Allow yourself to be seduced by the distractions of holiday travel.
We often pretend that traveling, taking a holiday or being on vacation will be an opportunity to ‘get stuff done’ while hanging out in the airport transit lounge, enjoying the sun drenched balconies of rented accommodations and lounging on crusty sand beaches, however it rarely works according to plan.
As my own adventure draws to a close I can say that I’ve made a lot of notes, scribbling nearly indecipherable entries in my idea book, but to be truthful my productivity has been pretty much non-existent. I haven’t read as much as I intended, haven’t written anything of consequence and have sketched nothing.
I have been seduced by the places we’ve been and the things we have seen.
I offer kudos to those writers and sketchers out there who have the discipline to sustain their creative output on holiday. By way of example I offer up Travels With Madam
I have been very surprised by the number of Facebook and other social media posts my darling wife and our travel companions made ‘on the fly’, while I was agonizing about structure and content for potential blog posts and effectively doing nothing.
Our travel adventure has been a plethora of activity just because of the very nature of the trip. Traveling with friends should make one pause to consider how much time will be spent in the somewhat solitary activities of reading, writing and drawing.
Ask yourself; what is the purpose of your trip? Is this to be a holiday, a serious break from the day-to-day churning that makes up your life, or is it simply a change of venue for some of your core activities? Is your intent to spend time in museums, galleries, attending concerts and performances, sampling the cuisines of your destination, hiking and sightseeing, or simply hanging out on a beach?
You do need to know this before you go. You need to share your intentions; your partner and travel companions need to know.
Do you know what your companions have in mind?
I left home with my shoulder bag laden with computer, iPad, sketchbook and idea book, all with the view of supporting the intention to spend some quality time writing, reading and sketching. The challenge has been that maintaining engagement with my darling wife and our friends has seemed more important on this trip than actually ‘getting stuff done’. They have their own agenda and it hasn’t always matched my own, the mismatch causing tension occasionally.
They don’t always understand what it is I’m trying to accomplish.
Even the brief visits with my mother-in-law, originally intended to be punctuation to the broader itinerary, turns into a challenge when she tries to find ‘interesting’ things for me/us to do. I do embrace what she suggests for us, so that when or if I do fire up my computer and try to be productive she doesn’t believe that I felt compelled to break the monotony by moving into my own little world.
While it is good to know the purpose of your trip, don’t overthink or over plan. Too much structure will result in undermining the potential for true enjoyment. Try to preserve the spontaneity that should be part of all holidays.
I have found that if we as a group haven’t had a discussion about our travels before departure day then something akin to an ‘icebreaker‘ needs to be done early in the holiday. I like to treat everyone in the party to a ‘hop-on-hop off ‘ sightseeing bus tour, if appropriate for the destination. This little activity helps to frame the days we will spend together. It gives me a chance to share my ohhhs and ahhs giving them an indication of my interests, and I can garner the same information from their reactions.
I have resolved that in future when it is a proper vacation and holiday I will give up my need to be ‘productive’ and allow myself to be seduced by the distraction of travel.