Flash Says…

What makes a good holiday?

Posted on: 2011-08-18

I’ve just come back from holiday, and I wonder what I achieved or if it was what I wanted.

Usually I mark success by having some great photos to look back on. This started on honeymoon in Iceland and I’ve come to realise I’m happier going on a short walk with a camera in my hand than spending all day in a museum – because I have nothing to show for the museum trip.

My husband and I usually opt for “staycations” but I think we’ve now covered the mainland countries and all cities of interest. There’s something more exciting about going abroad and having to contend with foreign shops rather than picking up a sarnie from Sainsburys, or having to pack a suitcase for different weather than our own (my vote’s for somewhere nice and cold). However, going abroad the costs mount up – especially if we need to hire a car for mobility – and it’s harder to find low cost accommodation if you can’t carry a tent with you. But how can I justify spending a large chunk of my beloved’s monthly income on just one week in our lives?

We went camping. I’ve come back exhausted. My body wasn’t used to a week of Doing Stuff with no rest days, even if I did have lie ins and the odd nap before dinner. Surely holidays are meant to be relaxing? I’ve always been bewildered by people who spend lots of money to fly abroad, then while away every day on a beach. Shouldn’t they be busy Doing Stuff rather than wasting time lying on their back? At last the penny drops. Perhaps I need to start factoring in the odd lazy day without feeling guilty about it.

But I’m not very good at relaxing. I find it hard to do nothing; my brain’s always on the go and if we stay at base I’ll end up infuriating my husband by sharing every thought I have or cadging for another game of cards. And on days when pain has woken me up early, it’s better to keep Doing Stuff as a distraction, even if my capacity is limited.

Well, I did have an easy day scheduled; the last day of our break was due to be spent propped up in front of a stage, but thanks to good old British weather the event was rained off and we had to make do with something more active – and less chilled.

The idea of staying in the UK probably came from the way I was brought up; I remember trips to London and York as a child – long drives to get there with my brother being sick in the car, interconnecting hotel rooms, and strangers babysitting. Days of being dragged around museums because it was “good for you”. But our holidays weren’t that bad – they taught me that I love city breaks and that my own country has plenty to offer. It also made me realise that you have to be very fond of someone before committing to spend time in a small space with them, be it car, tent or hotel room!

Anyway, I’m back: from a week in Yorkshire. I have some wonderful photos from Yorkshire Sculpture Park, some great images of York Minster and some hazy snaps from a boat trip. I picked up postcards from Eden Camp, a booklet at the National Media Museum and drove a mobility scooter around Bolton Abbey. So what if I’ve come back exhausted? I’ve been out with my husband and Done Stuff, and – which is more – we’ve spent a week away from work!

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1 Response to "What makes a good holiday?"

I recommend holidays at home too! My husband and don’t ‘take’ holidays. We work for ourselves. But we enjoy day trips or overnight trips to San Francisco and the coast. We live in Berkeley.
We celebrate birthdays and anniversaries this way. A museum and lunch in the museum cafe or a picnic
I have everything I need, my own pillows, no worries about unexpected stairs and I like the view from my own window

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