What Every Woman Should Do

Take a trip to restore your soul

Cindy Shapiro


Photo by Dim Hou on Unsplash

This summer, I discovered the best, most restorative way to travel: flying solo. As a wife, mom of two kids (plus three fur-babies), educator, and all of the things, I needed a big rest this past June. When our family plans fell through, I took the opportunity to strike out on my own.

Taking a trip by myself was one of the best things I’ve ever done for myself.

From navigating the terminal and security to choosing my seat on the plane, I made every decision without compromise, without complaint. I saw what I wanted or needed to do, and I did it.

On the plane, there were no snacks to distribute, no squabbles to set right, and I claimed an armrest all to myself. I could choose to read, write a letter, play games on my phone, all in relative silence. I could also choose to do nothing, which is what I opted to do. How often does a working mom of two get to do absolutely nothing? The occasion is rare, and so I relished the opportunity.

When I arrived in Panama City Beach, I got my rental car and marveled at the sky. A storm was churning up from the Gulf, and the bulky, low-hanging clouds were ominous. As sheet lightning illuminated the sky, I ran for my car and began to drive towards my destination.

I was headed to see my aunt; we hadn’t been alone together for several years, since she had helped me settle my grandmother’s estate. She and I had always been close, but health issues, aging, obligations, and more had kept us apart for a time. But I wasn’t planning on staying with her.

Back at home, before I’d left, I scoured the rentals on Airbnb and Vrbo. I debated between two places: one was a garden-level studio, with a lovely bathroom and a mini-fridge. Just outside, there was a private patio and chairs. The other was a one-bedroom, a little larger, with a seating area inside. If I’d been traveling with family, I would have gone the practical route and opted for the larger place. But the pool and patio of the latter called to me, and so, even though the studio was attached to the resident’s house, after I read the reviews, I decided to go for it.

I arrived late, pulling into the side driveway as instructed and gingerly made my way through the side gate…



Cindy Shapiro

Cindy Shapiro is long-time teacher living in Colorado. As a writer, she aims to elevate teachers’ voices and provide insight on issues in education.