Oh my… how I love long distant adventure.
There is nothing like getting on a plane and arriving somewhere exotic, far away, which has taken over 8 hours (of floating around in the blue, with wisps of white) to arrive. Those feelings of cramp in the legs.
The joy of eating a three course meal off your lap, whilst sitting in front of the t.v. as the person in front reclines their seat!
I’m only joking.
For me there is nothing better than travelling to somewhere I’ve never visited before or finding a passion in a place where I never thought I would.
Living and working in the UK, we are fortunate to have some great places to visit, right on our doorstep. And in the run up to christmas. Yep, I’ve mentioned the C word. The autumnal and winter wonderland we have to play with both here and abroad, enables us to easily enjoy a long weekend or a short mid week break to recharge and stimulate our senses and souls.
We all have to deal with routine – it doesn’t matter if you are a world class performer in cirque du soliel, a travel blogger moving from destination to destination. Or someone who works in an office. If you look, you’ll find routine. Even declaring you don’t have a routine is a routine. See where I’m coming from?
There are certain tasks which we do on a daily basis. (Check out my insta post today as I talk about meditation in the mundane. It’ll take you through the five steps to create it in your everyday life, without ever stepping into a yoga studio or leaving the house!)
Television shows like Travel Man: 48 hours in… give you an idea about where you can go and what you can do.
One of my favourites was visiting Paris on Eurostar and celebrating a 25th wedding anniversary under the eaves of the Eiffel Tower with my husband.
Another was exploring Barcelona as a solo, single, female traveller. On this trip I was fortunate to have Victoria – owner of Barcelona Shopping Scouts to show me round and take me to eat deliciously delectable, Catalan cuisine in places only a local would know to go.
Don’t even get me started on the majesty of the alps surrounding the cornflower blue waters of Lake Brienz – the perfect place to visit for a short christmas break and one which offers stunning views from Grindlewauld as you toboggan down its snowy slopes.
And on my return from Thailand, I visited Poland for the first time to explore the city of Kraków and the darker past of world war two when visiting Auschwitz
A short break engages us with ourselves – as a society we can be constantly encouraged not to naval gaze but to look out, to be of service to others. But without taking care of ourselves, how can we properly – from a place of discernment, understand the need in doing this for others.
I don’t know about you but whenever I’m going somewhere new. I’m never quite sure about what I’ll find, what the vibe will be – how I’ll feel when there, what it has to offer me as an individual or if it will fulfil my expectations from what I’ve heard from others or read myself. Short breaks stimulate the mind – bringing flux back into movement and enable us to indulge in something we enjoy, would like to experience or can do.
Simon Kemp and his colleagues at the University of Canterbury in New Zealand investigated this very issue in a paper involving 49 holidaying participants who were surveyed before, every day during, and after their trip. The main finding was that although holiday duration didn’t make a difference to recalled happiness, the peak-end rule wasn’t that accurate either. Instead, overall recalled happiness on holiday was most strongly associated with participants’ happiness during their most memorable or unusual 24-hour period of the holiday. The Psychologist. British Psychological Society
So maybe Mr Kemp has the right idea – better to make a trip something short and memorable or try something unusual and on the edge of your comfort zone!
One thing I do know as a Therapist, is that taking a short break or a long holiday – should not involve escapism from your life, otherwise it’s best to look at what’s not working, then create some sort of slow change to enhance your overall wellbeing. Travel can help to do this for you. As outside of your community and society there is a certain kind of freedom which can never be replicated within it.
Although whatever your reason. What’s not to love about travel.
Get outdoors. Go explore. Travel!