Regular vacationing is beneficial for recharging your creative batteries. The trick is finding the balance between running away for holiday & spending quality time at home.
Approximately ninety percent of the time, I am a fairly boring individual—happily so, by the way. Despite evidence to the contrary, I’m an introvert, and holing up at home with a good book and a cup of tea or—let’s not beat around the bush—a television program and a glass of wine sounds pretty darned delightful. My friends and I fondly refer to my habit of hiding away as “hobitting”, which I delight in often.
However, like Bilbo Baggins, periodically I get the urge to go adventuring—to leave my proverbial shire and discover new things, to stretch my legs and maybe even my mind. Sometimes these are just short jaunts to tide me over: a visit to family in Edmonton perhaps, or extending a work trip to have a few days away on my own dime. Sometimes this is enough. Other times, it takes more to make the itch under my skin go away.
Mostly, it’s a challenge trying to get my real life to match up with my desire for vacation. Last November, I bought and moved into my own home, which meant taking a holiday from holidaying to save my pennies and annual leave for the move before hand. Constraints at work after the move meant I couldn’t take a lot of time off while we were so shorthanded. Before I knew it, it was more than a year-and-a-half between big holidays—nearly two in fact—and I was going stir crazy (a warning sign with strobe lights and a mallet that repeatedly hits you over the head, reminding me when it’s time to plan some therapeutic running away).
I took the hint & booked time off. I found a friend to travel with for part of the trip—not a necessity, but always an added bonus when running away. And I found somewhere new to go.
One of my favourite things about running away is making room for “new”. It might be a new place. It might be a new method of travel. Or both—I took the train internationally for the first time to my destination, Seattle (two firsts!). Making room for new almost always involves tasting new food (A word of caution: When your new travel buddy is a foodie, she just might ruin you for mediocre restaurants and your own cooking forever!). It means making plans to see new things—but also leaving space for the holiday to take its own direction. If you plan every minute, you might miss some opportunity to find a hidden gem, something that is just right for you, at just the right time. Sometimes that gem is just the pure happiness of getting away, of letting go of work stress and regular life and embracing the holiday.
On the other hand, sometimes your hidden gem can be the cup of tea and that good book in your own home (wine—cough, cough). Remember to be sure to leave lots of room for running away when you can, whenever you need to do so, but don’t forget to come home again because home can be a good adventure too.