Warning: This post is going to sound incredibly hippie dippie, but that’s what happens when you spend a weekend in Tofino.

It’s been a long time since I have felt really relaxed. I don’t mean the type of relaxed you feel after going for a walk or having a bubble bath. I mean the no deadlines and no expectations type of relaxed you can only feel when you’re on vacation – and I finally got to experience that this past weekend.

On Friday morning, I packed my car and drove up to Tofino for the May long weekend. It’s usually the first camping weekend of the summer – at least here on Vancouver Island – so traffic on the highway is always a little crazy, but once we got past Duncan the trip was smooth sailing. And other than checking Facebook a few times, posting a couple pictures on Instagram and replying to a few texts, I spent the majority of my weekend doing two things: spending time with the people I was with and catching up on some much-needed sleep.

Our group of 10 people included friendships that were 15+ years old and formed new ones between people who had met for the very first time. For some of us, this was our 3rd or 5th or 10th time going up together. For others, it was their first time joining us. Tofino is a special place for all of us and we spent the weekend laughing and making new memories together. There was surfing on Chesterman Beach, a girl’s stand up paddleboarding session on MacKenzie Beach, beach days and beach fires, BBQs and birthday cakes. It was exactly what I needed.

Stating the obvious, I’ve been pretty stressed out lately. As someone who is both goal-oriented and deadline-driven, my constant back and forth between Victoria and Vancouver has given me no time to get settled into my “new life”. It’s May 21st and I’ve only spent 7 nights in my new apartment – and I won’t be back again until the 26th. After that, I’ll be travelling every 2-3 weeks for the next many months, which has been stressing me out both mentally and financially. Fortunately, getting away this weekend helped me see that I don’t really have anything to complain about…

I am so lucky to be living and working on the West Coast again. Working in Vancouver has given me the opportunity to meet a number of entrepreneurs in the real estate startup industry, which constantly inspires me and helps me create a presence for us on the West Coast. And living so close to home gives me the opportunity to come back once/month for celebrations and vacations, like our trip to Tofino this past weekend and a number of upcoming weddings.

I love my new apartment. Seriously, I’ve never lived in a place as nice as this one. I have a huge kitchen to cook in, a built-in desk to work from, an open concept living space to relax in and a garden patio to soak up the sun on. And don’t even get me started on how nice it is to have a walk-in closet go from my bedroom to the bathroom. I know I’m only renting, but I couldn’t ask for a better place to start my new life on the mainland. All I need now is some art for my walls…

I’m almost debt-free. In 10 days, I’ll be making my final debt repayment. For some reason, I’ve been feeling like that day would be a little anti-climactic, but now the very thought of it makes me smile. Everything I’ve wanted is finally within my reach. I just need to maintain this month’s budget and write realistic budgets for the summer months, to accomplish all of my financial goals for the rest of this year. 10 days to go, 10 days to go… I’m still in shock (a good shock).

To try and maintain these positive thoughts, I have decided that my goal for this summer is to write a journal. I bought one a few weeks ago with the intention of giving it as a gift, but have decided to crack it open and keep it for myself. Blonde on a Budget is a fantastic space for me to share what is going on in my life, especially with my finances, but there are some things I still can’t express here… so, I’m going to write something just for me.