What I Learned my First Time Leaving the Country (on a Press Trip with my Boss!)

Happy Saturday, yo! I’m SO stoked to be re-introducing you to my intern around these rosy parts, Sarah. ICYMI, she so graciously agreed to accompany me on my recent press trip to Secrets Playa Mujeres in Mexico (read about that here and here!). So now…she’s gonna talk about it + spill the beans about leaving the country, traveling out of the USA on a press trip with me. 😉 BUT, more importantly, this post of hers is the first in a BRAND NEW SERIES on CUR, Saturday’s with Sarah. Sarah will be popping in on some Saturday’s (maybe every other Saturday – we’ll go off of what y’all want/think!) to share her own thoughts, experiences from college + beyond, + MORE. She’s sweet as can be + has bombdotcom eyebrows, and I know you’ll lovelovelove what she has to say.

So now, give a warm welcome to Sarah – she’s talking about what she learned on her first trip out of the country (which just so happened to be with her boss. 😉 )

Written By: Sarah Hanlon, Coming Up Roses Intern + Bosslady Extraordinaire + WORLD TRAVELER

Sarah Hanlon

Hey there! It’s been a hot sec since I was last here. Let me just say, you are the best people. You had such kind words for me when I did a little takeover of CUR (find it here, here and here), and I feel so incredibly #blessed that Erica trusts me enough to give me my own little corner on Coming Up Roses! To kick things off, I’m talking about the recent CUR trip to Mexico. AKA, the most epic five days of my life.It started a few weeks ago, when Erica FaceTimed me while I was at school. The conversation went a little something like this:

E- “Two questions: Do you want to go on a press trip with me for the blog?”

S- “Of course!”

E- “Okay, do you have a passport? Because this is an international trip.”

And of course…I didn’t have one. But you better believe that weekend I was on the next bus home to Pennsylvania to apply for and expedite my passport.

Fast forward to January 5th, the night before we left, and I was trying to fall asleep in Erica’s guest room (which really is as pretty as it looks here!) and it donned on me- I was about to leave the country. For the first time. Without my mom (FYI – my mom and I are tight. And even though I’m 20, part of me will always want my mom by my side).

But more than anything, I was excited. It was happening.

And I had the absolute best time. And I’m trying to convince my mom to book a return trip ASAP.

So, in the spirit of new and exciting experiences, here’s what I learned during my first trip leaving the country:

What I learned my first time out of the country - Leaving the country on a Press Trip with my boss!

When you do something, do it with an “all or nothing” attitude.

My entire mantra for this trip was “When in Mexico…”. AKA, I wanted to do everything and anything I had the opportunity to. How often do you get invited on a press trip to another country with your boss?? Not too often. So I was determined to make the most out of everything. For me, this meant trying new foods, learning as much Spanish as possible, ordering ~all~ the room service, and hitting up the spa multiple times (#holla). This also meant killing a huge cockroach that came into our room one night with our trashcan (you might have seen that ordeal on Erica’s Snapchat – that wasn’t a favorite experience of mine). But either way, when you do something, especially in a new country, you might as well go all out with it!

Octopus is disgusting.

Keeping with the “When in Mexico” theme, I ordered seafood risotto one night, and it literally came out with a tentacle on the plate. I knew I’d never order it again (because it looked pretty gross), but I knew I had to at least try it. You might’ve seen this on Snapchat too – and it wasn’t pretty. Long story short, I won’t be ordering octopus any time soon.

What I learned my first trip out of the country (on a Press Trip with my boss...!) - Saturday's with Sarah on Coming Up Roses

What I learned my first trip out of the country (on a Press Trip with my boss...!) - Saturday's with Sarah on Coming Up Roses

Facials aren’t as relaxing as you’d think.

I was so excited to get my very first facial…but it was NOT at all what I was expecting. Everything was fine and relaxing until the extractions started. And WOW, I was not expecting it to hurt that much. At one point, my therapist pushed down so hard on my nose right when I went to take a breath (to distract myself from the discomfort, of course) and it ended up coming out like a gasp, and she asked me if she needed to stop. Overall it was a good experience (and my skin surely felt refreshed), and I’d definitely get another one. But next time, I’d make my breathing more strategic.

Be truly thankful for what you have.

On the day we had an excursion to Chichén Itzá, the site of ancient Mayan ruins, we took a two-hour bus ride through the Mexican countryside to get there. And once you leave the luxurious resort, you get to really see what Mexico is like. Families live in shacks, stray dogs roam the streets, and the greenery is no where near as manicured as it is in the US. Being able to see what life is like in another county gave me a new perspective – and when I was bummed that the Starbucks in the Cancun airport didn’t accept payment from my Starbucks app, I remembered that things could be a lot different. And for that, I will always be grateful.

What I learned my first trip out of the country (on a Press Trip with my boss...!) - Saturday's with Sarah on Coming Up Roses

What I learned my first trip out of the country (on a Press Trip with my boss...!) - Saturday's with Sarah on Coming Up Roses

Take pictures of anything and everything.

When you get to experience a trip like this, you never want it to end. And as we departed our rooms for the last time on the golf cart (sounds luxurious, right??) I realized how much I didn’t want it to end, and how glad I was that I documented everything (even the cockroach and the octopus). And remember how I mentioned earlier that I’m trying to persuade my mom to plan a trip back? Those pictures and videos come in really handy when I’m trying to make her jealous enough to book the flight. ☺

Ladybosses never stop hustling.

Guys…believe me when I say Erica is the DEFINITION of a boss. During this entire “workcation”, she never stopped hustling. It was actually really inspiring to see someone so passionate about success work so hard despite the temptations of the gorgeous beach and the infinity pool just outside our door. They say a woman is just successful as the people she surrounds herself with – and having Erica in your life (whether in reality or just through the Internet) – means you’re #blessed.

What I learned my first trip out of the country (on a Press Trip with my boss...!) - Saturday's with Sarah on Coming Up Roses

Do you remember your first time leaving the country?

What did you learn? And have you ever traveled with your boss before?

Happy SATURDAY!sarah-signature

*Final Note from Erica: We’d lovelovelove to hear your thoughts, so drop ’em in a comment below! ALSO ALSO ALSO, I know y’all might be new to knowing Sarah, but if you have any requests for future Saturday’s with Sarah content from her, drop that in a comment, too – she’ll be responding to y’all like the total sweetheart that she is.

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