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Thelma and Louise are Calling or, Girls just Wanna Have Fun

Evan drove off once a year in an SUV brimming with luggage, four large men, and four sets of golf clubs.  Maggie waved goodbye and stared into a week of same-old, same-old.  Oh, sure, she could eat what she wanted, do what she wanted, go where she wanted–after work. And she did enjoy the quiet, but it was scarcely on a par with Evan’s itinerary.

After several years, Maggie considered that it was time to organize some girl trips.  So, she called her daughter, and the following year and every year since, she, her daughter, and granddaughter have been enjoying vacations filled with beach walks, shelling, kayaking, bicycling, hiking, shopping and great food.

Those in the know say that such a week can clear your head, aid with decision-making and personal struggles, help rediscover yourself, and sweep away day-to-day drama–perhaps the same reasons men schedule golfing, hunting, or fishing trips together.

Maggie learned that girl trips bring a special flavor to life:  a deep and refreshing kind of relaxation; sharing feelings with a supportive audience; wearing minimal or no makeup; living and dressing casually; the pure joy of acting silly; eating where and how women like to eat; enjoying things your significant other doesn’t; and, shopping without hearing, “You’re going to spend how much . . . for that?”

And the laughter.  It almost never stops.  Stay up late, stream your favorite TV shows and chick flicks, talk till dawn, sleep in, lounge on the lanai, with no cooking—ever.

Each evening, Maggie and her girls take time to record the highs and lows of the day in their trip journals, (usually from a humorous perspective), then swap journals to read each other’s aloud to even more laughter.  Invariably, someone will include something the others forgot—a good reason to get more than one’s own perspective.

The joy doesn’t end when they return home.  Each journal story is keyed into the computer, complete with vacation photos dropped in among the text.  Now they all have a complete record of their shared love and adventures which they can revisit any time.  Maggie’s daughter has dubbed their stories, The Ice Cream Diaries, (because nearly every day includes ice cream).  Evan, too, enjoys reading the journal.

If a full week is out of the question for you, a two-or three-day trip can still provide much needed relaxation and renewal, without traveling far. A quiet nearby bed and breakfast can fill the bill but beware of planning a too-busy schedule.  The idea is to come home more emotionally sane than when you left.

In short, girl trips let women eat what they want, where they want; do what they want, when they want; go where they want, when they want; or read a book all day in their pajamas.  Just bring your favorite Thelma and Louise.  The laughter will show up on its own.

Constance Watkins