I learned my lesson
I used to scoff at holidaying. The art of holidaying? Nope. That was just frivolous and silly.
Then I got busy.
More screens and more accounts demanding my attention. More meetings squeezed into a day.
I realized my mistake.
The art of holidaying is not frivolous. It’s a necessity.
For me, holidaying takes some practice. I can’t just ‘switch off’, flake out on a lounge chair and chill. My mind races. My hands twitch towards my phone.
And holidaying is not at all the same as travelling. Travelling, which I’m pretty good at, is about exploration and adventure. But holidaying is about relaxation and a conscience attempt to simply stop and rest.
(Yikes. Is it bad that I feel like I need to practice holidaying? Anyone else feel that way?)
Anyway, it’s even more difficult when you’re trying to bring as much ethical luxury to your holiday as possible. Because
sometimes, okay all the time, my holidays just can’t include eco-hotels and permaculture yoga farms. Maybe that’s in my future but these days our holidays are on a gorgeous beach with a meh hotel.
If you follow Peace Flag House on social, you’ll know (mostly because of our silence) that we had a lovely week-long holiday back in April.
Yes, it was in Cuba.
Yes, it was at an all-inclusive resort (forgive us, there was a conference).
No, it wasn’t 5 star. Not an eco-hotel or luxury anything in sight.
And we had a great time. I know, gasp!
I’m a thinker so, naturally, I’ve been thinking about why we, chronic over-workers, had a good time at a non-luxury, totally meh hotel. How did it happen?
A month later and I think I’ve got some answers.
3 secrets to the fine art of holidaying
Step #1. Believe in Your Holiday – I know it sounds silly but you’ve got to believe that you deserve your holiday. I spent years feeling like I didn’t deserve a holiday unless I was exhausted, physically ill and clinging to mental coherence by a thread. That was the thinking underlying my scoffing-that’s-so-frivolous attitude.
Now I know that holidays don’t cure those realities, they prevent them. Think of your holiday as a radical, courageous act of self-care and preventative medicine. You deserve self-care and medicine, right? Then you deserve your holiday.
Step #2. Turn It All Off – I know this is scary but it’s worth it. Turn off your phone, your tablet, your laptop. In fact, why did you even bring them? Stash your devices in your luggage and forget about them (the photo above isn’t even from this holiday because we didn’t really take any photos). Taking a digital break is imperative to a successful holiday.
Sure, it’s tempting to post awesome photos of you posing next to the pirate-ship bar on the beach but what if you just…didn’t? Would the world stop? Would you cease to exist? Or would you just bask in the moment of watching a fellow with a gold-hoop earring pour you a mojito while the sun goes down over the sea? I’ll take the basking.
Step #3. Unplan – In our daily life, Pascal and I share a packed, colour-coded Google calendar (okay, so Pascal’s raising an eyebrow right now because his calendar is colour-coded and he wishes mine was). We are so scheduled and planned that if you want to have dinner with us we’ll suggest a date two months from now.
But going on holiday means a break from the tyranny of the calendar. It gives you the delicious opportunity to unplan and just go with the day. Your top priorities quickly become a. eating, b. lounging, c. heading to the beach/comfy chair/trail/happy place, and d. repeating a through c.
Sigh…that is all.
Looks easy, right?
I warn you these 3 secrets are deceptive in their simplicity. To master them takes focus, determination and most importantly practice. I like to practice at least once a year. Twice is better.
But don’t beat yourself up if you hit the beach and can’t stop checking your phone or wondering about that work project.
Take a deep breath and remember that few of us hit the bull’s eye on the first shot. The fine art of holidaying is a skill and you’ve just got to practice more.
What’s your fine art of holidaying tip? Do you have any strategies? Great stories? Best holidays? Sharing your thoughts and experiences helps us all learn to live with ethical luxury. Please leave us a comment below!
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