BOOK YOUR ESCAPE
Guest Stories

Featured Guests: A Romantic Escape with Joshua and Trent

On Pride
Pride for me is a celebration of our most authentic self in that moment in time. It is a proclamation to the universe that I live to be my beautifully unapologetic self, and deserve to love who I am and whoever I chose. The entire month is also a period of deep introspection, reflecting on my own journey and of those that fought for the greater LGBTQ+ community. I am reminded of the tenacity of Marsha P. Johnson and Sylvia Rivera who fought long and hard for my right to take up space in this world as a member of the community. I think about the love shared by Edith Windsor and Thea Spyer that became the stepping stone for same-sex marriage recognition in the United States. I am compassionate to those who are struggling or have struggled with their identity and have yet to celebrate it. And I reminisce about the little boy from Texas who had the courage to stand out and speak their truth, becoming the rainbow wearing, expressive QUEEN. It is through this reflection that I can proudly and boldly celebrate being a part of the LGBTQ+ community.  

Pride has been an evolution throughout my life, with each year being a snapshot of the person I was and celebrated. I commend my 2011 self who had recently came out and participated in their first Pride event. I applaud my 2016 self who quickly found a community to celebrate with living in a new city. I cheer for 2019 me who was coming into their non-binary self and expressing it outwardly. Every year I learn a little more about myself as I constantly grow in this universe we all share, and I look forward to celebrating who I am each June. What has been consistent with each and every Pride is the love I have been fortunate to receive and share with my support system past those 30 days. My friends and family have taught me that I deserved to be loved, a lesson that took many years to understand. This year, I am especially excited to celebrate Pride with a partner who has shown me a new love!

On Their Love Story
I was fortunate to meet my partner, Trent, during Covid-19 through Tinder. For the past couple of years, I had been on a journey of understanding who I was and finding self-love. Being in quarantine gave me the time to realize how far I had come, and that I was ready to move forward in finding love outside of myself. Tinder provided us the opportunity to connect in a deeper and meaningful way during Covid. We took time to truly get to know each other before meeting in person safely. The funny thing about Trent is that we actually both went to the same university, him being a year ahead of me, and probably crossed paths without knowing it. While it had been 9 years since we were first initially in the same vicinity of each other, it did not take long for us to fall for each other. 

Our first couple of dates were focused on our shared passions of tacos, Broadway, and the outdoors. From there, we really found a rhythm to our relationship by exploring as much of the Pacific Northwest as possible through hikes, food, and trips. TV and film are a huge part of our relationship, allowing for us to learn more about each other by spending time together in front of the screen. We have watched films about our careers in Finance and the Railroad. We have cried through films about coming out, bonding over our very different experiences. We have laughed over shows that very much align with our own comedy styles. And we have grown deeper in our love by witnessing examples of positive relationships, as well as toxic relationships, and discussing how to avoid them. The greatest thing I have come to learn from our experiences together is that communication is key. I do not take for granted how easy it is just to speak your needs and have a partner that truly listens. We both do our best to be able to vocalize our concerns and work through them, affirm the actions that bring us joy, and give grace to each other when one of us slips up. Relationships are hard and we try our best to not set each other up for failure by not being direct and honest. We check-in regularly on how we are doing, usually venturing into the great outdoors to take in the universe. 

On Getting Away
I chose Getaway as a Valentine gift for us as I knew it would combine a few of our favorite things. First and foremost, it allowed us to disconnect from the world and just spend time focusing on each other. There is no service, no WiFi, and really no contact with other Getaways in the area. You are alone in nature, allowing for a unique experience you cannot get these days. We took this time to enjoy the little things in life: laughing at how ridiculous we can be (thanks to the adlib), building a fire in the midst of winter and snow, and relishing in on our favorite foods. Trent’s favorite mountain in the range is Mt. Adams, so our Getaway was in the perfect location for us to take advantage of the mountain. During the day, we were out in the snow enjoying the fire or exploring the area. At night, we focused on playing games and bonding over a variety of conversations. 

