I’m very lucky - Ive just had a three week holiday - and it has been a very good rest from my usual routine. Ive learnt to appreciate (again), that ‘down time’ is an integral part of ‘up time’. Holidays for me mean I’m in charge of my own time. I love that!
Ive been stimulated to consider what makes a holiday a really great holiday. What is a good outcome? Certainly getting out of routine is a large part of it for me - but what about you ? And is there more to it than that? Are their some x factors or a formula? .
Here are some questions to get you thinking:
1. What activities allow you to (enjoyably and peacefully)lose track of time?
2. What places or experiences really feel like an expansive energy re charge?
3. Is there a ‘where’ or ‘what’ that allows you to easily lose the ‘have to do’s’?
4. When and where do you most easily and naturally feel like yourself - what are you doing??? *
My answers are now more refined than ever - i love being in nature - wild and free - this is where I lose track of time and feel most like myself - it answers all the questions, including losing wifi - however I do like some simple creature comforts like good coffee, quality food and a comfortable bed (this might be a swag though).
I love different cultures. They make me re examine how I live my life. I also enjoy a bit of history. I also love meeting random people when i travel - in restaurants, on transport or even in queues. They allow me to see myself in a different light.
I dont like big crowds of people (unless its a cultural event eg a concert) so I’m now fairly clear that the big blockbuster cities of the world are best dived into and out for specifics eg lively and tasty food markets, an amazing art gallery, historic buildings. Big cities also often have incredible parks and gardens and these can be a great balancer for me also (back to nature again).
Very importantly a holiday gives me permission to sleep in, do nothing much and say no.
Tips for planning
If you are on a family / couple holiday ask everyone the questions above and find out what you have in common. Give everyone in your family/group a day or part of a day, to plan an activity for everyone to do. Have time away from devices and wifi - in fact planning to be in ‘no wifi’ places is a great way to drop the ‘have to do’s’. And after you return from a holiday? How have I reaped its rewards?
Attitude- I expected to have a lot of jumbling to untangle. Ive relaxed about how long it takes to do the less urgent. It’s taken me a few weeks to fully finish unpacking my bags. I got to work early on the first day to plan and list priorities before meeting other peoples needs (this might be clients or staff for or the phone ringing. Symbolic reminders to appreciate the holiday - eg if you’ve been somewhere beautiful put flowers in your workspace (even green foliage will make a difference). Or a photo of where you’ve been on your screen saver. Ive noted what has shifted for me internally and you can too. Did you make some decisions, even small that will impact your post holiday life? I came back with a subtle yet powerful sense of belonging and connection to some ancestors (I visited a remote part of Scotland where my great grandfather came from). Smile more - from the inside out. *Ref Stuart Brown’s definition of play.