vacation, that it set off a determination inside of me to not step one foot near either of them. In fact, it was the best thing that could have happened on my first night in Hawaii, as it set the tone for the entire trip. I got in my rental car and I drove. I found a 24 hrs grocery store and I spent $44 buying fruit, water, healthy snacks, and healthy breakfast options. Not only did I eat completely clean while in Hawaii, but I saved myself a ton of money, by having constant snacks in my car and in my hotel room. I felt amazing.
I woke up every day, hours before the alarm clock, raring to get going on the day’s activities. I squeezed activity and adventure into every moment of every day. I explored one end of the Island to the other, and booked myself on numerous group excursions. I kayaked. I zip lined. I snorkeled. It was amazing.
But what was most amazing, is that the entire time I felt BEAUTIFUL. I felt SEXY. I felt LOVE. Three things that I’ve struggled with feeling for quite some time. In fact, not only was this my first adult vacation, but this was the first time that I’ve worn a bathing suit out in public, during the daytime, that didn’t involve a family event in about 15 years. These bathing suits were the first new suits I’ve bought in over a decade.
I’m back in LA now, have been for a few weeks, and I’m doing my best to keep these feelings alive. To treat each day as if I’m waking up in paradise. To choose to love me, first and foremost. To let the feelings of beauty and sexiness permeate my every core. I am beautiful. I am a sexy goddess. I radiate beauty and joy. And I can’t wait to put on that bright blue bathing suit again soon.
Have you ever had a transformational experience on vacation? Tell me about it in the comments below! Were you able to keep the feeling once you returned home? How did you do it?! Share!