AAPI Month | Guest Stories

Featured Guest: Mariko Sandico-Lee

Mariko Sandico-Lee is a communications specialist and yoga teacher. We hosted her at Getaway Mount Adams at the start of the new year where she took some time to reflect, reset, and set intentions for 2021.

2020 was a YEAR. I’m sure I wasn’t the only one feeling an immense sense of fatigue as it came to a close. One thing that was particularly difficult was sorting through barrage of external inputs coming from the news, social media, Netflix, etc. There was SO much happening, and so much to process. And given that my living space had become my workspace, the boundaries between “work” and “rest” became less and less clear. I found it harder and harder to “log out” when the day was over, and to experience the deep sense of rest that my body, mind, and heart truly needed.

Last year, my partner I decided to make it an annual tradition to ring in the new year with intentional time away to make space to begin the new year from a place of grounded reflection. After all that was 2020, it felt even more appropriate to take some time away. Our trip to the Getaway House in Mt. Adams, WA was exactly what we needed to center and ground ourselves going into 2021. Taking a few days to unplug, and simply BE with ourselves and one another was incredibly refreshing and clarifying. Even as we made the drive from Seattle to Mt. Adams, taking the scenic route along the I90 corridor reminded us to slow down, observe, and appreciate the beauty of the land we were driving through.

Every detail about how our Getaway House was structured made for the perfect environment to pause, hear ourselves think, and creatively imagine for the year ahead. We had exactly what we needed for a comfortable stay: a cozy bed, a well-stocked kitchenette, a private bathroom & shower to stay refreshed, and of course — the gorgeous scenery of snowy southeastern Washington!

I spent much of our stay reading and reflecting. I was able to finish reading When the Elephants Dance, which is written by a Filipinx author about the last few months of Japanese occupation of the Philippines. As a mixed, Japanese & Filipina woman, learning about the complex history of both countries has been essential to my own healing & liberation of an AAPI woman. Being able to ponder this complex history and identity, all while spending time in self-reflection on how I experienced 2020; brought clarity in what I’d like to let go of, and what I’d like to cultivate in the year ahead:

Things I’d like to let go of with 2020:

  • Cynicism. Being grounded in reality, yet choosing out of hopelessness.
  • Judgement. From others, and from myself.
  • Binaries. Letting go of either/or thinking in the way I view the world, myself, and others.

Things I’d like to cultivate in 2021:

  • Relationships. Seeking liberation for all people from oppressive systems not alone, but in the context of community and friendships. And generally deepening meaningful connections that are humanizing.
  • Creativity. Creating more, and allowing myself to think and live in a more expansive way.
  • Healing. In my ethnic identity, my spirituality, and my body.

2021 has already shown itself to be a potentially chaotic year. So being able to get away from the noise, even just for a couple days – was such a grounding way to center and prepare myself for the unpredictability of the days ahead. Visiting the Getaway House was necessary reminder of just how important it is to slow down, unplug, and spend quality time with myself – both away, and at home. And if that’s something you sense your mind, body, and soul needs – I hope this can be your invitation to do so, too.

Mariko (she/her) is a Japanese Filipina American, living in the Seattle area on occupied land of the Coast Salish people. She currently works as a communications specialist and yoga teacher, while pursuing a career in mental health, specifically hoping to liberate communities of color from the traumatic intergenerational impact of colonialism. In her spare time, she enjoys reading, knitting, cuddling with her cats, taking care of her plants, and blogging about all of these things (and ethical fashion), on Instagram (@marikoashley).

Ready for some intentional time off in nature? Book your Getaway today.