Sometimes we just need to get away, right? How many times have you fanaticized about just getting away to a different place, a new space, another place and time? Maybe you could leave everything behind for just a little while.

The idea of getting away sounds really appealing. I know I thought so. I had moved in with my dad in my childhood home to care for him during a short home-hospice time after his lung cancer diagnosis. I dreamed of going somewhere else. In fact, that was how I coped with watching my dad’s illness progress. I sat at the kitchen table into the night, watching over him sleeping in the hospital bed in the living room and dreamed of going somewhere, anywhere really.

When the time came and I was really able to go away, I was a bit overwhelmed with all the options and could not actually make a decision. Finally, I contacted a travel agent and shortly thereafter I was poolside in Jamaica. I had gotten away.

However, on that trip, I learned the difference between going away and running away. I thought that some time away from home, alone, would help me recover from a year full of junk. Instead, I escaped and experienced an amazing trip and surreal surroundings. At times, I even felt a bit numb and probably drank too much. I had run away.

When we run away, we leave and immerse ourselves in pleasure as a way to distract from what’s really bothering us. In fact, the very things that make us feel like we need to get away are often the things we’re running away from. When we’re gone, it’s easy to pack those issues into the dark recesses of our mind and instead focus on the lovely (distracting) pleasures. The downside is that we are kidding ourselves.

These issues don’t just go away because we went away. In fact, when we return, we often anticipate that things will be different or better. Instead, things rarely change. We are forced to confront the real issues that were compelling us to escape.

We deserve to take that time and space, but we need it to do the work – to process what’s going on in way that allows for some detached perspective.

This is the difference between going away and running away. When you go away to find yourself, you get a chance to reclaim your voice and to get some perspective.

Going away doesn’t have to be some exotic, expensive, extended trip. Instead, it needs to be an opportunity to get away from your commitments, to focus only on yourself, to clear your head by doing the work.

When done properly, you come back refreshed, recommitted, and re-energized. So the next time you think you need a break, take some time to get clarity on what work you need to do, and then go away to do that work. You deserve it and you’ll be better for taking that time for yourself!

Jennifer Buchholz, Polka Dot Powerhouse member Jennifer Buchholz is a member of the Milwaukee Polka Dot Powerhouse chapter. She is the owner of Transform via Travel, where she coaches women to go on journeys of self-discovery using solo travel as a means to get out of their comfort zone. She has a passion for travel, and for personal growth and development. Her work allows her to combine the two and help others! This year she's launched her first book: Go Solo!: A Savvy Woman's Guide to Transformation & Self - Discovery Through Travel, she is leading women's group trips to Dominican Republic and Haiti, and she's launching her podcast Go Solo LIVE! in July.