Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Recharged From Jamaica

I'm excited to be back from our Jamaican vacation!! What?! No, there was no type-o there... I'm honestly feeling really good and excited to be back from our week long vacation in paradise.

This vacation was unlike any other one we've gone on before! We booked one of the best all inclusive resorts on the island and for five days we did basically nothing but relax and recharge ourselves. We didn't take any excursions or venture out into the mainland. We just soaked up the beautiful sun, took walks on the sandy beaches, ate some delicious food, enjoyed exotic drinks, and got plenty of much needed rest. We both just needed time to step away from it all and reconnect... not only with each other, but also to reconnect with ourselves.

Speaking of reconnecting with ourselves... ever since I discovered Happier with Gretchen Rubin podcast, I've really been wanting to read her book, The Happiness Project. So, I picked up her book one day when I running around town trying to finish up a few last minute errands as well as looking for a bathing suit cover-up prior to leaving on our trip. (packing post?) I'm not much of a reader at all. I've always wanted to read, but to be honest with you... I'm just not a good reader. I know that probably sounds a bit odd to some people. But I tend to loose interest in books really fast if it's filled with fancy vocabulary words or those which are little too philosophical with hidden meanings that take me forever to interpret. I like a book that is pretty straight forward and easy to read. I also tend to gravitate towards self-help or books on subjects that can be applied in my daily life versus fictional story books. I really envy people that can read long novels and books like Lord of the Rings or Harry Pottery. I'll watch those movies any day... but I know that reading those books would probably take me a really long time and therefore just frustrate me. I digress.

When I picked up the book that afternoon, I had the intention to read the entire book on trip. But I also secretly knew that I probably wouldn't. Reading is something I've always tried to incorporate into my life, but have failed more times than I care to recall. On the very first day as I threw a copy the June issue of Style Watch into my beach bag, I reached for The Happiness Project with hope that I would somehow find inspiration to start and finish this entire book while in Jamaica.

via my Instagram

Well, I can't exactly pin point what inspired me to keep reading each and every day on our trip.... maybe it was the beautiful weather, the relaxed and happy Jamaican workers at the resort, or being around other resort guests who seemed so engrossed in their own readings while they worked on their tan. I'm sure this is no big deal to those that read not one but several books on their vacation, but I felt so good not only finishing this book, but incorporating it into my life right away. It felt good to read something that forced me to take a closer look at my own happiness. From the minute I started reading the book I was so inspired by each and every chapter and when I finally finished reading the last sentence the only thing I could think about was my own happiness project. [More on that later].

I definitely think reading this book also impacted my interaction with Chirag on this trip. Prior to leaving, we had been bickering about something really stupid. I really can't even recall exactly what it was. I think we were both been a little stressed and too wrapped up in our daily work lives to listen or pay any attention to each other. It felt so good to be carefree and happy together again.


One of the best parts of the trip was our very last night at the resort. We had reservations at their Gourmet Restaurant at 7:30pm. On most days, we stayed on the beach or at the pool well into the evening and around 6:00 to 6:30pm and our dinner reservations were typically late around 8:30-9ish. So, we had created a little ritual for ourselves to go up to the lounge around that time and just sit together to have some cappuccino and cookies before heading upstairs to shower and get ready the evening. But on our last day, we tried to squeeze a couple of last minute things we hadn't explored around the resort. By the time we had gotten some lunch and dipped into the pool it was already midday. We had enjoyed beautiful 95 degree weather for all four days, but on our very last day we had barely been in the pool for close an hour when we started to see clouds rolling in. Most of the guests all cleared the beach/pool, but we decided to stay in with some friends we had met from Canada. We figured we were already wet and hopefully it would just rain for a little bit. Well, we were right. It got cloudy and rained really lightly for about 20 minutes and then it started to clear up. Chirag still got a chance to play volleyball with the other guys at the resort just as we had for the four other days.... everyday at 3:00pm. We decided to stay at the pool longer today because we had gotten in so late in the day and we wanted to make the most of our last day. By the time we started to think about calling it a day and head upstairs it was pretty late. I would barely have an hour to wash my hair and get ready for dinner. I hesitated about my daily cappuccino & cookie ritual. I was too worried about having enough time to get ready and look pretty for dinner. Chirag even mentioned that it was ok if I didn't want to go, but then I recalled The Happiness Project. It's the little things that matter and these are the moments I needed to savor on our trip. Chirag would think I looked great for dinner no matter what dress I wore or how frizzy my hair got. This little ritual we had created for ourselves was way more important that any other part of our trip. 

