I’m home from my Italian sojourn. People have been asking if I was sad for it to be over. And I’m not. I’m happy to be home (well, almost home as I write this!). Don’t get me wrong… I had a wonderful time and Italy certainly lived up to my expectations. But I’m keen for a break. Some normality. Some down-time.
I know (and met) people who knock off several countries in the 3+ weeks I spent in Italy, but it still felt like I crammed a little too much in. And of course that’s more about me than my itinerary as I’ve mentioned (often) that I’m not a great tourist. And I’m not an avid traveller.
I’d initially intended to try to spend long periods of time in each place (only really stopping in three places), but – as is always the case – my plans expanded and I added a location or two – and so forth.
Having said that, I had no less than 2 nights in any one place.
But it wasn’t until I was in Tuscany that I really started to relax. I’d like to think it was partially the location – and I’m sure it was. But it was also the fact that I….. STOPPED.
Most of my holidays in the past few decades have involved doing basically nothing. Not travelling anywhere (other than to my parents’ – and childhood hometown – for a visit) but rather having a break from work and my everyday life…. staying home and doing the stuff I’d wanted to do but didn’t have the time or headspace.
I’m sure I’m not alone in this dilemma. Our holidays / days off are few and far between so we’re torn when they come around….
Do we explore new worlds, new countries and cultures, or do we simply do nothing?
If you can afford it timewise and financially you can probably do both – have a holiday at a resort where you do SFA and then something exposing ourselves to new people and places.
Or there’s possibly some some combination of the two. I thought I had paced my trip pretty well and I mentioned that I was making a concerted effort post-retreat to not feel as if I HAD to play the role of rabid tourist.… seeing everything and anything. And certainly my last week involved a lot of downtime.
Naturally I’d do things differently if I had it to do again. I enjoyed the aimless wandering around streets that were different to my own. I enjoyed sitting at random cafes I found (which mentioned allergies or gluten-free on the menu) and watching the world pass by.
I mention this because one of the things I want to do (now I’ve returned to the real world) is work out how to inject some of that holiday vibe (or the sense that a life can be fun and enjoyable) into my everyday life.
I’m also intrigued if there are people who don’t mind the constant travel. Indeed, I certainly have met people who don’t mind living out of a suitcase or who feel energised by constantly being on the move. (Is it an introvert thing, my need for stillness? Or is it something I inherited from my non-travelling parents? I wonder.)
Do you need / prefer downtime when you travel? How do you achieve that balance between playing tourist (sightseeing etc) and relaxing?
The Lovin’ Life team includes: