Last August I visited the Dominican Republic and like with every destination I visit I try to reach out to one or more of my social media buddies from that particular place. So, I sent a message to my fellow writer at Women Who Live on Rocks (WWLOR), Jen from the hilarious Drinking the Whole Bottle, who lives in Santo Domingo to see if she wanted to meet.
A girl after my own heart Jen suggested we meet at a quaint sea side restaurant close to the Malecon not too far from where I was staying in the Zona Colonial. We clicked immediately and soon after a cold Presidente or two we started planning sh*t, our minds working in synch. “You know what would be cool? If all the writers of the WWLOR website could get together”, says one. “Yeah! like a retreat. Or better yet a RockTreat”, screams the other. And so a seed was planted.
We of course couldn’t wait to tell our fearless head island girl at the WWLOR headquarters, Chrissann about our discussion. Apparently she had been thinking about organizing the same thing for a while.
A plan was hatched. Skype calls were planned. Agendas were consulted. We decided on a suitable location and date and Chrissann ran with it, organizing everything from a place to stay to activities and margarita days. What was just a seed a mere 8 months ago blossomed into the first ever Island writer’s RockTreat.
After counting down the months and weeks I am now counting down mere days. Jeepers, how did the day get here so fast?
Getting over my fears
As we get closer and closer to D-Day, I find myself getting more and more antsy. It is safe to say that I am freaking out here. I am meeting 8 and a half strangers. Of the whole group I have only met Jen before and that was only for a few hours. “Breathe, Riselle. Breathe”, I tell myself. My high school insecurities come flooding back, crashing a party they were not invited to. What if they don’t like me? What if I don’t fit in? What if I’m too fat? What if I’m too…uhm…black? What if. What if. What if.
Funny how you go into the darkest corners of your mind and come up with complete and utter nonsense. Yet, after seeing the group of all caucasian island women it is hard not to notice the obvious.
This is ridiculous. I’ve never been one to worry about my complexion and since joining the over-forty club I have stopped giving a hoot about silly little things like my weight and hair texture. My insecurities held me back enough in the past and I’ll be damned if I step a foot into the pool of self-doubt.
After chatting with what will undoubtedly become 9 of my close island friends after this trip, I can tell that some of them are going through similar pre-rocktreat jitters. Some of us are leaving behind kids and/or husbands and most of us have not been on a girls trip in forever. Move aside insecurities, time to have fun. Now on to more important things: Who’s buying the first round of mojitos?
What to pack
This is something we women struggle with every time we are about to travel. Even the more seasoned travelers amongst us go through this from time to time. It is important to take the time to carefully plan one’s wardrobe for any upcoming trip but a girls trip takes a bit more planning than usual.
On the bed in my spare room I have laid out several possibilities, complete with matching shoes and accessories. What can I say? A pre-packing strategy is key when planning a trip with a packed itinerary.
I have carefully selected (with the itinerary in mind) a few darling outfits and must-haves for this 5-day trip. Add the necessary accessories, beauty and hair products and Voila!, the packing is done. What is now left to do is finding a way to fit it all in one carry-on.
No doubt I am totally overpacking here as usual but remember that when going on a girls trip, extra outfits can come in handy in case one of the other girls is having a wardrobe malfunction or outfit crisis.
What to expect
This is my first ever writers’ retreat and although we were all sent the itinerary with all the activities I am still not sure what to expect. One thing I know for certain: I will come out of this a little smarter and more confident about my writing.
Besides the discussions and workshops there will be a lot of bonding over drinks. I’m expecting a whole lot of laughter, eating, drinking and who knows, even some dancing.
As I said in the beginning of this rant, I am meeting 9 beautiful souls. I think we are going to get along fabulously and after unofficially introducing ourselves in a group chat, I can predict that I’ll be gaining 9 new island friends. Actually 7 since I already met and befriended Jen, and Chrissann and I have had so many conversations in the past that she is already part of my inner circle without us having ever met face to face.
Get to know my 9 island sisters on Instagram:
Chrissann – writer & editor, branding & social media – BVI – @womanonarock
Jennifer L. – lifestyle & travel writer – Dominican Republic – drinkingthewholebottle
Mariah – lifestyle writer – Bahamas – @outislandlife
Brittany – lifestyle writer – BVI – @windtraveler
Claudia – Mediterranean Lifestyle Expert – Cyprus – @live.like.a.goddess
Jennifer M. – Travel writer – Puerto Rico – @jentheredonethat
Sherri – Writer, Creative Consulting – Key West – @peace.loce.water
Lizzy – Writer – USVI – @lizzyyana
Liz – Writer – Bonaire – @islandgirlwrites
What did I tell you? Are these some awesome chicks or what?
Make sure to follow along on our adventures: #ROCKtreatPR
San Juan, Puerto Rico was chosen as the place for our first Rocktreat and I could not be happier. It is close to home for me, it is one of the islands I’ve been wanting to visit again for a while and it was supposed to be the destination for my first ever solo trip.
I’ve been catching up with my reggaeton and practicing my Spanish. San Juan is not a new destination for me. I have visited this beautiful city many times in the past but I have not been in the Old San Juan area in forever and this excites me. Colorful buildings plus 10 girls in cute outfits make for awesome Instagram posts.
Suggestions on what to do in the Old San Juan area are more than welcome.
Are you planning a Girls getaway soon? Tell us about it in the below comments.