Lone Travel, New and Old Friends, and Knowledge Overload

This past weekend in Chicago(that ran into Tuesday-hence the belatedness) was fantastic to say the least. I got to see old friends before heading into the city, dip my toe into a moment of lone travel, meet new amazing HAES warriors, and learn so, so much from rockstars in the anti-diet realm on a topic I am passionate and curious about... Honestly, it Wiped. Me. Out. In the best way possible.

I hear about flight anxiety often, but I just want to see if anyone experiences anxiety when driving? I think I'm always a bit on edge when driving but it is so heightened when I'm driving in an unfamiliar place or traffic is fairly heavy. So driving into Chicago was not ideal. 

I did make it (and paralleled parked! Who knew I could still do that?) Then, I was on my own the first evening in town, so I decided to test my boundaries and explored a little on my own. I've never really been a tourist on my own but found it enjoyable. I didn't love the crowded spots so much, but I don't like those when I'm with someone either, so that was nothing new.

I lucked out-as it had been gloomy for my entire drive, then suddenly the clouds began to break up and I got a glimpse of sunshine while I walked around the city. I walked around-relatively aimlessly-for about two hours, just trying to take everything in, finding little quiet spots in gardens and people watching, until someone walked past me with Shake Shack and I realized I was hungry and man did it sound good (and would be easily transported back to the room).

Knowing I would be around people for the next two days straight (albeit, some of my favorite kind of people) I knew I needed some "alone time" so I spent the rest of the evening just relaxing, while sipping on my PB milkshake (arguably the best kind of milkshake), watching reruns of Big Bang Theory and was asleep before 9 p.m. and it was an epic night. Self care at it's finest. 

The next morning was the start of the Body Image Workshop that brought me to Chicago and started with an (optional) yoga workshop put on by the fabulous Fi of The Mindful Dietitian. I loved yoga before this workshop and I love it even more now. She and everyone in the class brought all the knowledge for incorporating mindfulness and yoga principles into our practices while connecting them with body image. Plus, she introduced me to chanting and it may have been the coolest mindfulness practice I have ever done. (Seriously, if you ever get the chance-even if at first your red flag goes up and you're like... this is gonna be weird and awkward-because it is, but it's even more cool. And I don't use that term lightly.) 

Afterwards, I walked the whole 4 minutes back to the hotel room to get ready for the afternoon portion and meet up with my roommate and new (we've actually met in real life and not just facebook/instagram) friend, Aubrey from Grace Fueled Nutrition-another awesome anti-diet dietitian! We got lost then eventually got lunch at Eataly before we dove into the rest of the workshop. (seriously-that place was overwhelming... and delicious.) I'm not sure that outside of the workshop the two of us stopped talking for the next two days we spent together. Whoops.

Marci  and  Fi 's fabulous workbook and cards put together just for this workshop

Marci and Fi's fabulous workbook and cards put together just for this workshop

This workshop filled me up. It's so great to be in the presence of so many amazing people who are passionate and excited about the same things you are. It was one of those workshops where you walk away and you're like, yes, this is what I am made for, this is why I am here. 

I am so excited to incorporate all that I learned. Even more so, I am so excited to watch all those that I connected with inspire body image healing.

After such a great trip, I always expect a bit of a let down. I know after vacations the way I get over it, is by planning my next getaway or vacation. Perhaps with workshops I'll have to do something similar... In the meantime, I did some self-care on Wednesday afternoon and took a long bubble bath paired with some non-work related reading to calm my overwhelmed mind.

What do you do to get over the coming back to reality? I'd love to hear your ideas below!