It was a perfect day to escape from Qatar.
Heck, before we left it didn’t even feel like Qatar anymore. There was rain pouring down outside forming puddle barriers all around encouraging us to leap across the parking lot in an effort to reach the car without a splash. We carried with us just one small bag each, enough for just one perfect weekend away.
We buckled up and with big smiles on our faces, pulled out of our parking lot and into vacation mode. On this particular weekend, we had a sweet escape.
It wasn’t but a few minutes later that we had arrived, Destination: Staycation.
There is something exhilarating about getting to have a full blown vacation without having to endure the lines or the bustle of the airport, the jet-lag of a new time zone or even the literal butt-ache of driving for hours in the car. A staycation is all about escaping from the norm and the noise of daily life by taking a full blown vacation (here’s the catch) without traveling ANYWHERE.
When booking, I went to Hotels Combined and scrolled through pages and pages letting my imagination fill up the room with thoughts of what our getaway could be like. The sheer variety of destinations with all of their pictures and descriptions made me feel like I was looking at hotels from an entirely different city. The final hotel that I settled, the Sharq Village and Spa, on was the farthest thing from our cosmopolitan city lifestyle and instead looked like a total throwback to Playa Mujeres, Mexico with the laid back, resort-style feel, equipped with a private beach and numerous intriguing restaurants.
We made it extra special by dressing up for dinner and walking slowly through the elegant halls, taking our time to notice the intricacies of the Arabian design. We smelled all of the smells and immersed ourselves in the moment.
Before the night had ended, we found ourselves cozied up in two over-sized leather chairs in the back of the candle lit cigar lounge. Soft music played, quieted voices hummed and the rest was rain pattering on the outside patio. There is something so wonderful about hearing the rain just outside while enjoying the warmth of being sheltered from it.
Once our souls were filled up with the thick caramel feeling of comfort and relaxation, we retreated to our suite and dazzled over the fluffy robes and cloud like slippers that were tucked away for us in.
It is in these sweet moments that home and work and to do lists feel so far away and all that is tangible is the present moment. By the time the rain had stopped, we were already fast asleep in the ultra-plush king sized bed.
Waking up in luxury is just as sweet, we forgot the calories (woo!) and slowly nibbled our way through what I have decided to be the most heavenly French toast on this side of the hemisphere. I wouldn’t even call what it was made out of “bread” because with each bite the center became creamy and melted away.
Our picture-perfect “beach day” was swept away with the chill of a cool wind in the air so we strolled the beach in more of a dreamlike state instead. Nothing to do, nowhere to go, just the present moment.
Staycations call for long mid-day bath soaks that are followed by naps and balcony perching. It’s like getting out of the city and shutting down the phone opens up the lungs to breath in peace and serenity and breath out the pressure of time and responsibility.
Now even though Hotels Combined matched us with the most luxurious hotel imaginable for our staycation, the perfect staycation really doesn’t even require leaving home. Sometimes, all that it takes is stepping outside of the structure of daily life. Allocating time to simply be and to enjoy those one thousand simple joys tucked into each day.