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A break from city life in Birmingham: A treat for the soul

While I love my life in the hustle and bustle of Birmingham, the fast-paced, frenetic energy of my ‘day’ job and all the excitement that being an escort brings to my life, I was very lucky to be able to take a quick trip away recently.

Scheduling time for myself can be difficult, particularly during these difficult and uncertain times, when the ebb and flow of lockdown and the advice we are given seems to change every day. However, I found myself with a small break in my calendar, before starting a new role in my career and although usually, I would fill it with fun and sexy dates or meet ups with friends, I decided to seize the opportunity to get away from city life and seek out relaxation, fresh air and a long overdue date with my Kindle.

Although lockdown had paused the regular gym sessions and spontaneous cocktails and lavish lunches in Birmingham bars and restaurants, having fun with clients and with members of the IndieColl gang, I still found the slower pace of life quite unfamiliar at first on my trip away. No shops to wander round or weekend rendezvous with friends, but instead, waking to beautiful sunrises and a calendar that I was able to fill with fun and forgotten pursuits; hiring bicycles and touring the countryside, lounging in the sun, exploring parks and open spaces and of course long, lazy lie-ins, if I fancied one.

At first, I found it a bit uncomfortable to be asking for a ‘table for one’ to enjoy a bite to eat or a refreshing drink, and the temptation to pull my phone from my bag and check my emails and Twitter crept into my brain at first. But I kept reminding myself that this was me time, that there was no stigma to being on my own. I didn’t need to keep chasing the electric flow and beat of city life. I could simply just be and survey the beautiful views and soak up the ambience around me. I had chosen this time to give by body and brain a chance to refresh and reinvigorate, and that is exactly what I did.

It’s a funny old situation, if you’ve been lucky enough to have this opportunity for yourself. On the first day I felt a little out of sorts, like there was something I should be doing that I couldn’t quite put my finger on. But after these feelings (rather quickly) subsided, I started to wake up with a little more clarity about my thoughts and feelings, about what is important to me and why I choose my rich and colorful (but sometimes frenetic and incredibly fast-paced) lifestyle.

Without doing anything more than waking up and letting the day unfold, I was learning about myself and what makes me tick, without having to wade through all the menial and mundane brain traffic that can cloud my daily judgement. Just like my weekend away to visit our fabulous Harriet a few weekends ago, being away on my own allowed to me to enjoy new or well-loved hobbies, I’d forgotten about, or not had the time to explore for a long time.

I’ve always been blessed with an independent soul, but even so, a solo trip away can feel a little daunting at times. Many of us during lockdown, have had to learn to appreciate our own company, but during that time, I for one have was blessed with the never-ending support from my friends and particularly the IndieColl family.

Yes, I have learnt to accept my own company, but that wasn’t something I (or anyone else) luxuriated in during the peak of lockdown and I had a stark revelation that even the most die-hard of friends would struggle to get you out of a tight spot when you’ve driven off for a spontaneous mini holiday!

Although I treasure my independent nature, travelling solo can give you a little wobble of confidence. My usual back-up plans and go to methods for getting out of a sticky situation weren’t so readily available and I was aware I was my own safety net more so than usual. Yes, I could always call for help if I got myself in a sticky situation, but for little day-to-day issues I had to rely on my own judgement and self-sufficiency.

There is most certainly a world of difference between being alone and being lonely. For me, like many others, lockdown could be a lonely place at times, but to chose to embrace your own company alone, is an entirely different thing altogether.

Now I must make it clear I didn’t frolic off on my travels with a purse bursting with cash and a bank account begging to be sullied. Like all of us, I have had to be much more frugal with my spending during these times.

Likewise, during my trip away I had to keep in mind this wasn’t my trip of a lifetime. I treated myself to a glass of wine and a tasty meal at a local restaurant on my final night to bid farewell to my mini holiday, but apart from that, my car was loaded with snacks from home and I opted for things that were free. Exploring small, remote villages and the surrounding countryside, taking in the fresh air, packing my lunch in my rucksack, and letting the day unfold at will.

Now looking back, I think my only splurge was to hire a bicycle for the day! And it really proved the old adage, that the best things in life are (nearly) free.

So now I’m back from my little jolly and settled into my usual routines, with a return to the hustle and bustle of Birmingham life and a new job to wrap my head around. However, I feel refreshed, relaxed and instilled with the confidence that I am autonomous and independent. I don’t need to be loaded with cash to take a little trip away, I don’t need lots of time to hop in my car and drive somewhere new, and my planning, from the decision to taking my trip to actually venturing away took a grand total of 12 hours of planning! That in itself is a very freeing feeling, particularly on a much tighter budget than I’d usually have at my disposal. And I have to say that having to think outside the box and search for activities within my budget, put down my phone and look at the world around me, made my time away that much more precious.

Thank you once again to the amazing IndieColl crew; my friends, confidantes, and the coolest girl gang in town.

I’m also so excited that our website is now live. The whole Indie team has played a part in making this happen, however Amanda Jones was the driving force behind this vision, and we would be eternally grateful for your feedback and comments on our website: The Indie Collective.

For up-to-date information on my day to day life you can visit me on Twitter @MsLaurenBrook, and the rest of the gang too @IndieColl.

Stay safe and happy, with all my love, Lauren xx

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