Holidays and types of travellers

Thursday, October 4, 2018 Permalink

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:

20 Comments
  • Jodie
    October 4, 2018

    I can totally relate Deb. I’ve come to the conclusion that I’m a terrible traveler. I love the idea of it. I love the planning of it. And I love it while I’m there, but I don’t like the go, go, go that seems to be part of it. Along with the fact that I’m definitely a home body. So being gone for more than 4-5 days is HARD on me. And my body…it gets all kinked up with the different beds and pillows.
    Not that it stops us from going places, but at least I know to expect those things!!!
    XOXO
    Jodie
    http://www.jtouchofstyle.com

    • Debbish
      October 5, 2018

      I remember hearing someone years ago talk about needing a ‘home base’ when they travelled so they weren’t able to be on the move a lot and it was something I could relate to.

      Amazingly I only had one uncomfy bed in Italy and found the pillows surprisingly good (which is weird as I like really flat soft pillows!)

  • Kate W
    October 4, 2018

    I love travelling but I hate airports/flights/ transfers – I just want to get to the place I’d chosen. I would travel more if budget allowed and if I could ditch long-haul flights!

    But thanks Deb, I’ve really enjoyed your Italy posts (I’m going at the end of the year so have picked up some tips along the way).

    • Debbish
      October 5, 2018

      Oh yes the travel thing… being soooo far from everything is problematic. I was joking when I arrived in Brisbane at my brother’s and saying to him (my SIL and niece) that watching Star Trek as a kid made me think we’d be able to bloody teleport by now!

  • Jo
    October 4, 2018

    As you know, I love travelling. These days I prefer to travel slowly – by which I mean not tick off as many places, but do a bit more of the watch the world go by wander type of thing. I still like to see those tourist spots, but prefer the off-season to the crowds.

    • Debbish
      October 5, 2018

      Yes, I think the enjoyment of a couple of places I expected to like more was impacted by the number of tourists…. though I wasn’t even there in peak season. I suspect I’d chosen a few cliched kind of tourist traps as well!

  • Natalie
    October 4, 2018

    Welcome back, Deb! I enjoyed reading your Italy posts. I hope you aren’t suffering much from jet lag. When I travel, I try to stay three nights at each place, or use one location as a base then take day trips if possible. I have a nomadic tendency and have done long term travel but I don’t pack my days with events or sights. Aimless wandering or sitting at a cafe to watch the world go by are both wonderful travel experiences that indulge our senses. #teamlovinlife

    • Debbish
      October 5, 2018

      Yes Natalie I think the places I only stayed two nights felt a bit too short as essentially one day was spent travelling (4-6+hrs on a train), then I had a full day in a place, then I’d be on the road again. Of course if I ever got to go back I’d go to completely different places I suspect (I’d keep Tuscany and the Amalfi Coast on the agenda though).

  • writeofthemiddle
    October 4, 2018

    Welcome (nearly) home! I really enjoyed your Italy photo’s! I have to say that I too am a bit like you when it comes to travel. I love discovering and exploring new places but the go, go, go exhausts me and at my heart I am a homebody who loves home. SO I need to do things at a slower pace and not be away for too long I guess (not that I ever have been). I don’t like the suitcase thing much – hauling it around and living out of it and I get a bit claustrophobic on planes. The longest flight I’ve ever done though is only around 8 hours (to Singapore). I still want to get to Europe and the UK one day regardless of my travel shortcomings! 🙂 #TeamLovinLife

    • Debbish
      October 5, 2018

      My travel across seemed to take forever and it was almost 31hrs from when I’d left to when I got to my hotel in the end. The longest flight was only about 14hrs as well, but it’s the waiting in between flights and before flights that adds up. (Not to mention the in-country travel.) I did everything by train so was often travelling for most of the day, though by the end I was saying, “This is only a 4.5hr train trip!”

  • leannelc
    October 4, 2018

    Glad you’re home safe and sound and had such a great time while you’re away. I think I fall into the same category as you with needing to not be constantly on the go. I find that I come home from overseas trips feeling like a wrung out dishcloth and not refreshed at all. I think I’ll wait until I can go for a decent chunk of time before I head to Europe etc again but I did enjoy our week in Rottnest last year because there was sunshine and relaxing and strolling and cycling – and getting away from the day to day life. We’re going again this year for that exact reason.

    • Debbish
      October 5, 2018

      Yes, I guess it’d be nice to go somewhere relatively close for a relaxing week or so – long enough to have a break, but far enough from home so you don’t feel like you’re just having a weekend away. Most of my in-Australia travel has been for a purpose: to catch up with people, go to something etc…

  • BoomingOn
    October 4, 2018

    Welcome home. It’s a constant dilemma of travelling – just how busy to be and how much to put in. Even though I imagine I’ll sit around a pool reading on a holiday, I rarely do. I tend to be very busy, and do lots and see lots. I figure I can always do nothing at home.

    • Debbish
      October 5, 2018

      That’s great as I’m the opposite. I mean I spent time reading at home but don’t tend to sit around and watch Netflix or go out for meals etc… so it kinda feels like they’re things I should do on holidays. (Maybe I need to work on my normal-life routines!)

  • Denyse Whelan
    October 4, 2018

    I have loved seeing your pics and words from this trip. I recall on my one and only trip OS being so tired out OS needed to rest but then I thought of the time I was wasting when it would not be something I would do again. I did learn to take a few more rest times and do what I could but I sure needed new sneakers when I returned to Hawaii. My feet were OVER it.

    • Debbish
      October 5, 2018

      Yes, after my first few days I was getting really bad cramps in my legs at night and I realised it was from all of the walking on cobblestone and pavements (and uneven surfaces). I actually didn’t mind the hot sweaty walking if I knew I could go back to my hotel and have a shower. It was really only after my fall that the walking became problematic – though I was still able to do everything I’d wanted.

  • Kathy Marris
    October 4, 2018

    Welcome back Deb. I followed your travels through Italy and was slightly jealous as I absolutely loved this country. I actually despise being a tourist and visiting crowded tourist attractions. I like to get into the backstreets and explore places in depth. Rushing from one place to another is not my thing at all. I like to take my time to savour each place.

    • Debbish
      October 5, 2018

      Yes… I guess if I ever went back I’d do that and in reality I didn’t do THAT much given I had just over 3wks. The week in Tuscany was as lovely as I’d imagined it to be.

  • Janet Camilleri aka Middle Aged Mama
    October 5, 2018

    Yep, definitely need downtime when I travel otherwise it’s not a holiday. That’s probably why I’ve never done a tour group type holiday – I’d probably tell them to stick it when it’s time to get up! LOL

    • Debbish
      October 5, 2018

      I think I’d be a bit the same Janet. I did two small group short tours on my trip – one was a full-day boat trip to the Amalfi Coast (just 11 of us) and the other (a dozen of us) on a 2hr walking tour in Italy.

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