Our Getaway was the perfect means to reflect on our love and relationship. Valentine’s Day is actually my favorite holiday, and I never had a more perfect way to celebrate. We spent a lot of time basking in the energy of inner peace surrounding our Getaway, smiling from excitement from the moment we arrived until we left. The space is perfect to hone in on your relationship with whoever you bring out there. Because of this, we are looking to make this an annual trip for our relationship.

Need an escape with the one who matters most? Book your Getaway today.

Guest Stories

Featured Guests: A Romantic Escape with Jase and Brandon

On Getting Away
Cozied up in the open country under the pines in Lisbon Ohio with a great view of nature, holding the love of my life, playing lots of card games, and listening to the sparkling campfire with crickets in the background was the perfect Getaway for Brandon and I. We chose Getaway because of the location, the nature, the simplicity, and the time for just us. Our Getaway was incredible from pulling up, parking, and entering our woodsy oasis with an easy code for a long weekend. Brandon was the most excited about this Getaway because he saw an ad on facebook so I had to surprise him. 

On Their Love Story
A big shout out to Mark Elliot Zuckerberg, the owner of Facebook for introducing Jase and Brandon. Their love story had to wait a little bit. Jase watched Brandon share another story with a different man for almost a year on Facebook, but that story was clearly not made to have a happy ending. Jase and Brandon connected after ties were severed to start a new story. The two have been madly in love ever since. There will always be other stories shared with different lovers, but a happily ever after doesn’t always happen. This couple knew they were made for each other after the very first date. Jase had the patience for Brandon because he felt something magical for him even before meeting him. Today, they enjoy traveling, home projects, game nights with friends, and the most important thing: each other. They are currently working on their happily ever after, but the shoe definitely fits. Love is patient, love is kind, and love is LOVE. Going on small getaways like Getaway—alone and with our friends—helps us connect to one another. Playing card games together, being honest and having open communication about everything helps us connect as well. I have learned from my partner that it’s okay to not get everything done in one hour. It’s okay to take time to enjoy life and to be patient because what you’re waiting for will come—and to just love each other and life through that process. 

On Pride
I used to ignore Pride because I never thought that I would be able to celebrate it because I felt like I couldn’t tell my story, sharing my life and my authentic self. But now, Pride means not only celebrating my true authentic self this year but also celebrating the love of my life, Brandon. Celebrating us for all the love we can show—loud and proud without having to apologize. Love is rare. We are so lucky to have found each other and not just have June to celebrate, but to be able to celebrate every single damn day that we have found each other and can celebrate the love that we share. 

Ready for your own escape to nature with that special someone? Book your Getaway today.

Guest Stories

Featured Guests: A Romantic Escape with Caleb and Sean

On Getting Away
We chose Getaway after an extensive search for a place to detach from modern technology and to reconnect with nature and ourselves. Our favorite part was being able to connect as a couple and unplug from the daily barrage of emails, texts, and calls. The comfortable and well-stocked accommodations allowed us to truly focus on each other. After our Getaway, we felt refreshed, even more in love, and ready to get back into the world! 

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On Their Love Story
It all began by swiping right LOL! We met on a dating app and sparks flew right away. Setting aside time for each other is a priority and allows us to regroup and reconnect. My partner has taught me to be patient and approach problems with a clear mind and calm point of view. 

On Pride
2020 was rough! Being with those you love and whom you enjoy spending time with became much more difficult due to the COVID19 pandemic. I celebrate Pride Month for the 4th year in a row now with the person who I cherish the most in life. We are making it through one of the most challenging events of our lives by supporting each other, and for me, that’s the true meaning of Pride!

Need an escape with the one who matters most? Book your Getaway today.

Reflections

Loving Out Loud

In past years, I’ve written here about what Pride means to me as a gay man, as a CEO, as a person who loves spending time in nature, and the intersection of all of those things.

It isn’t about me though: the ongoing movement for full LGBTQ+ equality, the effort to reclaim nature for all of us, and the counterculture of carving out more free time are not individual pursuits to achieve individual ends, but collective efforts — large and small, loud and quiet, public and private — to create a better and more just world. 

And so, this month we’re celebrating Pride by spotlighting our LGBTQ+ guests, creators, and community. Additionally we’ll be donating to the three organizations highlighted below. We hope you will join us in championing their efforts.

Wild Diversity
Wild Diversity was created to provide a safe space and sense of belonging in the outdoors for BIPOC and LGBTQ+ communities. They host trips, provide outdoor education programs and facilitate community workshops.

It Gets Better Project
A nonprofit that uplifts, empowers, and connects LGBTQ+ youth through the power of storytelling.

OnePulse Foundation
Created by the owner of Pulse Nightclub, the foundation funds a memorial, a museum, educational programs, and legacy scholarships.

With Love,

Jon 

Artist Fellowship

Meet an Artist Fellow: Photographer, Steph Grant

We created our Artist Fellowship Program to help creative people find the space and inspiration they need to bring their ideas to life. In March, we hosted photographer, Steph Grant, at Getaway Piney Woods outside of Dallas. Here’s what she had to say about her creative process, her relationship to nature, and her Getaway:


I’m all about human rights, photographing the LGBTQ+ community, making others feel included, and my chihuahua, Rusty. I’m constantly learning whilst taking others along for the adventure. I’m the founder of Steph Grant Studios, a full-service media agency owned and operated by a powerhouse team of LGBTQ+ creatives. I have proudly shared my personal story alongside and through my professional work, awarding me the opportunity to be honored on the Senate floor in CA, speaking engagements and inclusivity productions with Google, partnerships with Fossil as the face of their 2019 Pride Campaign, and a feature in Proud Women, a book highlighting 100+ fierce women in the LGBTQ+ community. I believe that by sharing our stories, together, “we can soften hearts and, ultimately, save lives.”

I am from Southern California originally. I spent a majority of my life living 5 minutes from the beach and an hour from the mountains. So when I moved to Dallas, TX 10 years ago, I found myself missing that connection to nature. Like a piece of me was just missing and craving that next time I’d get to be in the ocean or smelling crisp air and pine trees. Luckily, my career involves traveling to places like Thailand, the Philippines, and the snowy Tetons in Jackson Hole, WY. Nature reminds me to stop and take things in. It reminds me to feel. When I allow myself to feel, I live more fully.

I desperately needed to find stillness… The kind you only find in the wilderness. I swapped out my laptop for some books by a fire. I needed this time to clear my head and reset after the past year. I first heard about Getaway on Instagram and had been wanting to try it out. It was just what I needed to unplug, process, write and make pancakes for my pup and I. I really enjoyed the book selection in my cabin! How to Love by Thich Nhat Hanh was mandatory at that exact moment in my life.  

I wrote pages and pages in my journal with no concern for perfection and no concern for who might read it. Scenes that have played on a loop in my mind (therefore halting my creative process) had finally made their way out of me. Sitting with yourself in the darkness is part of the healing. Giving yourself permission to confront those things inside of you is a crucial part of the letting go. FEEL IT. GET IT OUT. LET IT GO. PRESS ON. What a feeling of relief. I feel lighter. I feel ready to create.

You can keep up with Steph’s creative journey by following her Instagram and checking out her website.

Ready to make your own creative escape? Book your Getaway today.

Features

A Getaway for the Books

In 2016 I went through a breakup. 

Having been in the relationship for eight years, I thought it wise to take some real time off of dating and for myself. I had no intentions of getting together with someone new. 

You know where this is going: fueled by an app and a need to satiate some insecurity (I hadn’t been ‘market-tested’ as a romantic partner in a long time!) I met someone new just two weeks later. 

The first date was good — in true Getaway fashion we talked about the professions of our grandparents — but it was a date about three weeks in that sealed the deal.

