I had to say it at some point. It’s a cliche, and it gets a wee bit tedious, but I still can’t stop myself saying it. The year is running down.
Before I even blinked, it’s suddenly late October. And this can only mean one thing. With the end of the year rapidly approaching, one consideration rises high above all others. It’s time to think about the end-of-year vacation.
As I mentioned in a post a few weeks ago, travelling has always been a big deal for me. There’s nothing I enjoyed more than visiting somewhere I’d never been before. Then, once I got there, I dedicated myself to getting to know the place as thoroughly as I could. I would read and study, trying to learn as much as I could about this new environment. And I would have boundless energy – I could walk all day, exploring every nook and cranny. Active, active, active – that was my mantra. I never stopped. A minute not dedicated to getting the most out of every destination was a minute wasted.
How things have changed.
Now, when I think about what I want to get out of my planned vacation, I have a very different set of priorities.
Getting through a year now feels like hard work. There is no shortage of hurdles to overcome. Sometimes, even surviving a single day at work seems like a significant achievement. And that’s not even taking into account the myriad of personal challenges that are always popping up.
Which means that by the time I get to the end of the year, and I contemplate getting away from it all, that busy-busy, run around and never stop sort of holiday is the last thing on my mind. I want to relax. I want to sit around a pool, preferably somewhere warm, and read a book or listen to music. I’ve got no more energy to burn. I just want to stretch out and unwind.
Sometimes, it’s difficult to believe I’ve changed so much. In those younger years, being an active traveller was the only way to go. I scorned the idea of a relaxing holiday. I scoffed at anybody not taking advantage of their leisure time to explore the world at maximal velocity. As I said above, with so much of the world on offer, any other type of vacation was a horrific waste of time and money.
What can I say? Guilty as charged.
I wonder, if I ever got the chance to meet the old me, if I could justify myself. If I could defend my recent holiday practices. I can just see the younger me looking on uncomprehendingly, eyes fixed with shock and scorn. I wouldn’t stand a chance.
I guess I’ll just count myself lucky that time machines remain a figment of our collective imaginations.
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