So are you going anywhere?
Each year, somewhere around early December, the holiday talk starts to happen. This ritual occurs around kitchenettes, lunch rooms, meeting spaces and hallways. Each participant feels the imperative to share their plans, almost like they need validation from one another that their “escape” is worth the hours put in at a job that they may or may not like that much.
For those who enjoy travel, that is awesome for you.
I view a break as just that – a break. It is a time out from needing to be anywhere in particular, and from any set of external expectations. This is not to say that there are no plans, in fact a break is when I hit my peak creativity, peak motivation and when I get a chance to step back and recalibrate.
There is an implication in holiday talk that the experiences available to us in our everyday are somehow less than. If we are seeking experiences that enrich us, give meaning to our lives, enhance our sense of self or give us some perspective we can get that from any vantage point. Meaningful experiences start with an intention.
“The pleasure we derive from journeys is perhaps dependent more on the mindset with which we travel than on the destination we travel to.”
― Alain de Botton,
Alain de Botton asks us to question the why in our collection of travel experiences. Disappointment is easy when our expectations about what the experience will bring have been packaged and sold to us so convincingly by the travel industry. Add to that the constant stream of other people’s carefully curated and styled travel updates on social media and one might feel that familiar fear of missing out.
But what are you missing out on exactly?
These quiet times are when I focus on developing an intention for the year ahead. It’s when I catch up on those small acts of self care that get lost in the cycle of work/ sleep/ repeat. It is when I can move at a pace that allows greater space. When I can invest time into new habits, when I can read, make art or just sit and think.
It helps me to refine my vision of where I am going through many small, intentional journeys in thought and place.
In this sense I am going somewhere, but that conversation needs more than just small talk at the kitchenette to satiate the desire to escape.
Image: Williamstown Beach with Bailey #staycation