Michael told his roommates: “I met this guy who has these cabins in the woods that don’t have WiFi. They’re in secret locations.” Back then, we didn’t tell you where the cabins were in an attempt to prevent you from planning out your time off minute-by-minute. “If you don’t hear from me for a few days, start searching the woods within a two hour radius of Boston?” 

Trying not to make it awkward early-on (we hadn’t even DTR’d!) I didn’t tell him the day we were going away was my birthday. The Getaway team blew my cover: there were cupcakes, a bottle of Knob Creek, and balloons waiting in our cabin.

We stayed up until early in the morning. We stoked the campfire. We made s’mores and ate cupcakes. We talked about who knows what. We finished the bourbon. I delivered him back to his roommates alive.

Five years later, we’re still going strong.

Happy Valentine’s Day.

All Rights Reserved to Michelle Watt.

Ready to escape to nature with the one who matters most? Book your Getaway today.

Guest Stories

Featured Guests: A Romantic Escape with Tatiana and Sarina

I’m Tatiana – I’m a 32 year old fur mom who works on digital marketing ads by day and all things creative by night. When I’m not searching through the internet for the latest digital trends, I’m cuddling with my 4-month old puppy Lucky,  painting, taking care of my plants, or writing blog posts about what interests me in my spare time. My amazing girlfriend Sarina is also 32 years old. When she’s not risking her life daily, performing essential work throughout this pandemic, she’s a wordplay genius (freestyle queen, for the culture), teaching me about how to maintain life balance, and/or being creative in some magical *mystical way (modeling, sketching drawings – you name it, she can do it all). 

Processed with Focos

Sarina and I decided to go on a Getaway together, because we absolutely LOVE nature, and we needed an escape from the daily noise. It’s already bad enough that we had to alter our lives to be super secluded over the past year, but we typically take at least one vacation a year, and COVID-19 put those plans on pause. I looked into Getaway – Yas! About a year or so ago, I found out about this amazing tiny cabin experience in nature, and I thought, “We need to disconnect. This is perfect.” Not to mention, Sarina’s birthday was coming up, so we thought this would be a perfect birthday trip for her. We also needed a break from the day-to-day stresses from work, listening to the news, and really wanted to spend some alone time together. Needless to say, we were very excited to book our trip! We searched and landed on our dream tiny home in upstate New York (Getaway Eastern Catskills). 

My girlfriend, Sarina, and I have known each other since high school, and are from the same neighborhood *blushing*. However, we never crossed paths, although our lives were parallel in so many ways. We reconnected a few times throughout our early 20s, and we had to grow through life lessons individually for a while before we divinely connected to become *love life partners. It was just so fluid. When our flirty 30s rolled around, we reconnected once more (after I slid in her DMs), and the rest was history. She is THE ONE for me, and I absolutely love this woman with every fiber of my being, so I was super excited to spend the weekend with her in our tiny cabin with our puppy, Lucky. 

When it comes to nature, we love everything about it. Sarina and I first bonded on my roof in our old apartment, and I fell in love with her AND the stars in those moments. We watch the Moon and try to guess star constellations all the time. Hiking (when the weather permits), is one of our favorite pastimes, and we absolutely love the flowers (and chipmunks). If we ever had the opportunity to just live rent-free, comfortably in nature forever, we would do it, so this escape was everything for us. 

Some of our favorite moments during our Getaway were: 

  • Cuddling up in the bed, doing absolutely nothing but staring out of the window and looking into the trees. The huge window makes it so lovely, because you definitely feel like you’re in a tree house nestled in nature. 
  • We also love photography, so we really enjoyed capturing these moments together in the woods (and have the pictures to prove it).
  • Sarina especially loved building a fire for the first time. I personally, really enjoyed making s’mores – yum! 
  • The Cell Phone Lockbox was a nice touch. We appreciated the way that the cabin was set up for us, to really disconnect. Even though there was no direct contact with anyone, the staff communicated with us through notes, emails and text messages to provide all of the details we needed. They were SO friendly.
  • Within the cabin we found a variety of books to read, and the bluetooth (analog display) music player was super cute! We love music, so once we connected, the vibes were so chill throughout the entire weekend. 
  • My girlfriend is also a really great cook, so we definitely enjoyed eating the fabulous fire-grilled dinner that she prepared for us right outside of our cabin, *chef’s kiss. 

