Am I having the wrong sort of holiday?

We’re off to Japan on Thursday for a couple of weeks of exploring and already we’ve marked maps with things to do and see, places to eat and drink, and organised experiences we want to have.
Then I read about ‘slow holidays’ and started to feel a bit bad because to have a slow holiday you have to, well, do exactly the opposite of what we have done which is hunt down lots of things to do.

Of course, we’re not on a strict itinerary where every minute of every day is taken up and there will be lots of opportunity for a slow holiday when we are hiking and there is lots of time to wander and get lost.

Personally, I feel that if we’re going to travel that far – and more than likely only going to do such a massive trip once in our lives – I want to make the most of it.

I didn’t feel so bad when I remembered a conversation with a friend who had been reading a book about mindfulness and relaxation. In it, the author (who I can’t remember along with the title of the book), said there was a spectrum of holiday personalities whose idea of fun differs wildly.

On the one hand you have people who want to relax totally and lie on a beach, those who mainly want to lie on a beach and do a little bit, those who want to lie on the beach a little but predominantly be up and about, and those who want to be on the go all the time.

The last one is definitely me and Frank – I can’t sit on a beach for more than half an hour, even with a book. I find it boring and a waste of time.

Apparently, I am a personality type that enjoys purposeful holidays, as they are described in the book. My idea of a good time is meeting random people, seeing things I wouldn’t normally see, and doing things that I wouldn’t normally do.

Even though doing stuff is tiring, I also find it relaxing to be sucked into a different lifestyle, one that takes me miles away from the stresses of my life at home. Sat on a beach, left to my own devices, and I am prone to over-thinking – worrying about whether I will have enough work next month (I’m self-employed) and stressing over small things I don’t need to worry about.

Now I know I am a purposeful holidaymaker I will stop feeling so bad about organising our trip. There will be plenty of room for adventure and relaxation – especially in the monastery we are staying in for a few nights – and who knows, I may even be able to tame some of the over-thinking monkey chatter.

I’ll let you know.


PS the picture is ‘Japan’ written in Japanese

14 thoughts on “Am I having the wrong sort of holiday?

  1. I’m just like you, a purposeful traveller. Feel better about it now! But it’s reminded me to keep lots of time spare on our next trip for aimless wandering.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. I don’t think you’re doing it wrong at all. That’s probably because it’s exactly how we plan vacations.

    There are always a few activities that have to be scheduled. You can’t avoid it completely. But our usual method is to look at our list and select something that appeals to us at that moment.

    One bit of advice though, be mindful of your surroundings. You may discover something that isn’t in the tour guides that you’d miss if your totally focused on your current or next activity.

    Have a great vacation!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I agree with trying to pack in as much as you can, even if you don’t end up doing everything on your list, as you never know whether you will get back to see the things you never bothered to see.

    I fall into one of the middle two categories. I do like to relax, usually by a pool, some of the time, but also love to get out and about preferably on a road trip, taking in as much as I can and experiencing the everyday culture of the place I’m visiting.

    The great thing about being out and about, similar to what another commenter said, is that you do happen upon things that you otherwise wouldn’t necessarily experience or find out about. This has happened to us on numerous occasions on our travels and has made things seem much more spontaneous.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ann, I love a road trip – absolutely my favourite thing to do in a country is travel around and see all the different regions and way of life. You’re right in that you see the most interesting things that way. M


  4. Enjoy Japan! I’m certain you will.

    I’m the same with holidays. I like to have a general plan, especially in Japan so I could get my head around the different train networks (tokyo) and do i didn’t miss anything I really wanted to do.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Hope you have an amazing time. The balance is different for everyone and in my work I talk about things being restorative rather than relaxing. Walking 10 miles can be restorative, or not depending on how, when, where and with who you do it. The elements that make it so will be different for each of us.

    Liked by 1 person

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