Main Course

Jamaicans have a very laid-back attitude and don't take life too seriously. It took me sometime to realize that this would be the best souvenir I could take back with me from Jamaica versus any little trinket. At first, I was getting a bit frustrated because I like to get things done on time and tend to be a bit of a perfectionist. There was a few minor things that didn't quiet go right during our stay at the resort. I really think that it was reading Rubin's book that was reminding me to keep the bigger picture in mind and just let it go. So, what if we didn't get our room service delivered to us at 2am? We had fallen asleep anyways. So, what if they forgot our turn down service one night? I can pull the covers down myself. Normally, I would have probably called the front-desk to complain. But getting upset over these little things was just going to have a negative effect on our mood and in the end it wasn't going to change anything. The workers at the resort were super relaxed... it wasn't like they would not be attentive towards us. If we asked for something, they would definitely get it done... but it might take a little longer than expected. It's just their culture and it's actually something I needed to learn to embrace myself.

Our Canadian Friends: Monika and Casina

It's funny how life works out when you make your own happiness a priority. Somehow, that last evening we had enough time to enjoy our relaxed evening cappuccino, shower, ( I even had time to blow dry my hair), and make it to dinner 5 minutes early. On top of all that... I didn't have high expectations for our dinner because what was I (as a vegetarian) going to get a a Gourmet Restaurant for dinner besides some steamed veggies and at the least a pretty good desert dish? But from start to finish... I enjoyed each an everyone one of my three courses! The highlight of dinner however, wasn't the food at all. In the middle of dinner, Chirag and I were just discussing our past few days at the resort. In passing Chirag made a joke about being "snooty" (since were at this "gourmet" restaurant) and I busted out with a huge laugh... which only made us both laugh out even louder! I remember thinking this feels so good... when was the last time we genuinely laughed together like this? Although it had rained and I was a little concerned about making the most of our last day at the resort... the best part had been our evening cappuccino and reconnecting with each other.


This trip was exactly what a doctor would've prescribed. I feel recharged, refocused, and re-inspired to continue on my pursuit of happiness

Our Daily Elevator Selfies

How did you recharge this past weekend?

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  1. it seems like you both had a wonderful time :) i read that book 2 years ago and absolutely loved it. it is one of those books you need to re-read and get reinspired :)

  2. Sounds amazing! I usually return from a trip--super exhausted!

    School let out 2 weeks ago and I have been just hanging out with family and friends to charge up!

    1. Yes, it was a nice change to come back from a vacation not exhausted... just thinking that I need another one! Sometimes even a "stay-cation" at home is a great way to recharge yourself!

  3. Wow Jamaica...!!! It sounds incredible, these photos are making me want to book a similar holiday myself. If only! I love those holiday moments where time seems to spin out and everything becomes really relaxed xx

    1. I agree... sometimes even just a nice picnic in the park can be a great way to re-charge! :)

  4. Sounds like an amazing trip! And love how you used inspiration from the book to change your attitude! Good for you!

    1. Thanks, Parita! The surprising part was that the advice actually worked... who, knew?! :)

  5. I really enjoyed reading about your trip! Sounds like it was a good one, and totally needed.

    I started reading The Happiness Project a few years ago, but unfortunately, my old roommate lent it to her mother and I never got it back. I really need to find it and finish it! I remember it being chock-full of insight. I'm glad you were able to read a lot while you were there! I know what you mean, I love reading, but sometimes I have a hard time doing it (when I'm not really interested in whatever I'm reading, usually.) Just plowing through a book when you have time is one of my favorite things! I hope you continue to share what you're applying to your life from the book.

    I also enjoyed your story from dinner...and I TOTALLY know what you mean! That's why I end up writing down funny quotes in my journal or phone (in a pinch.) I try to keep track of random, joyful moments, in hopes that they will encourage me later when I need it!

    Oh, and glad we could connect on Pinterest :)

    ♥ perfectly Priya