the joy of an aimless holiday

the joy of an aimless holiday

the joy of an aimless holiday

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If you have a social media account and live in Australia, chances are you’ve spent this winter in one of three ways: on the slopes; on vacation somewhere in the Northern Hemisphere; or on your phone, flooded with images that cause envy from those who appreciate the first options.

Once upon a time, being a member of group three would have been torturous for me: friends sunbathing in Greece, influencers posting reels from the ski lifts, colleagues traveling around the south of France. But after two years of not being able to travel, my post-pandemic burnout meant that even contemplating a great vacation (read: parenting my kids in a more exotic location) filled me with dread. .

Instead, I went on vacation from home, which basically meant sending my kids to school, taking a break from work, and doing absolutely what I felt like. I took a bath, took walks, experimented in the kitchen and read. I made a reservation at a more elegant hotel than I could normally afford on vacation where I took multiple baths, wandered around in a sauna and wandered around in a bathrobe. I booked in for a facial and gave up on alcohol, determined to savor my slow evenings instead of dulling them with wine. And I temporarily deleted Instagram so I could enjoy my hard earned time instead of reducing it to other people’s lives.

Most of the time, my vacation at home meant doing absolutely nothing, which, apparently, was a major rejuvenation. something.

In her book How to Do Nothing, Jenny Odell states that without the time or space to do nothing “we have no way to think, reflect, heal and support ourselves, individually or collectively”.

By doing nothing, he says, we are simultaneously “deprogramming” from modern life – with its intensity and hectic culture – while engaging in some kind of “sustenance”. A necessary break for those of us who “feel too disassembled to act in a meaningful way”.

That sense of chaos and disassembly is what motivated Karima Hazim, who co-runs the Sunday Kitchen cooking school with her mother Sivine Tabbouch, to vacation at home this year. Although the mother of two had an “overwhelming urge to travel” when the borders were opened, she still felt like she was still trying to catch up with canceled bookings and knew that traveling with children would not offer the “convenience.” and the ease “she was desperate for.

Free time has really given me space to think and consider my time more carefully

Karima Hazim

Instead, he enjoyed his favorite holiday pastimes in the comfort of his own backyard. It turned out to be a better (and much cheaper) option. He took leisurely strolls along Sydney’s Bay Run listening to podcasts he had set aside for a good year; she made incredible long lunches and dinners – with dessert, she adds, because she didn’t have to think about getting up to go to work; she went to the theater and the cinema: “I’ve seen three films in the cinema in the last two weeks, instead of an average of one a year”. She has traveled to antique markets and vintage shops and booked two facials to mark the beginning and end of her vacation at home.

“The first week was a total disaster, I couldn’t relax and find my feet ‘on vacation’ because technically I was at home and had the temptations of routine and work all around me,” he says. “I felt insanely guilty [too]thinking how ridiculous the idea was.

But at the end of the break, he found his rhythm. “Free time has really given me space to think and consider my time more carefully. I intend to continue like this moving forward and have blocked a period in six months to go home on vacation. “

Hazim isn’t the only one who has found the charm of going nowhere, but while she (and I) have used ours to disconnect from our routines, YA author Jeremy Lachlan uses her time at home to hang out. from the fantastic worlds he created and reconnect with reality.

There is something so refreshing about regaining possession of the wonders of the everyday environment

Jeremy Lachlan

Of a living room, Lachlan says, “There’s nothing to plan beyond ‘What am I going to eat today?’ and ‘What relaxing will I do?’ No rush to the airports. No long haul flights. No check-in and check-out from hotels or living without a suitcase. Don’t get me wrong, I can’t wait to experience another adventure abroad, but when it comes to relax after a stressful period of work, I need a quiet week [to] get used to being in the real world again ”.

Use the time to cook and clean up, watch movies and read books, hang out with friends, and indulge in visits to local bookstores and cafes where the only thing she has to think about is her breakfast and crossword puzzles.

“There is something so refreshing about taking back the wonders of the everyday environment,” he says. “Reminding yourself that the rest of the world went on while you were chained to your desk.”

And that’s the best part, I think: rather than returning from a wonderful place with jet lag and post-vacation blues, home vacations are a simple exercise in celebrating your everyday. It teaches you how to make leisure adventures a more constant feature of your work week. You may not see the world but, as Lachlan says, you may remember that “your little corner of it is a beautiful place”.

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