While traveling I find that I don’t need as much ME time as perhaps Shawn does. When we traveled with our kids Alex needed her own space as did Sam but Shawn and Alex seemed to really need their alone time.
Alex would ask for a destination to have her own room occasionally when she was really needing and wanting to recharge. She and I are Introverted Extroverts which means that we can be very social and seem like we love people and being around them but the truth is that we are happiest alone or with just our family in our little bubbles at our home (wherever that may be). We need time to recharge our battery after socializing or being especially busy.
I was much more like this before we started traveling. The only time I was like – guys, leave me alone, was when I was pregnant with Sebastian and just wanted a couple of ours left alone every week or two.
Shawn NEEDS his alone time, multiple times a day. He needs his mornings to be all his and not interrupt his daily routine in order for him to have a good start to his day. He also usually needs a nap in the afternoon to recharge. He is much more social than I am too so occasionally he will go off on his own for a night on the town just to have a beer to socialize and meet other travelers or locals. He always is refreshed after his alone time and his social time.
Me? Well, I’m alone right now while Shawn is in the Pool with Sebastian. Once a day we make sure that they have Daddy and Shibby time to bond and to give me 30-60 minutes to crank out a post, or do some other work or even just play Cookie Jam on my phone. Alone. No baby on me jumping, playing or even just wanting my full attention or my boob! No one to talk to.
Just ME time to do what I want.
So, the other day I chose to go get a massage for my ME time. I don’t get nearly as many as Shawn does. Maybe once a week or two and perhaps once a month for a pedicure. It’s so cheap to do so in SE Asia it would be a shame not to pamper yourself. It costs, with Tip, anywhere from $7-12 for a full hour Oil Massage (which is just a mid-range price).
Shawn had told me about how much he LOVED the 2 massages he’d gotten down the street from our hotel in Vientaine, Laos. He showed me where it was and then I secretly scooted away without letting Sebastian see me.
I was very tired and really needed to have a nice relaxing massage. Unfortunately, that is NOT what I received.
Instead my masseuse left the curtain open next to me (massage beds are all lined up on the floor with curtains between and around each bed for privacy) and about 15 minutes into my massage 2 men came in and saw me “Naked” – I was lying on my stomach but had those disposable underwear on because of the oil massage) – and they started giggling. I looked up and the other masseuse pulled the curtain closed.
I’m no prude and I’m not embarrassed but I was irritated. I looked at my masseuse and kept asking her to shut the curtain behind her all the way in case more men sauntered by. She didn’t understand but one of the other gals did and she closed them for me.
Like…how can you not know that you close the damn curtains when someone is naked? Male or female – CLOSE THE CURTAINS!!!
Anyway, she was giving me thigh massage. She spent all of 3 minutes on my back and basically spent 20 minutes each on my legs. I was getting more irritated which was bothering me. I was only spending $10 for a massage that would cost me $50-100 in the states so I needed to just chill out and appreciate that I’m getting a deal and some ME time.
Then one of the men’s phones rang and…he answered it. He spoke in Laos and continued to hold a long and loud conversation. I’m getting more mad. I’m tired. I have a toddler who won’t let me sleep through the night, ever. This is my only chance for alone time today and I’m frustrated.
He then takes a 2nd Call just 2 minutes after ending the 1st call. OMG! I thought about yelling at him. Get off the damn phone you rude A-hole. That’s what I was thinking of saying and then I started thinking about how the other guys around me would be bothered by my outburst. And then how that outburst would make me feel after. So, I kept quiet while I just simmered inside.
At the end of my Thigh massage…the masseuse tossed me a towel. Shawn had told me that he was offered a shower after his oil massages at this spa so I assumed that this is why she was handing me a towel. She then disappeared. I peeked past the curtains to see if she was there so she could show me where the shower was. She was MIA. I waited about 2 minutes and she never returned so I used the towel to scrub off as much oil as I could, got dressed and then huffed off downstairs. I basically tossed money at the cashier and stomped out.
I was ANGRY. I was also emotional. I was more upset about the curtain being open than I thought and about the crappy massage I got and the jerk who was rude and kept taking calls.
I called Shawn to let him know what happened and that I was on my way back and then I just started crying. I couldn’t help it.
I was tired. I was upset at what happened. I was upset with myself for letting myself get upset. I was upset that my ME time wasn’t better spent.
I got back and after chatting with Shawn and Showering off all the oil, that I was going to go and get a Mani-Pedi at another spa that had good reviews. I needed one. I put Sebastian to sleep and then… to get past my frustration, I wrote a bad review on their Google Page. I tried to write one on Trip Adviser but they don’t have a link there.
It’s sad but, this made me feel all better. I got it out. I let them know what happened and hopefully others will read my review and make sure to shut the curtains themselves and know how to behave in a group massage setting.
I went to get my nails done and it was a better experience – I only bled twice. It was a day… but, my feet look and feel good now – well, as good as finger toes can look! Overall, I got a LOT of ME time in and was able to move on in a positive way.
I’m very good at moving on after dealing with a negative experience. I never let it ruin my entire day nor anyone else’s. I’m very quick to realize when my attitude is affecting Shawn or Sebastian and apologize and move forward with a better attitude.
You can have all the ME time in the world but if you can’t figure out yourself then it doesn’t matter how much ME time you get because it will never be enough. Take the time to be honest about who you are and why you do the things you do. When you OWN your ME your life will be much better as well as chill – even when you haven’t slept through the night in over 2yrs like me.
Take at least one hour a day for yourself. Make sure you ask for what you want and if “it” doesn’t turn out the way you want, figure out how to move past quickly.