After 9 years since our last tropical, totally-unplugged vacation, Punta Cana was exactly what Steve & I were hoping for.

And nope - I didn't workout even once.

I just didn't feel it. I thoroughly enjoyed no agenda. Sleeping till whatever time we wanted - in fact, our room didn't even have a clock.

And instead, I felt inspired to soak up the sunshine, nap on the beach & enjoy some any-time cocktails with my dear friends.

Here's a pic of Steve & I the last day of our trip on the beach by the palm trees. They aren't kidding when they say the beaches are beautiful in the Dominican Republic. The government protects their precious palm's - it is illegal to cut them down and that is one of the things I loved most about their beaches. The sand was soft, & the palm trees were a natural beauty & built-in shade 🙂

Me-and-Steve-Punta-Cana

The most impactful part of the trip was by far the tour we took of the island with Punta Cana Mike. Although, Pat, his buddy, was our fearless leader for the day.

The tour took us to a local school that was founded by this amazingly big-hearted woman named Magdelena with 35 yearning-to-learn students just 7 years ago.

Punta-Cana-Shalom-School

Today it has grown to 250 students & 8 classrooms. It has inspired over 20 other public schools to form in surrounding towns on the island since its inception.

It certainly reminded me of how grateful I am at the opportunities I have been afforded in my life.

Especially as we walked through the local market. Many of these island towns don't have running water or electricity all day (only for about half the day) and yet, everyone is still smiling and super friendly, they are all nicely dressed, neat & clean. There is definitely a sense of pride.

DR-Market

If you ever plan to travel to Punta Cana, look up Punta Cana Mike's Dominican Adventure. It is unlike the other touristy-tours. It's an experience that is sure to impact your own life while improving the lives of Dominicans too.

We have another trip planned with the fam in July that I am also really looking forward to. I'll save the details on that adventure for another post.

Taking time off of the daily grind is critical for busting through plateaus, improving strength and boosting your overall happiness.

Why does it take going away to truly understand this notion I wonder?

This was posted from a RealFitter after she just returned from her vacation too:
"Well hello RealFitters! I know I have been absent... but for a darn good reason. I just returned Monday from a 8 day visit to the Virgin Islands. A much needed vacation and boy was it beautiful. I took a break from the workouts while away but did stay very active and really enjoyed myself. St. John USVI has some beautiful snorkleing and awesome hiking trails. I was able to get right back on track on the 12 week challenge this past Tuesday and I am back to rocking it. It felt so good to get a good sweat on and get that heart rate going. I have missed you all and look forward to hearing about everyones workouts. I am also looking forward to hearing all about Dana's island adventure too. She really helped me with the mental struggle I was having prior to leaving for my trip. I took her advice and am I so so glad I did. Thanks Dana for taking time out to advise me and really breaking it down in the Tidbit video you recently posted. My body thanks you too, I think it really did need that break!!!! Chat with you all real soon! Love to all!"

Now, isn't that just AWESOME?

Let me know how you are planning some time off for yourself. I want to know! 🙂

Join myself & the ladies in RealResults here.