Sometimes I dream about running away.
Not the running away we all contemplated as a kid, blankie in tow and a plan to hide out in the woods until the street lights came on. I'm talking, pack-the-car-change-my-name-and-get-a-job-baking-pies-on-Main Street running away.
This fantasy involves me hastily packing a bag stuffed with scarves and sundresses and books, the ingredients required by any "mysterious woman" who moves into a sleepy little town called Nowhere, U.S.A.
More realistically, I sometimes dream about hitting the road on a Friday afternoon and driving off to somewhere reasonable for the weekend, like Memphis or St. Louis. My weekend away would involve scouting out local dives and indulging in pints of ice cream while watching cheesy movies on hotel cable. I'd apply face masks, paint my toenails and read vapid magazines chock full of entertainment gossip and fashion tips - all little indulgences to chip away at the stresses that come with work, extra commitments and personal dynamics.
Thankfully I have a few trips to anticipate and keep me going when the going gets rough.
The rubber meets the road in May, when I head back to Nashville with a gal pal for Cookbook University. Granted, not the most exciting of occasions, my friend and I are looking forward to the opportunity to take a break from life and enjoy some scenery far from home.
I recently committed to a vacation in June - this one is to Palm Desert, CA. I've never been to the desert before, and this jaunt involves a girls' week complete with a resort villa that sleeps six. My friend, Sweet, scored an incredible deal on the lodgings and I happen to have an old high school friend in Palm Desert, so signing on for the trip was a no brainer. I am anxious for this opportunity to spend time with friends, relax, swim, go to Joshua Tree and get a massage.
Music City and the desert get followed up by two doses of the Windy City - both girls' trips but for entirely different reasons. In July, my favorite Cincinnati blogger gals and I head to Chicago for BlogHer, a women's blogger conference. This excursion is two fold: learn a little bit more about the trends in blogging and make connections, and spend time with this varied group of amazing women.
I know we're all anxious for the chance to press the pause button on life and nurture our relationships together.
So far, August offers up a break from the traveling, but September follows behind with another trip to Chicago to celebrate a friend's impending nuptials. That weekend trip should also offer up fun moments with good friends.
I'm grateful to have these trips to look forward to - sometimes I think about each adventure, and it helps me face the struggles in my heart, the stresses of my profession and the demands of my schedule.
But I'm still not ruling out the option of running away.