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Featured Guests: Tshema Nash’s Solo Escape to Getaway Big Bear

After 1 major surgery, 4.5 weeks of recovery, and a second unplanned hospitalization for something unrelated, my body, mind, and spirit needed a reset. I yearned for a deep quiet that would allow me to reflect on how my year started and begin to actively welcome the rest of 2023 with excitement. This is where Getaway came in. Getaway had been on my radar since it was on Shark Tank, resurfacing to my attention in 2020 when I learned of its Year of Rest program that provided free stays to Black activists. Loving the model and messaging, I signed up. 

After picking up a couple of books from Octavia’s Bookshelf, I made my way to Getaway’s Big Bear location and, making the final right turn, found myself in a quiet compound on the edge of a mountain peppered with tiny cabins all facing outwards. I pulled up to LaVon, my home for the next 2.5 days. 

When I first walked in, my eyes immediately went to the view from the window, where all I saw were forested mountains. I imagined that my first couple of hours would be focused on quickly unpacking before jumping into a deep Zen-like energy for the remainder of the trip. That was not the case. At first. Admittedly, after the almost 6 weeks of recovering where my phone was my main connection to friends, family, and the outside world, it took this first half day to work through mindlessly reaching for my phone. It was both a practice in patience and stillness, and a reminder of how distraction is our default, to acknowledge the instinct and then let it go. But once I let go whenever the instinct arose, what a transformative experience it was!

I spent the next two days focused on listening to myself, my instincts, letting my thoughts naturally bubble up, and choosing which ones to sit with and which ones to let go on their way. Having always been an early riser, I reveled in watching Mother Nature wake up on this side of the world, with birds flitting back and forth between trees while others started a longer journey; journaling about whatever thoughts came to mind; going on late morning hikes on the trails located within a short driving distance; returning for my mid-afternoon nap; and spending the rest of the afternoon and evening reading bell hooks or one of the Jasmine Guillory books I’ve been enjoying. Because balance. To wrap up my night, I would go on a 30 minute stroll around the compound with a cup of tea taking in the sunsetting views. 

As my Getaway came to an end, I was deeply appreciative of the reminder of the beauty of the natural world and how much it has to offer. And, as I made the left out of the compound, I drove away excited for what I decided to call my Year of Outside, where I explore other areas of nature as a way to recenter and connect. Because being in nature reminds you how everything is connected and interdependent. How the rejuvenation I receive spending intentional time with family and friends in the city is complimented by spending time within the natural world. Because, during my Getaway, I found myself being more present with myself and my thoughts in a way that I hadn’t been in a long time.

And so, I drove away from my Getaway looking forward to what I determined to be a new start to 2023. To the possibilities, to the adventures, to being open to my Year of Outside.