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Wow, has it been a minute or what. Once upon a time I started this little personal hobby blog about spas I was visiting just to talk about that simply. I loved speaking about each interior, dissecting it, analyzing the service and services, you name it. Now, after 7 years, I have definitely visited quite a few spas. Yet, I haven’t felt inspired to write about an experience since almost exactly one year ago. I’ve written about spas so many times, and am also a design consultant that critiques spaces on the daily, so I just don’t feel that inspired to dissect them anymore because, well, I simply feel I’m at a point where I know what makes for a good spa and what doesn’t. & To top it all off, I ironically found myself in a relationship with a man who is a CEO of an international spa company. How’s that for serendipity?

As of late though, I have been itching to talk. About what? Things. Random things. Things that come to me, and I say to myself, “Oh I could really dive into that!” Then the thought goes, and I don’t get around to doing it. Time is money. So now, right here, I am going to officially denounce this “spa blog” as a spa blog and change it over to just simply, my blog. If a topic comes to me, I’m going to write about it, vent, get it out and just say I did.

I think the feeling of wanting to talk stems from a few things. Number one, and most obvious, if you know even the slightest about my last two years, I’ve become an expat. I live far far away from all my loved ones, friends, colleagues and a world I knew like the back of my hand (hence why I needed newness). So it goes without saying that at times I find myself feeling quite isolated – and yes, I know, that was done by choice. Another reason I feel chatty is because I am experiencing so many new and different things, ways of life, cultures, career changes, relationship challenges / successes, because I am living abroad. Not always does a caption to a photo suffice, for me, as space-enough for what I really want to say.

I’ve thought about doing the whole YouTube vlogging thing, a lot, because I have always been quite a social person, and so many people have suggested I do…however as I have gotten older I really tend to like my privacy. I could never get up the gumption to post that one video I recorded talking about my first 9 months abroad. Who am I to talk about this topic? Yea, I’m living it – or more like figuring it out as I go. Did I go into it naively? Sure did. Up until a certain point I was merely surviving every day life. At the end of the 20 minute video my only advice is a cheesy: just do it – go – have faith. Perhaps I could post it just to see initial reactions? Who knows.

Also, why open myself to people’s criticisms? No thanks. It all just feels so invasive. They say what goes on the internet is forever on the internet. Are you comfortable with that? I’m not. & I’m not so sure I want my person forever being there, long after I’m gone. Although, paradoxically I am already participating in another form of it all by posting photos on instagram and Facebook.

Le sigh…

What’s to lose though? If you’re a standup honest person, and you mean well, and you can see yourself being good at it? Why not? Although, there are those people from your past who love to come around and be internet bullies when you start to have a following,…so I have come to understand from people who post their lives on the internet.

I love when I hear advice about how to become an “influencer” or fashion blogger or what-have-you… it’s always: just start! Then, be consistent! It’s so simple, and so true. Kind of like my advice to just go abroad. The consistency thing is where I know I might fail for producing content because I don’t have friends here (or not a handful at least) to help me produce content I would need. Who wants to see a bunch of selfie productions? I’m also someone who likes to approach things with a bit of a strategy, or game plan, or mission and without that kind of structure I tend to think things become a bit of a waste of energy…like a chicken with it’s head cut off. Plus I wouldn’t initially be getting paid to do it. Again – need. structure.

So that’s where I have to narrow in on my “passions” and “talents” they say. What value can you provide the people with? And that, that question I cannot answer. I’m pretty self-aware and know myself. I know I’m passionate about health, design, travel, career, wealth, and family. The whole talent thing though? That’s where I struggle. I’ve always been a Jill of all Trades. Good at a lot of things but not fabulous at one. What can I do or say or provide that will attract the people’s attention? The views are what count!

Aside from the whole idea of vlogging floating around in my head I have more astute ideas like itching to go back to school for my Masters in Business. My brain has been so educated (or trained) for the arts that I am dying to activate the entrepreneur inside of me…rather than fallback on the trend of vlogging. Or even get a certificate of some kind whether it’s a nutrition degree, writing degree, IELTS (International English Language Testing System) degree or personal training certification.

