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