Escape to Paradise…
It Is A Mindset:
Life Hacks for Treating Yourself Like Royalty
Recommended by Someone Who Does It All The Time…
Shifting Your Strategy
As this summer gets under way, I know many of you daydream about hot weather, and in a perfect world, if you looked up “hot weather” in the dictionary, in your mind it would literally translate into “finding cheap flights to the Greek Islands or the Bahamas”.
This post is for every amazing person out there who had stuff come up in life, and by the time the budget was balanced, Christmas came and went, Coachella and StageCoach are behind us, summer vacation just isn’t in the cards right now…I get it. No one is judging. Welcome to reality. We are right there with you.
What I am proposing is that you push the “override” button on your life.
Make every weekend a Vacation! Seriously!
Bring the Paradise to your living room, and your cubicle at work. Instead of reading horoscope updates, ending up doing google searches for “restaurants near me”, or constantly using your mental calendar calculator to estimate later vacation dates that you could squeeze in once you set aside enough money, change your mindset completely.
Forget oil prices, who won the lottery, or what the news is reporting; take control of your destiny…And have a blast doing it!
Redefining the “Vacation” Experience
⦁ Pull out a hardcopy calendar of the next 5 months, preferably a hard copy you can write on. (June, July, August, September, October) Those are all beautiful months to relax in Southern California.Then, look at every weekend you have from now until October. On average there are 4 weekends a month, so you should have about 20 weekends available. But we both know that number is not a realistic representation of your free time. Some of those weekends are shot.
⦁ Immediately coordinate with all your other summer plans. Cross off all the weekends you know you are going to be busy.
⦁ What you will have left is 14-18 weekends that you can play around with.
⦁ Now, begin to book any or all of these amazing adventures for a simple and wonderful Vacation Experience! One easy way to make it happen is to notify people you love that you are doing these events, and they are invited, but be sure to note that you are doing these events either way, and they are invited, but even if they can’t go, you understand, and you are going on vacation either way….It liberates you to make plans, without worrying if people will flake.
⦁ Brainstorm things that make you happy. Make a list of places, things, activities and experiences that make you feel relaxed. There are no rules to what you can put on there.
The fun part is, whatever you put on there, ends up being things you book to do each weekend, to treat yourself, all weekend. Once upon a time, being home, playing solitaire, or some other games like Uno, Sorry, Apples to Apples, or Cards against Humanity with the right people was all the vacation you needed. I would propose it is the laughter, the moment, and the happiness you feel from having people you love and care about around you that make you feel like you are in paradise. Don’t wait for a guy to buy you fresh flowers. Have them delivered to yourself! And don’t worry about the weather forecast! You can go on vacation, even when it is a rainy day!
IDEAS FOR MINI VACATIONS
Here are some examples I have for Mini Vacations that require little or not travel effort, and are amazing for checking off the grid, and relaxing. They are just the tip of the iceberg. Use your imagination, and get really creative! There are no rules…
It is not what you do…It is the mindset you have when you do it!
⦁ Picnics at wineries or hidden beaches in Malibu. There is also a hidden waterfall that you can search for http://www.hikespeak.com/trails/escondido-falls-santa-monica-mountains, as well as a magic spot with paddle boats in a Canyon. Just look up Malibu Winery http://www.malibuwines.com/ or Malibu Café http://www.themalibucafe.com. Trust me, you won’t be disappointed. For the best results, stop by the Italian restaurant Gravina, http://gravinamalibu.com, and ask to purchase some of the sorbet they sell as deserts. This isn’t just any sorbet. They carve out the inside of a frozen peach, fill it with peach sorbet, and then put the top of the peach slice back on, and then sell them in individual packaging for $8. By the time you get to the Malibu Winery, 10 minutes later on Kanan Dume, your sorbet will have softened to the perfect temperature, and you can enjoy it with a glass of wine in Paradise. Best kept secret in Malibu. They also do old school movies on Wednesday nights, outside at the Winery. http://www.malibuwines.com/calendar-of-events/2015/10/22/malibu-wines-mo.... Its dreamy, trust me.
⦁ Sunset photo shoots from the top floor of the Huntley hotel in Santa Monica http://www.thehuntleyhotel.com, and riding up the glass elevator to get there, and then enjoying the lounge music the dj plays. You could also drive up to NOBU in Malibu http://www.noburestaurants.com/malibu/experience, sit by the water next to fire torches, and just order a drink and watch the sun go down. It is perfect there.
⦁ Picnics in your living room: after shopping at the grocery store for fresh fruit, whip cream, mimosas, and maybe even an indoor hammock from Target. Trust me, you cannot go wrong with an investment in a hammock for your living room. Invite only people you know are going to be down for a good time. Picnic will be best enjoyed if you clear out all furniture from the living room, and replace with soft fluffy blankets, comfy pillows, and you can crank up the AC on a hot day, or open all windows. The key is to put together a badass playlist on your ipod of picnic/lounge music, Hawaiian music, or just oldies will work great. But! You MUST TURN OFF ALL Electronics. NO phones! NO computers! NO house phones. The whole point is to go off the grid. Burn some candles. BBQ. Get some tiki torches. Have some games. Watch stand up comedy on Netflix, get buzzed with your friends, and talk shit. This is also a badass date idea. You have no distractions, a bathroom, access to a kitchen, and a bedroom. The stage will already be set for making BAD DECISIONS!
