I don’t really do holidays,” a friend of mine said to me. “I’d rather just stay at home, really.” Now there’s a radical point of view ... especially from someone who’s been all around the world!
Hang on a minute. Aren’t we supposed to spend half the year or more planning for, saving up for, and then – most of all – just yearning to, go on holiday?
Unless of course you’re one of those people who somehow manage to take several exotic holidays a year, as a matter of course. The happily well-off, I think those folk are called. I’ve heard they exist, but I’ve not met many of ’em.
Or those people who somehow manage to take short “getaway” breaks several times a year, frequently at the drop of a hat. “I say, Flo – fancy nipping off to Cornwall for the weekend?” “Why not, Eric!”
Why not indeed. Mainly because I’ve got neither the time nor the money to fund such a lifestyle, methinks! I think those folks are called the comfortably retired. Well I’m semi-retired, and I’m afraid those levels of comfort certainly don’t come into it as far as I’m concerned!
Do you detect a note of envy in my voice? Me? Surely not! And stop calling me Shirley!
The Better Half, I know, would like nothing more than the ability to take off, at a moment’s notice, and go wherever the fancy took her – anywhere in the world, preferably. And no, not just to get away from me. Spontaneous wanderlust, I think it’s called.
Of course, people who are actually in a position to do that need three things: time, money, and a lack of commitments. If you’re lucky enough to have the money, then there’s every chance you’ll have the time. But no obligations either, be they work, family, or whatever? That’s pushing anyone’s luck a bit, isn’t it?
So for most of us, maybe one or two holidays a year is all we can realistically aspire to. I remember when I was growing up, it was an annual trip – if you were lucky. And to somewhere truly exotic, too – like Blackpool or the Isle Of Wight. These days youngsters feel hard done by if they haven’t been to places like Cambodia, New York, Peru or Thailand.
Mind you, even if you do get to do that sort of thing, there’s no guarantee you’re going to have a fabulous time, is there? I don’t want to be too glass-half-empty, but things can go wrong, can’t they? We’ve all heard of – but hopefully not had – holidays that have been so bad you can’t wait to get back home again.
Which brings us back to that globe-trotting friend of mine who’d rather stay at home. Is there something to be said for that? I often think that after good health, the most precious gift you can have is time – the time to do whatever the heck you want to do. How many times have you heard people say they’re having a week off – just to catch up with doing all the stuff they never normally have time for? Or even – gasp! – just to relax and do nothing?
That said, you know what I’m about to do, don’t you? That’s right ... go away on holiday!