As a travel blogger I try to make the most out of every trip I take. I take photos of EVERYTHING, take notes of important facts, I visit every important monument or tourist hot spot, I try all the foodie delicacies and chat to all the locals for an ‘insider’s opinion’. I do everything the guide book tells me to and then try to do a little more.
The only thing I don’t seem to do is relax.
I remember a time when holidays were all about waking up at 11am, lazing by the pool all day, possibly strolling to the beach if I had the energy, sipping cocktails as the sun set and feasting in the evening at a candle lit restaurant.
There was none of this exploring every inch of the local culture, taking over 100 photos of a church or getting up at 6 am to get a nice shot of the sunrise. Back then, holidays were simple, they were easy, they were relaxing. But could I go back?
Could I really go back to that laziness, that holiday experience where all you take home is a sun tan and a few extra pounds around your middle? I’d like to think I could revert back to that relaxing trip but in all honesty I don’t think I could. I think that once you’ve been programmed into ‘blogger mode’ there’s no turning back.
I’ll never again be able to leave my hotel without my camera and a note pad or resist the temptation to start writing my blog posts before the day is even over. I’ll never again eat an amazing meal without taking out my phone and snapping a quick shot and tweeting it before I dig in.
I used to love a 5* all-inclusive holiday where I’d eat my own body weight at the banquet and do nothing for 2 weeks but get trashed and lay in the sun. But the thought of it now turns my stomach. I’d come home feeling lazy and lethargic, dreading going back to work or uni. These days I want more from my holidays. Not only do I want a good blog post but I also want the most amazing experience that will stay with me for the rest of my life. Not asking for much, I know.
I went to Boutique Boot Camp last year and this really changed the way I see holidays. Boot camp was a mixture between extreme exercise and extreme relaxation. I know that ‘extreme relaxation’ seems like a bit of an oxymoron but I came home from that holiday feeling refreshed, relaxed, revived and ready to tackle all those things that had snuck to the bottom of my to-do list.
If you’d have told me before I went to boot camp that eight hours of exercise every day without a scrap of sugar, salt or caffeine would give me more energy than I had at 15, I wouldn’t have believed you. I probably would have laughed but this is how you’re meant to feel after a holiday. You aren’t meant to feel more exhausted when you get back than when you left or more unhealthy or stressed out.
So next time you book your holiday, think about what you’re doing and where you’re going. Sure, a few lazy days on the beach is lovely and relaxing but think about getting out and exploring. Think about what is going to make you feel good in the long run, what it is that you’ll remember and which photos you’ll be showing off when you get back.
I started thinking about this because I’m taking my first ‘proper holiday’ in years next month. It isn’t a press trip, a fam trip (familiarization trip) or a work trip, it’s just a holiday that I’ve booked and organised myself. There are no pressures to provide x-amount of blog posts or social media coverage. Heck, if I don’t want to, I don’t need to write anything at all.
The thought of doing absolutely nothing for my blog gives me a little panic attack but will I be able to switch off and get out of ‘travel blogger mode’?
What do you think? Do you take holidays from your blog or could you ever slip out of travel blogger mode?