The Next Best Thing to Going on Holiday.
I don't know about you, but I am in dire need of a holiday. I'm counting down the days until the Yarra Valley (15) and Dubai (36) and the fact that these are both numbers less than 50 fills me with joy. I've got quite a few days more of work to get through before D-day (including this weekend) so I'm just going to have to make do with holiday memories. Don't get me wrong, I enjoy what I do but other parts of my life have done their worst on my energy levels and general sparkiness. I never thought I'd ever be in need of a holiday for emotional rather than work related fatigue.
Holidays have meant different things to me over the years.
My first holiday to the USA and Canada was also the first holiday I had financed completely on my own. It wasn't just an opportunity to see iconic buildings and cities in the flesh, it was an achievement. The saving, the planning, the travelling with a group of friends. It was also in the days before digital cameras became as commonplace as they are now so I don't really have any photos from the trip that I can easily upload.
This teddy bear was something I bought in San Francisco. It was made for me at a Build A Teddy Bear store. I have so many happy memories of that holiday. We were on a tight budget which somehow made us search harder for things to do which in turn made us see more of the places we visited.
I first skiied in Aspen. How pretentious does that sound?
I lived the life of a ski bunny for a week. Every morning, I'd pad across the heated floor boards of our apartment at the Gant and make a pot of perocalator coffee. We'd have breakfast before getting into our thermals and ski clothes for a day spent mostly upright on the runs. Then we're return home to soak in the outdoor pool as snow started to fall in the evening. How can you not return from a holiday like that with your equilibrium restored?
Going to Japan was the result of weeks of meticulous planning of an itinerary involvings several train rides between the cities we were going to visit. I remember listening to Japanese Ear Worm CDs for weeks as I drove to and from work.
I look back at the photos I took on the trip (the first major holiday with my DSLR camera) and still cannot get over how I survived the heat. Not to mention being able to see so many facets of modern Japan as well as its rich history. We got by with my rudimentary Japanese, the supreme efficiency of Japanese mass public transport and perhaps most importantly, the unfailing hospitality of the local Japanese who were so kind and helpful wherever we were.
In 2011, holidays have come to represent a chance to escape and recharge. They have punctuated a year of seemingly endless pain and sadness with brief interludes of carefree laughter. Being completely in the moment in a place thousands of kilometres away from home brings about the physical change that is sometimes necessary for the mental shift to take place.
Hope and something to look forward to have been just about the only coping mechanisms I have that have worked reliably this year.
Future holidays of 2011? Bring. It. On. I'm more than ready for you.