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Don’t you just love those long Summer days which roll into the evening and before you know it, the sun is setting? They are my favourite kind of days. The ones you don’t plan for, they simply happen and that’s the beauty in them. There’s no pressure, no watching the clock or having to be in a certain place for a certain time. Previously for me, most of those days would occur on holiday when out of the usual routine of day to day mundane life. It takes a good a few days to switch off from the grind and settle into the surroundings but from then on it’s pure bliss. Whether it was a city break or a tropical beach holiday, the freedom and adventure take over and that’s likely why most of these kind of memories occurred overseas and I’d say that’s what I miss most about not travelling these last 18 months.
Taking a week off work and staying at home doesn’t have the same effect as leaving your surroundings completely and exploring somewhere new. It’s easy to fold in everyday tasks and errands which you wouldn’t do if you were elsewhere and prevents you having a clear break from day to day life. I haven’t spent one night out of my house since early March 2020. Don’t get me wrong, I love my home and my own bed but it’s a very long time to have habited the exact same space, especially when you work, eat and relax all in that one environment. When you return to work after a period of annual leave, you don’t feel rejuvenated or refreshed and within hours it’s as though you’d never been away. Having been in that cycle for a while now and with no prospect or desire to travel internationally any time soon, I need to change the process and my mindset.
For my next period of annual leave, I’ll be making a reservation at a hotel even if it’s only for one or two nights to ensure I have that clear separation between work and leisure. I’ll try and ensure I complete any mundane tasks such as post office runs or a food shop before my break commences or leave anything that can wait until my break is over. I’ll also ensure I have a balance of planned activities as well as free days with no commitments in order to create the opportunity for spontaneity and nostalgic memories to be made here at home or wherever I might be.