2013-10-11 09.58.30

Staycations have always been for other people. I run a spiritual travel company, so I rarely have time to do anything fun in my favorite city, Los Angeles, but once in a while an opportunity comes along to have both a spiritual journey and some time at home. And by combining both, staycations are my latest happy place.

2013-10-11 08.43.02When my girlfriend arrived for her first trip into Los Angeles, I wanted to show her the wonderful connected villages and towns that make up this city, while avoiding a lot of crazy driving.  The solution? The Sheraton Four Points at LAX. It was a perfect mix of great hotel and terrific location, just 5 minutes from the airport.  Staying the night allowed us to avoid an hour’s slog after her long flight, and the hotel’s casual, breezy rooms made me feel like I could live there for a week.  I especially loved the homey all-white bathrooms and the sleep-until-noon bedclothes. Of course, the warm, fresh cookies on check-in didn’t hurt, either! A spirit journey for my tastebuds.

That single night stay gave us an evening in Santa Monica and Venice, restaurant hopping and enjoying skeeball on the famed Santa Monica pier. The next morning, after a leisurely brunch at Shutters, we rented bikes and rode the boardwalk all the way to Pacific Palisades.  Singing “Under the Boardwalk” while you are actually pedaling under the boardwalk added a whole new dimension to the idea of a spiritual journey, allowing us to experience the carefree joy we all have when we are kids.

Santa monica beach biking

While meditation, nature walks, and yoga are my usual paths to the sacred, I often forget my emotional connection to the joy of just being.  Riding down the beach with the breeze on my face and the sun at my back was a delight that my friend’s grin reflected back at me.  It was an opportunity to just BE, and that doesn’t happen very often in our busy lives.  So the next time you get a chance to have a staycation, don’t turn your nose up at it like I used to. Turn it into a spirit journey with its own meandering path, and enjoy every moment.