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Featured Guests: A Solo Escape Captured By Mari Nichols

Earlier this year we hosted Mari Nichols at Getaway Dale Hollow outside of Nashville so he could disconnect from the noise and reconnect to nature. Here’s what Mari had to say about his experience.

My connection to nature began this year as I started my spiritual journey to get back in touch with myself. It started as a hike at Nashville’s Radnor Lake State Park. I remember the first time I walked one of its many trails, journeying through its greenery, feeling like I was the only person who existed in this space. I didn’t need any meditation apps, I didn’t need anyone to keep me company, or to be distracted by my watch list on YouTube. I had everything I needed. The sound of birds, the family of deer walking amongst the water streams, my inner voice that connected with me, and the wind that would sweep through the leaves as I closed my eyes, all brought me peace. And it was that feeling of release that nature brought me that kept me curious as to what I would feel each time I came back. Nature, to me, became this garden where I could be myself. It is a place of refuge, a place to reflect, a place to feel, a place to express gratitude, and a place to just be. I did it all. The beauty of nature also reminds me that I am a visitor to the home of many animals and plants and it’s important that I treat it all with respect. 

I chose Getaway because I loved that it offered three of my favorite things: luxury, nature, and affordability. And as we know, these days, it’s all about aesthetics. But what makes Getaway even more amazing is its attention to intentionality. Getaway wants you to put the phone down, to finish that book, to take a walk, and feel connected to things outside of technology and most importantly, to connect with yourself. Some of my favorite moments included not only exploring nature trails but exploring a nearby city where my Getaway was. In Celina, Tennessee, a small quaint town, I got a chance to see corn fields for the first time and I met friendly people with the most beautiful southern accents. I loved the books that my stay had to offer, like “Life Doesn’t Frighten Me,” which is a curated book of poems and paintings by Maya Angelou and Jean-Michel Basquiat. I now own a copy. Lastly, I loved the massive glass window beside my bed. It was the only thing that separated me and the trees. 

This year, I’ve been wondering what it means to be by and with myself. The idea of that had always brought me fear because I was afraid of loneliness. But it was nature that taught me that being alone doesn’t have to be lonely; it can, in fact, be peaceful. My Getaway experience brought me back to that place of peacefulness. I felt it in the books that I read, the pictures and videos I took, the cake I ate (it was my birthday), the journaling I did, the wine I drank, and the downloaded movies I watched. 

For those who are considering staying with Getaway, I say do it. Often, we don’t take time to ourselves to disconnect because we’re so distracted by everything, whether it’s with work, our relationships, or social media. Getaway offers us the chance to be less distracted and more focused on the things that matter at the moment, whether you go by yourself, with a friend or family member, or with a partner. I’m excited for my next stay with Getaway, where I’ll fully take advantage of the firepit and the s’mores.