With all that said, currently, career-wise, I’m happily (if not a little anxiously, obviously) focusing on my career(s) at hand. One is being a Home Critic for Plum Guide, a company based out of London, here in Barcelona, by consulting the design and amenities of homes to be added to the luxury vacation rental website’s collection. The other job being a remote Consult Designer for the online Interior Design company based out of America called Havenly. Both jobs are really appealing to me, especially considering that I’m consulting…something I’ve always wanted to move toward as an Interior Designer, plus both jobs keep my creative thirsts satiated fully. Not to mention, one job is fully remote which is extremely ideal considering I love to travel and love the idea of being able to make money while moving around the globe.

So even though I’m fairly isolated, don’t have a whole ton of friends around me (yet), and am toying with the idea of vlogging, I’ve found the positive in my solitude and “free time”: writing here again now, and up’ing my career game by working two jobs and pursuing education and entrepreneurial endeavors (as well as some fitness goals!). Because recall that, “6 months of hardcore focus and alignment can put you 5 years ahead in life – you can’t underestimate the power of consistency and desire. You have what it takes to become the best that you can be. You can’t doubt yourself. Harness your power, exceed your expectations.”

And I will leave you on that note. Tell me though, what are your thoughts on vlogging? Do you think it is a worthwhile pursuit? Do you watch vloggers? Or do you prefer reading? Do you think I should give it a shot?

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Finally – I made the hour and a half drive out to Corona, California.

My little babe roommate was in town this particular weekend so that wound up being a big push to visiting this specific spa grounds. I say that because had I been walking these “19 pools” by myself, well it would have been a bit lonelier. Everyone was with someone or a group. I usually go to spas on solo missions, but thankfully not this time.

I heard of a special this spa resort was having via their instagram. The grounds had been opened after 5pm for the first time ever this very summer: 4pm to 9pm for $35 with access to all pools, mineral baths, cold and hot plunge, mud slathering, saunas, steam rooms, showers and such.

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Upon entering I was informed the place was under new ownership as of the first of the year. I cannot wait to see what will change about this place in due time. I sure have my own innovative ideas after my visit – ones which I’m sure (or hope to goodness) are in the works – for the sake of this places longevity and success.

We waited in the 5:30pm rush line, and were directed over to the place where we purchase entry. Becca at the check in (I especially remember her because it was my girlfriend Bekah’s birthday this day) was super informative and positive. I felt for her, I can’t imagine having to explain the same map and expirence day in day out to half naked people. There is seriously something to say about how people hold themselves when they’re half naked. Sure is telling of something in one way or another for starters.

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Anyway, the experience – Our first mission was to get to the locker rooms and get situated into bikinis with towels. I located the towels near the steam room, brought one to my spa partner and we headed toward the mineral bath. But first we allowed ourselves to step into some of the prettier garden spaces on the grounds. There is a beautiful fountain, a giant set of umbrellas, an arch of vines covering some lounge chairs (although the plant was mostly deceased) and other cute spaces. Once we found the mineral bath and became relaxed we meandered over to the bar to grab a mimosa. Then we headed to the vista pool and relaxed in the bath like water. After a good 10 minutes there we headed toward the hot and cold plunge (my favorite), where I tried to get many others there to love it too (bunch of scaredy cats). Something about that shocking cold water felt amazing to my stomach organ (I hold a lot of my stress there…not necessarily fat wise but anxiety wise) and then you are supposed to quickly dip into the hot pool. But today we dipped quickly because it was so warm out already. And then we went back into the cold pool (not plunge).

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From there we went and slathered mud all over our bodies, which you can find sitting atop a little community pedestal like a little mountain of mud. Once coated the idea was to go harden the mud in the arid room adjacent to the showers. We hung out in there for a few minutes and then began the showering process which was the longest part of the “mud bathing”.

At this point we wandered the property a bit more, went into the Grotto Room (not a part of our ticket) where I just wanted to learn a little about this experience by seeing the check in process and watching the intro video they had going in the lobby of the Grotto’s entrance.

