Getting away from home and changing your surroundings can be one of the most healing and important aspects of self-care. When we escape on vacation, whether for a few days or a few weeks, we use that time to change our routine, get much needed rest, explore new people, places, and things, and grow as a person.

This year, however, all that changed for millions around the country. As a national pandemic threatened the health of many, isolation and social distancing prevented many from getting away. Trip plans were cancelled, airlines cancelled millions of flights over several months, and expectations of departing to much-desired locations, for the first time or for return visits, evaporated. Instead, many were caught trying to figure out how to find ways to redefine at-home living, and perhaps, in some instances, become creative by creating “staycation” experiences.

For me, this year brought many disappointments. I had already planned to journey to Manhattan and Easton Mountain in northern New York State for some much deserved time away. Later in the summer, I had planned to head out west to San Francisco and revel in one of my favorite kink festivals known as Up Your Alley or Dore Alley. Flights were booked. Rooms were reserved. Plans were in the making.

And all of that evaporated.

Thankfully, I was able to recover my prepaid expenses — for a while, I worried whether that would even be possible. I came to accept that my plans for annual getaways were no longer possible. Like many others, I focused on trying to learn the practical matters of social distancing and isolation. But soon, I began to yearn the need to break away.

Exploring my options

As I grew restless and frustrated with my circumstances, it became more difficult to say at home. All of a sudden, a single space was ground zero for workIng, sleeping, eating, exercising, and entertaining myself. It wasn’t that I wasn’t appreciative of my blessings — after all, many have and have had far less to live with. But I knew I needed to figure out an alternative.

As I starting trying to figure out a solution to my vacation problem, I recognized I had to reset and redefine my expectations. I knew I needed to change where I was. I knew air transportation was impossible. The through the of traveling more than half a day was unappealing – I have a “family” of two cats I needed to stay near, so going too far and spending most of my time on the road was not an option. I also needed to be realistic with my budget, find a place where I could maintain social distancing precautions, and perhaps repeat in the future if needed.

Why getting away is important

As comfortable as I am at home, I also enjoy getting away. Leaving home gives me a chance to spend time in a separate space. I can take full control of my schedule. I can nap. I can read. I can walk. Going to new spaces helps me to stay creative — whether that is with writing, cooking, painting or other projects. Leaving my familiar space also helps me to appreciate what I have when I return home — it’s a base with everything I need to engage the world.

Focusing on an option

When I first dove into the internet to explore my possibilities I was looking at all my options. Hotel stays in cities. Room and house rentals through AirBnB. Smaller resorts and bed and breakfasts in rural settings. And even full-scale camping. As I eliminated options I was already familiar with, I found myself focusing on full-scale tent camping at private locations (Check out Hipcamp.com, for example), tiny bed and breakfasts, and “bunkhouses” in specialty resorts, all within 3 hours of San Antonio. And then I ran into something different – something that seemed to offer more of what I was looking for.

Intriguing concept: An escape of minihomes

In my search for options, I found a place called Getaway Place. In exploring their site, it seemed to offer much of what I was seeking — and at a reasonable price. It offered the benefits of a hotel room or AirBnB rental, but out in nature and with easy access to explore the surrounding land. The primary sleeping and living space, structured much like a miniature house, would give me all I would need to escape the stifling summer heat, sleep without the worry of mosquitos or bugs, and take showers and cook at my leisure. And, as a bonus, it included a fire pit and a great outdoor area to spend evenings and early mornings outside.

I booked my first stay in August, planned an ice chest with some basic food and a few items in an overnight bag, and looked forward for my mini “vacation” away from home.

So….what was the result?

I spent two days at the Getaway Place near my home (an hour’s drive away), and I was pleasantly pleased with my results. During my stay, I cooked outside, I spent evening enjoying the stars and campfire cooking, and I worked on my artwork, photography, and writing. I walked out in nature and took refreshing naps. And I settled down at night with a hot shower and in a cool bed, with a view of the night sky.

I realized I had found a wonderful option to take time away from home.

Journeys feature on local travel on Facebook

Want to learn more?

I’ve created a video, the first in a series, titled Journeys: Explorations in Eroticism, Creativity, and Self-Care. This first episode focuses on what to consider when searching for options to create your own COVID-era vacation. I take you on a tour of Getaway Place on my visit, and there’s even an opportunity for a discount at the end of the video. Whether you choose to visit a site near you (there are Getaway Place bases in many parts of the country) or find your own options, this installment of Journeys will offer some thoughts to consider.

Please subscribe to my blog for future episodes of Journeys, where I will offer more interesting episodes on various aspects of eroticism, creativity, and self-care.