A Real Holiday? Needs More Work!

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How long is it since you had a holiday? A real one -- not just time off work.

A time where you weren't looking after some family member, or spending obligatory time with the "family," or travellng with a difficult partner so you combined time away with heartbreak, or traveling alone and feeling desperately lonely, or using your holiday time to renovate the house/ paint/fix the car, etc.

It dawned on me recently that we can go years between having a wonderful, relaxing, no responsibility, emotionally comfortable, interesting break. Where we switch of our cells; and our most challenging decision is where to have breakfast, lunch and dinner.

Have you ever had the experience where you become so absorbed in some activity that the memory of the phone, and therefore the tension, slowly fades and you relax completely. At that moment, the phone gremlin who has been waiting patiently, makes the phone jangle it's loudest ring and you jump five feet and our of your skin?! That's the sort of impact phones can have on us. So beware -- and don't take your cell on holiday with you unless you keep it hidden until you want to ring out. For maximum relaxation value in our rushed, urgent, do it now, expect it yesterday society go on a holiday where you have no access to phones. Even if the thought scares you. I promise you'll make it to the end of the best holiday you've ever had!

In Canada, I didn't have to do anything in a hurry, or do anything I didn't want to, and I could have as much fun as I liked. I had new experiences like playing in a snowstorm and riding in gondolas millions of miles (or so it seemed) above the ground. I discovered a fantastic Canadian beer called Shaftsbury Honey Ale. In other words, I had a great break. And my body and mind loved it. My creativity has since soared -- where I was stuck before the break, the ideas and thoughts are running freely. My friends say I 'm speaking more slowly and sound and look more relaxed. OK lets be honest, I even know I'm more relaxed!

How easy it is, with life's daily pressures, to forget the need for REAL holidays. And not just time off work. They don't have to be expensive trips overseas. Camping and spending time in isolated bush, forests, tropical paradises, the beach or in any of the many glorious natural settings the world has, would have to be one of the best ways to recover, relax and restore our hearts, spirits, bodies and minds. Bushwalking is a great way to combine exercise, fresh air, magnificent scenery and the peace that comes from being surrounded by natural beauty.

In the past, if I have travelled overseas or away from home, I had been driven (not that I knew it at the time) to see, do and experience everything. Because it was there. And I had to get the best value for money! Even if I came home more exhausted than when I left! Was it age or immaturity or was I just brain damaged? Luckily, I have seen the light (or a blinding flash of the obvious) and realized that the old Buddhist saying "less is more" holds true for holidays as well.

We seem to be such a "more" driven society -- we cram more and more into what we call "life." And "more" seems to mean quality for many people. We feel cheated, or as if we waste time if we stop or go slow or spend time absorbing the energy of the place we are in.

Why walk the entire Milford Track in New Zealand in one day and nearly kill yourself with the pace -- not to mention miss the spectacular scenery, so you can see the rest of New Zealand in that week you have off, when you could take the three days it normally takes and you could feel the exhilaration of a unique experience, you could absorb the silence and let it penetrate and calm your soul; you could give your body gentle exercise, breathe fresh air, and you could above all, slow down and rest, recover, relax. Have real holiday at least once a year.


Amanda Gore

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