⦁ Invest in a package of cheap toothpick umbrellas: Found at any local grocery store liquor area. For $3.99 you get blue, purple, green, orange, and yellow umbrellas, which will transform any regular, random picnic, sunset, or relaxed event into a 5 minute vacation in a glass. Make yourself a pina colada, or a margarita with fresh lime juice, and really good tequila, and you will find that fuzzy blanket, your couch, a good movie, and a few more drinks with an umbrella, and you are in Paradise!
⦁ Buy a calendar of Paradise Beaches, and put them up in your cubicle at work:, You can daydream and go there in your mind on a daily basis. I won’t admit it to my boss, but I am in Bora Bora almost every day, even if she thinks I am at my desk. It is so simple but great for your soul, psychologically.
⦁ Full Body Massages, but with a strong drink before you show up, and go with good friends, book for the same time, and then immediately head to a resort overlooking the ocean after the massage. Several great locations where you can escape are Nelsons, at Terranea Resort http://www.terranea.com/palos-verdes-dining, the rooftop of Shade Hotel in Manhattan Beach http://mb.shadehotel.com, or the Strand House looking out over the water. Also, the best kept secret in Venice Beach is on top of the Erwin Hotel, at High Bar. DJ sets at sunset, fire, blankets, and amazing drinks. You cannot go wrong. It feels like magic when you are there… http://www.highvenice.com/
⦁ Ever been to the Getty Museum? It is free, and after you park, you take a tram up to the top of the hill, looking out over Los Angeles, and there are waterfalls, and rose gardens, and pretty grass areas where you can turn a Saturday afternoon into your own personal Paradise. And the art there is badass as well. http://www.getty.edu/visit/center/gardens.html
⦁ Forget Apartments for Rent! Go Visit Open Houses for Mansions, and Daydream! This one is a no brainer. Grab your good friends, head out to wealthy areas like Malibu, Palos Verdes, Beverly Hills, the Hollywood Hills, Newport Beach, and Calabasas. The open houses usually have amazing food like breakfast burritos, or some other ridiculous pastries. Never disappointed! Trust me!
⦁ A full bottle of Red Wine or White Wine fits perfectly into a Gatorade bottle. Don’t ask how I know that. All you need is a few comfy pillows, a soft blanket, and a bottle of “Gatorade” and you can turn a night at the movies into an AMAZING Experience! The people at the movie theatre don’t care if you bring in bedding, since they all get paid minimum wage. If anyone asks, you can just say you have a medical condition, and they will leave you alone. Feel free to leave the “Gatorade” in your purse though, until you are in your seats.
⦁ Plan a Road Trip…To Laguna Beach.: Sometimes you need to get away. But you don’t need to go far. Just far enough to feel like you left it all behind. Look up Airbnb options in the Dana Point/Laguna area. You can find spots for $100 bucks if not less. Spend the day in the tide pools, wandering through art galleries, or getting tanked at brunch on mimosas with a cool breeze. Best kept secret in Laguna, the Montage Resort. All you have to do is pull up, valet, and for 10$ plus whatever you spend on drinks and food, you have one of the most majestic views in Southern California from the lobby. Venture down to the private beach, or hack your way into the pool area to really live it up. Trust me, it will change your life. http://www.montagehotels.com/lagunabeach/
If you want to really throw yourself a curveball, head out to Joshua Tree, go camping, or up to Santa Barbara. Sure it is only 1.5 hours away, but a lifetime if you are in the right mindset, with the right people. One of the best days I ever spent was with my brother when we hacked our way into the pool area at Terranea Resort in Palos Verdes. We just walked in like we owned the place, in our bathing suits, and with our own towels, and “walked in” when someone left. (Usually you have to have a key, so plan accordingly) By the time the day was over, I had the cocktail server turning up the music, and we had a pool party going. They asked us if we were guests at the resort, and offered to put everything on the room. We insisted we would pay cash, and it was a day I will never forget. It is all a mindset. Could we have been asked to leave? Sure. But that was part of the thrill! You don’t know until you try!
⦁ Hot Air Balloon Rides in Del Mar/La Jolla: Right before you arrive in San Diego, there are several companies that provide hot air balloon rides at sunset, with champagne once you land. Usually you can find groupons for them as well. It is magic, and you will love it! https://www.groupon.com/local/san-diego/hot-air-balloon
In the end, it is not about how far away you travel, or how much you spend, or the shitty postcards you buy at the resort gift shop right before you leave to come home, so you can remind everyone who didn’t go that you were there…It is about spending quality time & funny jokes, funny pictures with people you love, doing things you love, and the magic and adventure you will have along the way. Anything you do can be a vacation, if you slow down long enough to take in the colors of the sunset, to roll the windows down and turn the music up, and sing at the top of your lungs. So let go of the traditional idea of a vacation, and treat yourself to a different adventure, every weekend, all summer. Never book any flights, and still travel to Paradise in your mind…
Trust me, you will Thank Yourself in November.
-Legend Warrior Wanderer, 6/16/16