Holidays as a means for personal growth

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The constant life-work-rest struggle. How do we work well, find time to see friends, eat well, keep healthy and fit, stock up on those 8 hours and be mindful and happy? Sometimes it seems like getting our 8 hours gets in the way of our fun but there are also seasons in our life when our productivity slumps. This is where holidays come in. When life gets overwhelming, a holiday seems like the ideal means of escape and an opportunity for rejuvenation. Yet despite our best intentions, sometimes we ram our holidays so jam-packed of activities and itineraries that our holiday doesn’t feel like a ‘holiday’. Hands up if you have ever come back from a holiday feeling more tired than when you left? This is a reality for all of us. Rather than viewing holidays as an obligatory period throughout the year where we ‘have fun’, drink too much and do everything we didn’t have time to do or see throughout the year, let’s begin to consider holidays and travel as a healthy component of a balanced life. We should be viewing holidays as a time of personal growth and outward discovery and utilizing their potential to transform our mindsets and influence the patterns of our life. So, how to strike the balance between work, life and rest even on holiday?  

1. Boat rental

 Renting a boat can be a great way to fuse relaxation and activity. You can stay physically active, while exploring different coves and bays as well as disconnect from the hustle and bustle of everyday life. Sailing has been scientifically proven to be beneficial for your health; it requires agility, flexibility and core strength and being on the water is soothing for the mind, body and soul. Transport can be a stressful part of any holiday, fueling arguments about what train to get or sparking debates as to which ticket will work out the cheapest option at the ticket machine. A boat rental means you are removed from the rushes of people, the crammed buses and you can fully switch-off and unwind. If you are holidaying somewhere by the sea, this will also give you the opportunity to explore hidden beaches, some of which are only accessible by boat and will help to make your holiday a unique experience.  

2. Plan

 This one may seem obvious and may not be what you want to hear (sorry) but planning is crucial if you really want to keep your holiday restful. Put in the work before you go when you have Internet resources, advice from friends and time on your side. Knowing how to get around, where you are staying, and the centrality of your location are all important factors but equally knowing where you want to go will prove helpful and give you a sense of purpose. Plan which monuments or museums you want to visit and know where they are in relation to each other to save the time you will spend getting to each site. No one wants to spend an hour on a bus going back to an area where you have already visited to see the thing you missed the first day. Maximizing your time will clear up mornings and afternoons to chill in a cute coffee shop or be spontaneous.  

3. Follow your gut

 On a similar note to planning, don’t over-plan. Only you know how much you can take on in the time you are in your destination. Are you an early riser or a night-owl? Plan accordingly and maybe don’t pack in a sunrise hike if you were checking out a fun bar the night before.Don’t be afraid to say ‘no’ to opportunities and never measure your experience by what other people have done or seen in the same destination. A holiday looks different for everyone and we shouldn’t be guilt-tripped into visiting the sites that don’t fascinate us in the same way just because of a sense of obligation or to please others. Take recommendations and be open-minded; but be kind to yourself too. You will enjoy your experience so much more if you feel fresh each day and have the energy to absorb and process what you see.  These 3 tips may sound basic but it’s putting them into practice which will always be more of a wall to climb. Rest does not mean lying horizontally on a beach for everybody. Don’t let anybody tell you that a city break cannot be restful. What’s important to remember is that true rest on holiday comes in the freedom to decide what you would like to do with the time you have, accepting this will not look the same for each individual and finding contentment and peace in that.    


 

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