There are times when work, and so many other factors of life, can contribute to stress and massive amounts of anxiety. I know so many of us dealing with worries and concerns, outside of the pandemic. I am one of them, so this experience not only brought us closer together, it cleared my head. I truly needed to unwind, and disconnect in order to let go and release all of the tension I had built up from overworking myself. I am so grateful for that moment of clarity and balance. I also feel so fortunate to spend time in nature with the one that I love, in our favorite place, with our fur baby. My girlfriend and I felt at peace when we left, and we recommended it to all of our friends.

Life can be what you make it. Even with ‘outside’ being closed, you can still maintain presence and enjoy all that life has to offer you in this moment. When you ground yourself, you find so much weight lifted. What better way to do that, than to spend it tucked away in nature. After returning home from our stay, we already began talking about booking our next extended weekend to unwind, because — it’s very necessary and #SelfCare. The cabin is comfortable, warm, cozy, fully stocked with the essentials, and perfect for a weekend for two. We fell in love all over again, and will certainly be back to create more memories with our camera. 

You can keep up with Tatiana and Sarina on their Instagram accounts, on Tatiana’s blog, and their YouTube channel.

Ready to go on a romantic escape with your favorite person? Book your Getaway today.

Guest Stories

Featured Guests: Cammrynn Stith

My name is Cammrynn Stith AKA The Dapper Coach Cam! By day, I am an elementary school leadership coach (I get to empower children to unlock their inner champion and help them see the masterpiece within) and around that, I am a healthy active lifestyle enthusiast based in Austin, TX. 

In my free time you can catch me embracing some early morning sunrise kayaking, on some type of hiking trail, concocting some fun foods in the kitchen, dancing like nobody’s watching (literally anywhere) biking around town, pumping up the jams while working out with my friends and clients, or connecting with mother earth! 

My weekdays are spent teaching children, working out at home, journaling, going on nature walks, and meal prepping. On the weekends… Super Soul Saturday is all about tapping into that inner child and creating some intentional fun whether that’s travel, adventuring on the hiking trails, scootering around town, brunch with friends, shooting video, kayaking, playing sports etc. 

As. for my favorite non-digital activity – Ahh, I have many favorites… I would have to say exploring somewhere in nature, journaling, travel, and dancing 

Nature is so important to me because it’s serene and liberating. Growing up in Kansas the rolling hills and plains are endless. Me and the neighborhood kids would always run around barefoot in the yards, the fields, the little ponds and creeks, and with the very few trees there were, we made forts! However, my family and I always took time to travel. A lot of that travel included cool, salty breeze, warm sand between the toes, and melodic ocean waves accompanied by seagulls. I remember my very first family vacation to Hawaii when I was three years old when I witnessed my first wave (it was the size of a two-story house) and I fearlessly ran straight for it. Thankfully my mom was on total mama bear watch and saved me, but I was so enraptured by the beauty of Mother Nature and the incredible sense of euphoria running through me. From that moment I have grown a deep appreciation for all of the positive effects of nature, especially its ability to heal. 

I wish I had more time to explore and discover the world; connect and grow with loved ones; create with friends, read more books 

I have many happy places.. My happy moments include catching the early morning sunrises with a hot cup of tea (or coffee) and my journal, early morning kayaking, nature walks or hikes, ocean, lake, creeks, waterfalls (literally any body of water, I instantly feel at peace). My happy places also include my loved ones—friends included. I hold them near and dear to my heart. 

I create balance in my life by intentionally scheduling weekly moments of PLAY, Journaling, gratitude, grounding, movement/flow, meditating, and mini travels. 

You can follow along Cammrynn’s journey on their Instagram.

Ready to escape to nature? Book your Getaway today.