As Madonna wisely sings “we have got to get together!”, and Ita agrees: A Girl’s Weekend is good for the soul.
In 1993, I went to The Girlie Tour. It featured a strong, talented woman, spectacular scenery, pumping tunes, and boobs that could literally poke your eye out.
Hoarder that I am, I’ve kept the ticket stub all these years.
After the concert, I went back to my university digs with a few buddies, downed a couple of beers and gushed about how life-changing it was.
Fast-forward to 2013 and I’ve just had a similar experience.”
This time after going on a very different Girlie Tour, I went back to my suburban backyard with a few buddies (one I’m married to, the others I gave birth to), and gushed just as exuberantly as I did 20 years ago.
Because most of the other week for me was spent in Queensland with a group of strong, talented women*: most of them bloggers, all of them entrepreneurs. And like Madonna’s Girlie Tour, the whole experience was life-changing.
The trip was essentially a conference with colleagues from my agency, The Remarkables, but unlike my last work conference in The Whitsundays five and a half years ago, this time I was not six months pregnant, I was not surrounded with beer-bellied men wearing polo-shirts with logos on them, and I did not dress up like a pirate (a whole ‘nother story…)
Yeah, there was work. But when you love what you do, that work never feels like a drudge. I learnt a lot.
And the times when I was hanging with the girls* were magic:
- racing each other down the white sands of Whitehaven beach in our bathers, safe in the knowledge that no one was judging our wobbly bits;
- sharing an eye-popping, jaw-dropping, on-your-deathbed-memory-making chopper ride across Tiffany-coloured waters and jewel-like islands;
- having someone hold your hand and squeeze it hard when there are no words to say and none are needed;
- a friend telling you it was ok to NOT touch the shark;
- someone to giggle with while you hold sea-creatures while others let stingrays nibble their toes;
- cocktails, cocktails, and wine;
- and laughing so hard that your sides ache.
Clockwise from top left: My little buddy on the balcony at Hayman Island – he stared at me the entire time I typed out this month’s Style Dare list, Christina (Hair Romance), Laura (This Island Life) and I hamming it up, Caz and Craig (Y Travel Blog) on Whitehaven Beach, cruising with Christina, bursting with excitement about to lift of on a chopper ride with Sarah (A Beach Cottage) and Carly (Smaggle), checking out a massive starfish, more cheesy fun with Christina and Laura.
Some of the girls on tour I’d met before. Others were brand spanking new to me. We were all from remarkably different walks of life and had polarizing perspectives on some of the hot topics: Bikini vs One-piece, Gosling vs Bond, and Champagne vs Beer.
Nevertheless, I walked away feeling changed by the peeling back of layers, the sharing of stories from dusty back-catalogues of life, the dirty jokes, the snort-laughing, the “oh my god, did I really say that?!” the sobs, the grins, the righteous pins, and like Madonna’s Girlie tour, there were boobs to poke your eye out – especially from Stacey, our resident breastfeeding mama.”
Back home, as I caught up on the going-ons of my friends on Facebook late the other night, I spotted a status update from a friend I’ve known since Kindergarten, about the weekend she’d just had away with her girlfriends on a houseboat.
Sasha said: “Thanks to one hell of a great group of girls for another awesome weekend away; time to start planning the next one whilst I recover!”
She went on to share the secret of her own amazing Girlie Tour “rest and relaxation, no kids, girlfriends, alcohol and laughter!!! I never laugh as much as I do when I’m with these girls, they are great listeners and all give sound advice to any one of us, they are realists, they are a fantastic support network and they just know how to have fun!!!”
And last week Australian of the Year Ita Buttrose reinforced the importance of friendships with women when she spoke at a breakfast I attended. She advised:
“Enjoy your friendships. Make the time to get together. Women so often put these relationships aside for career, kids or men, but they offer such comfort and encouragement.”
I reckon Madonna was onto something back in ’93 naming her epic concerts around the world The Girlie Show Tour. And even she, as she launched into her iconic track ‘Holiday’ while on stage in Oz that year, led in by saying “Ok, I’ll admit, I need a vacation“.
As Mads wisely sings “we have got to get together!” And so with that, I’m off to book another holiday with another group of girls. It’s good for my soul.
When was the last time you went on a Girlie Tour with your crew? When, where, who was there, and what was your biggest learning?
And what would your dream destination be for your next Girls’ Weekend?
* There were two guys on our trip also: Craig from YTravelBlog, and Matt from Dad Down Under who were equally awesome, but just without the essential bits to be called Girls. For the sake of this post, lets group them in together, ok?