We’ve just come back from a holiday. It was only a short holiday too. Not far from home. With friends, with whom we had to compromise quite a bit on what we did. Hardly a holiday to get excited about and not one of our ‘greatest’ holidays. ‘Isn’t it great to be home?’, our friends ask rhetorically.
They imply that the comforts, familiarity and routine of home outweigh the difficulties of travel transport (particularly through airports and other forms of transport), the constant moving and changing, packing and unpacking. That home is a nicer place to be than wherever you have travelled to.
Well, frankly, ‘No, it isn’t good to be home. I’d prefer to have kept on travelling, holidaying.’
Why are holidays better than being at home?
When I’m away on holidays, all those regular tasks and problems of day-to-day living disappear. There are no bills to pay (well, OK, I make online payments for the key ones before I leave). There’s no house to keep clean, no beds to make and often no meals to prepare. And I use the same clothes over and over again, reducing washing and stopping ironing.
There are no repairs to be done. The vacuum cleaner doesn’t stop, the fridge doesn’t freeze up, no light bulbs need changing, no cars to be serviced. The birds don’t need feeding. Weekly shops don’t happen. There are no dull nights with nothing to watch on TV. I don’t have to spend time with some people that I really find, when I’m away, I don’t miss at all (they don’t know who they are, but they are not you, dear readers).
There’s no routine to stick to, regardless of how we feel. There’s no requirement to do things, just because we normally do them at a particular time on a particular day. And who cares what’s happening politically at home, or what accidents have happened or important people at home have said or done? It all seems irrelevant when you are away.
No, all there is to do on holidays is…whatever you choose to do, from the myriad of new and different options available. Do you want to see some gardens, walk, ride, swim, eat out, stay up late, stay in late, visit buildings, galleries, shops, view landscapes, go on guided tours, have new experiences, do whatever? It is all new and different. And if you have had enough, travel on to the next place and start again.
Somehow all the regular issues of day-to-day, week-to-week life seem to disappear. And I seem to have lots more energy when I’m away. I like to be up early, to maximise the use of the day. It seems easier to do when I’m away than when I’m at home.
And then, when you start the journey home, as it gets nearer and nearer to home, all those boring, domestic, routine issues of daily home life come flooding back. Before you even get home, open the door, unpack, you seem to be burdened with all the tasks and responsibilities you ‘must’ do, none of which seemed necessary when you were away.
No, give me holidays over home every time.