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The Art of Relaxing on Holiday

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What makes a holiday relaxing? I’ve just had a chalk and cheese holiday so it’s got me thinking… 

Having 2 weeks off we were all set to go away, but the weather turned and camping was put on the back burner over the Easter break. We spent the first week of school holidays lounging around at home. Sleeping in each morning, we rested during the day and didn’t do much at all really… we enjoyed taking the dog for walks on the beach, and generally just hanging out together living simply… I felt my stress levels drop as the house cleaning was put on the back burner and meal times happened when they happened.

Next thing I know we’d been invited down to Noosa to join a few families in a beautiful holiday house for a friend’s 40th birthday. So I packed the kids up and headed down to stay in a house that was much too fancy for me. With its endless bathrooms and bedrooms, grand kitchen, a fancy pool over-looking the canal not to mention a private pontoon we enjoyed civilized drinks and relaxed conversations. The beds were comfy, all the creature comforts were at hand, and the view, although suburban was pretty… there was nothing to do but relax. I resisted leaving, but after a few nights it was time to head home to hubby, unpack and pack again… the weather had cleared and camping was on the cards. As much as I resisted packing up again, we quickly gathered our supplies, loaded up our camper that afternoon, and left early the next morning for Inskip point…

Arriving at our bush camp, all was quiet except for the waves and the rustling of the trees. We set up camp in a secluded spot, whilst the kids played on the beach. Now if you’re thinking it’s all peaceful at this stage, I have to admit that setting up for us does involve the odd snappy remark as the stress levels increase- you know- when you hit that point where you’re hot and hungry, the kids are nagging you to find something you have no idea where it may be , and you’ve only got part of a tent set-up- you start to wonder why? Why do we do it? Is it all worth it? But fast-forward the set-up till you get to the good part of camping- the part where you’re sitting on the beach with a cuppa watching the sunrise and the kids are playing like kids are meant to. Now that is just priceless! We’re not active campers- camping for us means sitting back and not doing much at all. It involves cooking simple meals on the camp fire, fishing and beers for hubby, swimming and beaching, and just BE-ing in nature. And God, it’s good!

So what makes a better holiday? Is it creature comforts and mod-cons? Or is it that feeling of never being quite clean, of dodging pythons in the stinky composting toilets (I kid you not! A big carpet snake hung out above the doorway of the ladies toilet for 2 days! If ever you needed a hurry on- this will do it!). Is it coming home looking refreshed and feeling clean, or is it coming home with 5 days worth of sand in places it shouldn’t be, a mountain of sandy washing and a few too many mozzie bites from being out in the elements?

Having just experienced both I know what I prefer… nature is where I belong… even if I’ll be itching for a few more days and the sand from the front door to the laundry keeps on coming back to haunt me… I’ll happily take that feeling of re-connection to my planet above all else. 

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