Travel Diary: Restful Thoughts From Lake Austin Spa

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Travel Diary: Restful Thoughts From Lake Austin Spa

I’m a self-proclaimed adventurer. Once, when I was in college, I hopped a plane to mainland China on a few days notice. I didn’t know the language, didn’t know where I was going (it wasn’t a tourist destination) and barely knew the people I was going with. I experienced the culture by putting foot to the pavement rather than from a guide’s mic and I was hooked. I vowed that every trip I took from then on out would be an adventure.

When my sweet friend Tanya cautiously asked me to go to Lake Austin Spa on a girls trip (she knew that I had a newborn at home and little else on my mind), I paused, considered my travelling prerequisite, and hesitantly said yes. While this wasn’t a trek through Bali, the two-night getaway promised to be as much adventure as I could reasonably handle at the moment – emotionally, physically and spiritually. Plus, my friend, photographer Mary Summers, had been invited to go and I was looking forward to a glass of rose and chats that didn’t revolve around diapers.

Although I had been advised that we would spend our days and nights exclusively in sandals and robes, I filled my carry-on with swimsuits and breezy dresses anyway. I’m not a great packer. I operate under the maxim that it’s better to have too much than too little, even though more often than not I spend the entire trip in the same pair of jeans and a t-shirt. At first I was worried about my choice, not knowing several of the women journeying with us, but as I boarded the Vonlane bus we had elected to take from Dallas to Austin and noticed the similarly sized suitcase fellow traveler Heather was loading into the undercarriage, I relaxed a bit knowing I was in good company and sat back and enjoyed the wifi.

Our three night adventure started with a water mediation that, despite all efforts, ruined my blowout. Only two hours into our trip, as I sat in my room brushing knots out of my now curly hair, I set aside any hope of being what I would call “presentable” for the duration of our stay and unexpectedly let out a sigh of relief. I was free from worrying about my outward appearance and associated insecurities (the frizz was already starting to take over) and could spend the rest of the trip working on my insides. Which, frankly, wasn’t the original plan but felt right considering where we had landed.

Lake Austin Spa is a secluded space that runs as if it has it’s own clock. You know how people say they are on “Island Time?” During our short stay, our minutes melded into hours without much notice. Phones were left in rooms (as calls on property aren’t allowed) and bare feet and soft breezes became our language. Every day we found ourselves lost in another conversation, another meditation, more often than not wrapped in robes outside our rooms, sipping on tea and kind words. We moved from one perfectly appointed room to the next, having our worries massaged away, delighting in new tastes, spending nights around a table laughing about life as we played cards and intentionally touched topics to make Ashley blush. We weren’t on an island, but we were slaves to no clock.

Sure we weren’t hiking Machu Pichu or kayaking down rivers (although we could have), and by any previous definition of adventure I had certainly sold out on my early 20’s vow. But this getaway was a different kind of escapade. This time I got lost on a much needed expedition through my soul.

The morning before we left, I sat on the dock with Cathy, listening as water lapped against the wood and contemplating how we might make our lives feel more full once we got home. How we could make our minutes feel like hours. How we could live our lives more fully outside of our little summer camp for adults, where no one stood smiling outside your door with a menu of life-giving activities prime for your choosing. We considered the importance of optimism, change and exploration – even if it was just down a street we’d never noticed – and vowed to seek out experiences.

I’m home now, rested and rejuvenated (something this newly initiated mom needed more than she knew), and doing my best to set aside the monotony of routine.

Lake Austin Spa was my respite, a welcome escape from insecurity, anxiety and fear. A reminder that each day starts anew, and how I spend those I have remaining is my choice.

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Lake Austin Spa was my respite, a welcome escape from insecurity, anxiety and fear. A reminder that each day starts anew, and how I spend those I have remaining is my choice.

  • Love your post about our amazing retreat. Miss having you as my roomie!
    xoxo- Tanya 🙂

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