As a lot of you know Roger and I are married and we also work together every day in the business.   It’s always been very hard for us to organise any kind of time away – let alone a special holiday without the kids!

But this time last year Roger and I set sail in the Kimberley for 10 full days. We unplugged ourselves from the world and our business; no internet, no phones, no kids, no dogs.  It was just us with 5 couples, 5 crew members, and no one else for miles.

Pure bliss! For 10 days we didn’t have a care in the world.

Roger and I had been dreaming of taking this kind of holiday for about 20 years.  Last year was the perfect time for it too as 2017 marked our 21st Wedding Anniversary and it was also Roger’s 50th Birthday.

Life is too short to not make things happen as you never know how long you have.  I always try to live my life to the fullest and encourage my family to do the same.  I was adamant to make this holiday dream a reality.

Planning Our Getaway

While the holiday itself was an absolute dream, the logistics for it was one of the most difficult things I’ve ever had to organise.  There was so much to think about and put in place.

I managed to get friends to look after the business; pack the orders and make sure the social media was taken care of. Unfortunately, we didn’t have anyone to look after the kids, so I arranged an au pair.

I needed to create a very precise list of instructions for each person to follow. I had to make sure the au pair understood all her tasks (make sure the kids were fed, got enough sleep and went to school). On top of that, I also needed to organise people to take the kids to their sporting activities and others to check in periodically on the kids and au pair. Frankie needed to be checked up on and simple tasks like putting the bins out needed to be included on a list – otherwise I might have come home to a pile of rubbish.

It was so stressful making sure everything was in order, because of course as soon as we stepped on the boat there would be no phone or internet.

The Joys of Being Unplugged

One of the best parts of the whole trip was being unplugged, which really allowed us to enjoy our time. It was so nice to just kick back, hang out with some great friends and take time to make new friends along the way.

When we arrived on the boat it took me a few days to really get into it. I had to get my sea legs and really work at not worrying about things back home. But once I was able to relax it was the best feeling.

The whole trip was filled with laughter, great food (Oh my gosh, the food!) and spectacular scenery which made for terrific photo opportunities.  A record Wet Season in the Kimberley meant that the waterfalls were bigger than ever. You might think we’d get tired of seeing waterfalls but not one of us did. Honestly, it was so much better than I ever dreamed it could be.

The Importance of Making Time

Making time for your own needs and taking time away from the business are crucial parts of running a successful business.

Of course, this is often easier said than done.

But if you work long hours day in and day out and you let yourself get overtired then you’re only going to hurt your business in the long run.

If you let yourself get overworked you’re going to see negative effects such as a loss of productivity. You’re going to have trouble thinking clearly and run the risk of making mistakes or wrong decisions. You’ll also run the chance of being less than helpful/pleasant to your customers and worst of all you probably won’t even notice it.

Everything will go on without you

I remember at the end when asked: “what was the best thing about the trip?” I wasn’t able to reply, I was just so emotional. I could not believe we had managed to do it! The moment we were in range I called the kids and was so relieved to find out it was as if we’d never left.

It was such a relief to realise I had nothing to worry about. We are truly so blessed to have such great friends and family that we were able to call on. It really taught me that there’s nothing wrong with needing help or asking for a favour; people are often more than happy to help.

Roger_Denise-Dunn_Time_Out_Slappa's_ThongsFor Roger and I that trip was a necessity. After we got back I was able to see just how much we’d needed a holiday. Before we left we were physically exhausted and had been putting our work ahead of our health.

What I learnt once we got home was that didn’t need to be the case – everyone could cope without us. So if you’re going to take one thing away from this blog let it be this; don’t wait for special birthdays or anniversaries or when you can afford the dream holiday, take a break when you need it.

I started Slappa’s so that I could learn, be successful in my own right and gain a little flexibility to allow me to spend quality time with my kids and my husband.  I’ll make sure that I don’t leave it so long before our next getaway!

Thongs On!

Denise

P.S. I highly recommend a trip to the Kimberley there are a number of ways to do it. We chose to sail with The Lady M Kimberley Cruises. Matt & Dylan, the owners and skippers of the boat, along with their staff, deliver a world-class cruise and are fantastic hosts.