More often than not life has a knack of getting in the way. Between the demands of work and family life, it can often feel like you do not have enough time for yourself let alone cultivating valuable relationships. In our society, we tend to put a greater focus on the importance of romantic relationships and lose sight of all the wonderful other relationships life has to offer- like your relationship with oneself, or how loved and appreciated we can feel in the context of a friendship.
A few weekends ago I had the opportunity to partake in a girls getaway weekend with my bestie Chelsea, and our new friend Lauren. We ventured up to Northern Maine to stay at Northern Outdoors, an all-season resort in The Forks that is home to snowmobiling, rafting, hiking, hunting, fishing, as well as a microbrewery and pub. We arrived mid morning on a Friday and upon unpacking we instantly found ourselves seated by the fireplace playing cards, chatting, and listening to good music.
What was incredible was how within just a minute or two after meeting Lauren (Chelsea’s friend and fellow lifestyle photographer) I felt instantly close and felt an emotional connection to her. This is what is awesome about forming friendships! Great friends are basically soul mates- the connection runs deep and unlike romantic relationships, they are not fleeting. Instead, these kinds of relationships immediately allow you to feel supported and cared for without the pressure to complete the other person. They also allow you feel known, seen, heard and understood on a really profound level.
Unlike romantic relationships, friendships aren’t typically dynamics where we “lose ourselves,” but rather where we find ourselves — through introspection, vulnerability, and emotional generosity. Friendships help you to become your best self. For me, friendships — especially with other women — have allowed me to explore who I am and where I want to go in life. This is why a weekend spent with two other extraordinary women was so good for our souls. It allowed for us each to not only regroup and recharge from the stress of daily life but also to grow on a spiritual level by challenging one another and supporting each other through our unique gifts and perspectives.
What was especially wonderful was watching Chelsea and Lauren take turns taking photos over the weekend. As photographers they each have their own unique eye and vision, however, they both were open to learning from one another when it came to shooting this blog content. Lauren having had her photography business for longer constantly provided Chelsea with words of encouragement and offered her feedback into taking her dreams & passions into a viable career.
This whole experience reminded me of how very important it is to surround yourself with friends who encourage you to succeed, rather than feel insecure and challenged by you rising ahead. It is so important to be friends with people who are deeply committed to not only their own personal evolution but who are also committed to seeing you thrive and want to be apart of your journey. Remember: you have control over who makes up your tribe- why not surround yourself powerful, accomplished, thoughtful individuals whom your greatly admire?
That evening we went to the Kennebec River Brewery and Restaurant inside the main lodge for a delicious dinner of mouthwatering burgers, home-cut fries, and pasta. Lauren ordered the flight of their most popular beers and Chelsea made sure to try their “Netflix & Chill” mixed drink (definitely 10/10 would suggest). We ended up sitting in the restaurant for hours talking and laughing.
When we got back to our cabin we were able to relax and laugh some more while watching Modern Family since the cabin we were staying in had a TV with DISH network. Speaking of amenities, I just have to take a moment and point out how incredible our cabin was. We stayed in Black Bear, which was fully furnished with a fully equipped kitchen. We packed premade meals from our favorite Tripp’s Farmhouse Café that we were able to heat up and enjoy all weekend long. Also, did we mention there was a Jacuzzi in the Master bedroom? This weekend was the definition of relaxation!
Close to the resort is the well-known Moxie falls scenic area, which we were able to hike to. Even if it’s technically the spring season in Maine, the snow on the ground makes for a prolonged sense of winter. Instead of curse the copious amounts of snow that remained, we embraced the opportunity to snowmobile and see Moxie falls covered in a white frozen splendor. Also, the three of us girls found hiking in the snow to be a welcome challenge and throughout our walk through the woods enjoyed the sound of our L.L. Bean boots crunch through the snow.
Weekend getaways don’t have to be a luxury. If you plan ahead, budget, and prioritize you can easily plan a weekend away. More and more I’m seeing how life has to be about balance. There is something to be said about the phrase “work hard, play hard.” As much as your career is important so are your relationships. Without proper nourishment, they will not blossom and grow. What better way to spend time with loved ones than during a weekend spent in nature? I’m of the belief that life is meant to be enjoyed to the fullest and I’m blessed that my home state of Maine makes for the perfect playground. You better believe I’m already planning a getaway weekend to Northern Outdoors again for this summer. Plus then the outdoor pool will be open and I can plan on crossing off whitewater rafting from my bucket list!
Thank you, Northern Outdoors for collaborating with us on this post!