Packing bags for a holiday is as exciting as unpacking when back home. Yes, don’t be hungover on the luxuries of a fancy vacation but instead count on the pleasures and warmth of the familiar comfort that your home offers.
I am sitting at my desk and drinking a rather strong dose of caffeine. I need the cuppa to bring me back to the oh-so-ordinary routine life. Just yesterday, around the same time, I was lying in a hammock and sipping on a passion fruit drink. I was holidaying at the Phi Phi Islands in Thailand. I was surrounded by a certain sense of quietness and nothingness; I could hear the birds’ cheerful chirping, the turquoise waters swift movements, and the gorgeous green branches swaying. While I was away, as strange as it sounds, I had told my fellow travelers that I was beginning to miss the ringing of my home doorbell, the beeping of the Blackberry and the honking of the cars too; today as I sit here and hear the clickety-click of the keyboards around me, I am wondering if I could close my eyes for a few seconds and re-visit the calm just once more. I know this sounds insane but well, if holidaying has taught me one thing, it is that if there is something better than a break from the mundane, it is the very return to the mundane! No wonder, the comfort of leaving behind the home brings in as much pleasure as that of returning to it.
Picture this: While on a holiday you sleep on luxurious handmade mattresses draped in the finest of linen, which promise you a dreamy and cosy night, however, you still miss the warmth of your humble mattress and plain cotton sheets. And as much as you gorge on the exotic multi-cuisine delicacies in the resorts, you find yourself craving for home-cooked food. What’s crazy is that on my trip my friends and I had even joked on how wonderful it would be if we could eat the soupy noodles from our local Chinese take-away, sitting at the beach. Yes, we all love the luxuries and pampering, adventures and relaxing, flights and exploring, and holidaying is what keeps our souls happy, but at the same time a few days into the holiday our mind and body starts to miss the comfort of the familiar. Interestingly, our stressed mind welcomes the ‘new and unique’ with as much ease as it expresses its keenness to run back to the ‘old and familiar’! We love to meet new people but at the same time we long to chat with the ones we already know. Once home, we also begin to respect the dreaded schedule. We realise that as much as we hate the alarm clock, it is what lends discipline to our lives, which in turn translates into a certain sense of control we have over our time and actions. And even though we find the neighbourhood dog annoying, we do find a sense of belongingness in the sounds and people that surround our lives. And the best lesson of all being that we begin to appreciate the life we’ve made for ourselves. Yes, the whining about life and the office vanishes when one returns to their no-frills comfort zone.
So the next time you board a flight back home, fill your head up with the images of newspapers piled up at your door, the dog wagging its tail at the sight of its caretakers, the colleagues waiting to pounce on you with devious plans, and more! And here’s my suggestion, go on a vacation whenever you can, for you will not only come back rejuvenated but also find yourself falling in love with your home and daily life all over again. Till then, if a maddening presentation gets you in trouble or the house help misses a day’s work, just close your eyes and head on a mental holiday that was.
Images courtesy of Vishal Khullar