Thursday, 23 September 2010

I nearly wrote TGIF

Because tomorrow is a public holiday in South Africa, it feels like today is Friday. Yay for long weekends!

TSC and I will be house-sitting for my folks while they are in Durban. I'm looking forward to sitting next to the pool (even if it's with my laptop to get my big story done in time for Monday's deadline) and just being away from home. It means that I have an excuse not to do all the niggly little things on my to-do list (everything from sorting out my beads and magazines to cleaning out my bedside drawer, which is one of those places in our house where homeless objects like spare batteries and lone earrings seem to collect).

It's not a holiday, but it's a nice break. I was thinking that yesterday and TSC asked me what I was pondering. I said that I was trying to figure out what makes a holiday for me. For him, it's being able to do what you want when you want. I thought about it some more and realised that for me, what defines a proper holiday is:
  • Not having to do the annoying daily chores and admin, like cleaning, phoning clients, answering work emails and sorting out laundry. I enjoy camping and self-catering holidays, but my favourite treat is if we're away and don't have to worry about cooking our own meals or washing up afterwards.
  • Not having any major committments that impede spontaneity or flexibility. This is why visiting my gran in Mpumalanga counts as a break, but not a real holiday in my opinion. I'm constantly thinking about whether she'll be able to enjoy what we're doing, if she'll feel left out if we go somewhere without her, if we'll get in the way of her social activities etc. Ultimate holidays for me are where it's just me and TSC doing our own thing, or when I'm with people who don't mind everyone splitting up when they feel like it. My family are good like that - we all tend to gather for meals, but my grandparents are free to nap while my folks go for a drive and TSC and I play tennis. I hate it where you're away with people and there's no privacy and no chance for solitude. And unfortunately, TSC's family are the type who expect that when we're away with them, we can't even be on our own for 30min, which is probably why we struggle to be together for more than a few days at a time - it's two different ways of thinking that collide.
  • Not stressing constantly about finances. I don't mean I want to be able to just throw money around. I mean that it's difficult to relax when you can't really afford the holiday you're on. Friends of ours recently went to Australia and although they enjoed the experience, they said that they were on a really tight budget, but staying with friends who didn't understand that, and kept expecting them to join them at expensive restuarants or theatre shows. Our friends found it very stressful to be constantly rebudgeting to try to fit these things in. Personally, I'd rather save up for a long weekend and have enough spending money, than go on a week-long holiday where I'm constantly freaking out about the money and not really relaxing.
  • Doing something new. It doesn't have to be exotic or expensive, but doing something new or going on an adventure is part of a holiday for me, even if it's as small as seeing a bushbaby in the wild for the first time (which happened when we went to wonderful Sondela).
  • Having enough time to unwind. I've loved touring all the waterfalls in Mpumalanga, sunset horse-riding in Cape Town, doing a bridge swing in Zambia, swimming with dolphins in Zanzibar, visiting art galleries in Paris and all the other exploring I've been fortunate enough to do, but I also need time to sleep late, drink cocktails by a pool, take slow, wandering walks and generally just chill out. Without the chance to chill, as soon as I get back to work, it feels like the holiday never happened.
What about you lot? What defines a good, proper holiday for you?

PS: My bucket list is up on Being Brazen's blog! Yay ;-)


Hayley said...

Oh I am with you on ALL of the above...

Hope you get to relax a bit!

Happy Heritage Day!

Anonymous said...

I agree completely with and just add one more thing: the place must have a trampoline.

I know... I know it sounds childish (and is) but for real I only feel like I am on holiday then. Till I can afford and justify buying for myself. I'm not really fussy but Olympic sized trampoliines kind of do it for me. LOL.

And I'd like it to be longer than a week and no more than two- if its a short holiday- It's just cuz if it's five days. You spend the first two unwinding, relax for one day and then the last two prepping yourself for normal life again.

Damaria Senne said...

I hope you relax a bit. A holiday for me is when I'm not on a schedule and I can do what I want, when I want.

po said...

Good question, I have been giving this much though as I am DESPERATE for a holiday right now. It is important to leave my home and go away somewhere new. I love exploring and seeing new cultures and beautiful nature, but what is most important is to be away from the daily grind. That is crucial for me, it's like coming out of a tunnel into a calm pattern of thinking where I can be removed from everyday routine and mundanity. So chill time is very important. I find if I can have chill time and fun time somewhere in a beautiful place, then I can come back to my life full of enthusiasm and new ways of thinking that I couldn't have found without being removed from my daily life. It's like having blinkers on, holidays remove them.

Ah holidays!

po said...

Haha Paula: I like ou major requirement for a holiday, a place with a trampoline, awesome!

Hardspear said...

Spending time at the coast, on the beach, swimming in the sea, having sundowners somewhere overlooking the sea with the surf breaking on the beach/rocks...

And everything in your post & all the comments. To add on to Paula - trampoline, pool & put-put course.

Helen said...

sounds awesome! I want a holiday now!

I think it's just a break from routine, and spending time outdoors is a prereqisite. Spending time doing things you never manage to spend enough time doing at home. For me its exploring, being quiet, playing with my camera, just being away from civilisation.

Angel said...

I'm with you on what makes a holiday. I'm all for short breaks, but a holiday has to be done properly!