Unpacking Our Baggage

What girls' trips are really about

Trip To West Palm Beach, Florida

A few years back in West Palm Beach, Fla., my friend Aviva (not her real name) stared at me with her dark brown eyes and simply said, “There’s a lot you can do to change your life.”

Her face was serious, minus her usual eye twinkle and big smile—two uplifting sights I have grown accustomed to seeing since kindergarten.

At that moment, she knew I needed some tough love, some straight talk, to stop bitching about my job and quit.

Two months later, I did.

Aviva changed her life a few years later, leaving a good man who just wasn’t the right man. And a few years before that, our friend Dee had changed her life by finding a doctor who could help her get pregnant. She and her husband had almost given up.

Any of these events could have happened at any time, but they all happened shortly after one of our yearly girls’ trips, when seven of us—friends from elementary school, junior high and high school—now living up and down the East Coast get together again for four days.