We perused the cafeteria’s options and decided they weren’t all that healthy, or appetizing to our wallet’s, and decided to get showered up and stop off somewhere more worthy on the way home.

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All in all it was a lovely Saturday afternoon hanging out with a girlfriend getting out of the heat and splashing around in some water and going on a little road trip. I could imagine I’ll be back. It’ll be interesting to see if they’ve made any changes if I go next summer.

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Every year, and every so often, I like to treat myself to some type of spa experience on the day of my birthday. This year I wanted to finally get around to visiting this place called Cocoon Float. It basically is what it sounds like. You float in a white bubble tank for 60 minutes. It’s technically called a “Sensory Deprivation Tank”. A tank filled with Epsom Salt, a mineral made of magnesium and sulfate. Have you ever heard how good it is for you to take a salt bath to relax muscles? Because Epsom Salt creates the absence of gravity for a human body when combined with water, the stress and tensions that are released when enjoyed for 60 minutes is incredible; incredible in nutrients for the body to absorb, and incredible in experience. Sensory Deprivation is knocking out one Western ailment after another. Interesting.

Allow me to explain my experience.

The business is located in Hillcrest of San Diego, California. It’s three stories up on a corner building. No signage that I could visibly see unfortunately. I found my way and walked into this serene and quaint white lobby environment where I am politely greeted. Within checking in you are handed an iPad and headphones to watch a 5 minute video on how you will navigate your experience and what to expect. It was a cute cartoon, informative and flew by. Basically, the goal is to try and 100% relax…and see how that feels. Queue spooky transcendental vibe music. Not going to lie, I may or may not have felt a bit of a sexual vibe in how free this felt at one point.

I was walked to one of the back rooms (there are only 2 cocoons), and was explained the more hands on procedures of how to operate the tank and how the lights will be turned down. I was told to put my earplugs in before I touch anything wet. This is pretty much where the experience began. My plugs were in, all went quiet. I turned on the shower to warm it up. I slid out of my clothes. Stepped in to the shower, and used the body wash in my palm to clean and then rinse. Turned the shower off. Stepped down, and walked thethree steps to the cocoon, put one leg in (water went up to right under my knee), grabbed the hood of the cocoon, stepped my other leg in, and kneeled as I pulled down the hood over me, enveloping me into this surreal experience.

So I plant my butt down, or tried. But since there is an absence of gravity I gently leaned back and allowed my body to be lifted to the surface of the water. The tank was filled with a glowing blue light that bounced off the white lacquered bulbous tank walls and water. There were two buttons I had control over. The light and the music. I wanted both on. And I wanted to close my eyes.

The whole reason this is worth writing about is: if you can possibly get to the zone where you are 100% relaxed, it’s otherworldly. You’re awake but your somewhere else – thinking. About entirely subconscious things. I felt very happy and lifted after my time spent in the tank. (And slept great the next few days) I was amazed that I was able to get to that place – because trust me, it took focus. And within that focus I relaxed a bit more every other minute. Once my mind finally let go, as in I was in another realm not thinking about how I’m thinking, it was probably a good 20 minutes I was there. However, it was one of those moments where you feel like you literally just went to sleep two minutes ago – but I was really just relaxed because I was floating. It was a really cool feeling. A lot happened in my mind in this 20 minutes while at the same time nothing happened. It was the sensation of floating that brought this all home. A sensation more people should try… and I hope more find worthy of experiencing for oneself.
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While we’re on water and relaxation, my boss told me about this form of water therapy called ‘Watsu‘. That’s the definition link and here’s an actual experience. Check those links out! That’s what I’m on the hunt to experience now.

Sidenote: About blue light: …Findings confirm that blue light at night stimulates alertness and diminishes the feeling of being drowsy (i.e. awake), interfering with sleep. Exposure to blue light during the day, however, results in a similar, more welcome boost to alertness and reduction to fatigue, which stand to benefit both daytime function and nighttime rest¹. So this paradox to how I felt in the tank is beyond me. Like I said, I was awake, but so relaxed some may call it sleep because we don’t know anything else other than sleep. Or do I now? Re-queue spooky vibes.