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Five Freedoms of a Holiday at Home

August 6, 2011

Ever consider a change to the travel-intensive holiday routine? Mary White writes:

As busy people who invest a lot of time and energy into our jobs in the charity sector, we take having a good holiday seriously. Last year we went to Krakow in March – a city packed with interesting historical and cultural places, so we went busily visiting one after the other. In August we went to North Wales, and spent every day enjoying the scenery out and about. On each occasion we arrived back home in London on Saturday afternoon, were committed to church on Sunday and by Monday afternoon it was as though the holiday had never been.

So in November we decided to take a holiday at home, and we enjoyed five freedoms during the week:

1. Freedom from the “once in a lifetime” syndrome. In Krakow, we knew we were unlikely to visit there again so wanted to see everything, As we live in London, we knew that we could always visit the major attractions some other time. So there was no pressure to milk every moment.

2. Freedom to really enjoy all our area has to offer and to appreciate it. One day we took a walk up Primrose Hill and spontaneously stopped on the way home to visit a pub we had always liked the look of; another day we went to a South Ken department store and enjoyed the stunning view from their roof top café; another day we took advantage of the half price matinee performance at the local independent cinema.

3. Freedom from worrying about spending. Knowing that we were not spending anything on accommodation and travel was really releasing, We started the week by having breakfast out and shopping in Waitrose as though we were abroad, I didn’t mind that it cost more than my average weekly shop because overall the holiday was inexpensive.

4. Freedom to really enjoy our home and activities that can feel like a chore when we are busy. Rather than saying we were strictly not allowed to do anything we would normally do at home, we actually had time to talk about and order some items to improve our study, to email friends and to potter around without feeling there were 101 other things we ought to be doing. One afternoon we watched the afternoon film and it felt incredibly decadent in a good way.

5. Freedom from the end of week gear change. Because we were already at home, there was no travel, no extra washing, no fridge needing filling; we were able to move back into the week back at work in a relatively seamless way.

We felt more as though we had got away from it all than when we had travelled. So are we going to spend all our holidays at home from now on? No – but we would recommend it and have learnt some things from it.

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