Susan Michelle's Compass
The Magic of a Weekend Away Full of Nothing
By Susan Michelle
Apr 12, 2009 - 6:15:06 PM

LOS ANGELESI just re-discovered a wonderful cure for what ails you. Body aches? Depressed? Fatigued? I’ve got something that’ll take care of it all.  You can’t get a prescription for it, but, lucky you, Dr. Susan here has got the secret to obtaining this powerful elixir.


Last week, my back gave out. Not from actually doing anything strenuous, physically, but from pure stress.  I hadn’t slept much in days.  I was coughing up a lung.  My brain was fried.  And, facing the weekend ahead, my to-do-list was a mile long.  I felt like a broken woman.

I used to spend my weekends going places.  Wake up on a Saturday, call a friend: “Wanna go for a drive?”  “Sure.”  And then we’d end up in Mexico for two days, just the clothes on our backs, amazed at the amount of Spanish we seemed to know after a few margaritas, dancing on bars, spending our last peso on souvenirs like plaster columns and clay suns at the border on our way home.  I’d spend weekends visiting cities I’d never been to before, cramming as much as I could into a weekend: visiting friends in Seattle, sightseeing in Albuquerque, romancing in Santa Barbara, skiing in Mammoth.  

As time passed, there seemed to be fewer and fewer new cities to explore.  More and more things on my to-do-list to do at home on weekends.  More responsibility.  More belongings.  More work.  Work became about travel.  Travel became about work.  When I went out of town, I had to go everywhere, see everything, record it all while I was there, then rush home and work some more.  The economy collapsed.  Money disappeared. The to-do-list grew.  And, somewhere along the way, the idea of taking a weekend off to get away and do ANYTHING fun, simply vanished.

So, last Thursday, when my also-burned out better half asked, “Wanna go to Palm Springs for the weekend?  Get massages, lay by the pool, do NOTHING?” it was an offer I could not refuse.

We ate.  Slept.  Soaked.  Ate.  Got massaged.  Ate.  Slept.  Woke.  Hit repeat.  We had no agenda, researched nada, ran nowhere; we just were”¦

Seems utterly superfluous and indulgent in today’s economy, right?  How could I justify any expense that’s not related to mere survival right now?

Because taking care of one’s body and soul IS essential to surviving tough times. Worrying, working, and stressing 24-7 only leads to”¦well, in my case, being a cripple, pleurisy and a gnarly attitude about life.  A relaxing weekend away, however, can heal it all— it did for me.  

So, as next Friday approaches, if you’re feeling broken, please, get out of town.  You don’t need to get a hotel in Palm Springs.  Swap houses with a friend for a night instead.  Or go camping in the desert.  Find a cheap cabin rental on Craig’s List.  Just get in the car and drive.  Leave the laptop at home.  Don’t make plans.  Simply vacate, and be.  Doctor’s orders!  This medicine’s worth every penny.


About the Author
: A former Hollywood producer and now 2nd-generation travel professional, Susan Michelle travels the planet as the “face” of the fashion-forward Compass travel lifestyle brand.

© Copyright 2007 by