Chris Markiewicz's Blog
Every Monday – thoughts, observations and ideas that hold up a mirror to who & how we are

We’re all going on a summer holiday!

I am writing this piece on return from a wonderful holiday that has left me relaxed, refreshed and poised for the week ahead.

 Whilst out walking the dog today in the early morning sunshine, I allowed my self ten minutes to sit under my favourite tree whilst Murphy lolloped about and grubbed around in the undergrowth.

 Sitting there, I was reminded of a story I heard a few years back. It may well be apocryphal, but I still like it.

 A well to do tourist was on holiday somewhere in the West Indies. He was a successful man who had worked extremely hard to be able to take such a break and it was sorely needed.

 As he was walking along the beach one morning he chanced upon a local man lying in his boat, enjoying the sunshine. He struck up a conversation:

 “ Hi, I’m Jack, I’m here on vacation, what are you doing?”

“ I’m Levi, I own this boat, it’s my livelihood. I hire it out to people for little trips around the island coast”

 “Sounds like a nice business to be in  – does it pay?”

 “Enough for my needs, Jack”

 “You could really make a go of this if you put in the effort. Surely you could build up the business, buy more boats, employ people and make yourself a nice, tidy fortune within a few years”

 “And then what?”

 “Well, you’d have time then to relax. To chill”

 At which, Levi just winked, smiled and closed his eyes in order to soak up a few more rays.

 Which man was on holiday? Arguably both of them, yet it felt like the tourist’s break may well have come at a much higher price.

 I have had some terrific holidays over the years. The three most memorable will have probably been a five week trip to Australia some years back, the first visit to Poland with Ingrid and the children about four years ago and a twenty five minute holiday in Lincolns Inn Fields two summers ago.

 Lincolns Inn Fields?

 That one was taken in a lunch break whilst running a course for a firm of chartered surveyors in High Holborn. I lay on my back, spreadeagled on the grass for twenty five minutes,  eyes closed and had a sunsoaked holiday.

 I can honestly say it really was a holiday, and a memorable one at that.

 So many of us relentlessly bust a gut on a daily basis, virtually wear ourselves out and live for the next two week break in the sun. We count the days.  There is absolutely nothing wrong with those kinds of holidays – although getting there and back can be undignified and stressful.

 However, why not take holidays more often? Short, baby holidays that last perhaps as little as ten minutes? So much of being on vacation is about frame of mind, as much as location or company.

 If you are reading this on the day of my posting it, then you are likely to be looking forward to a hot, sunny day (In the UK at least). Think about taking a holiday today – a “micro-break”. You may not have a boat to laze in or a tree to sit under, but chances are there will be somewhere you can go and shut your eyes and enjoy the sunshine. With eyes closed and warmth on your face you could take yourself off just about anywhere you choose.

 And if sunshine isn’t your thing, then it could be some leisurely window shopping or a visit to a local gallery or church or an evening pint in a pub garden.

 As for the holiday I’ve just returned from? Ten minutes under the tree with the hound – enjoying the warmth of the sun,  the sounds of rustling leaves and wood pigeons coo-ing, whilst letting go of all thoughts of mortgage, bills, work issues……..



2 Responses to “We’re all going on a summer holiday!”

  1. You’re so right, Chris! As I work from home, I take frequent breaks in my garden during the day. I deadhead a few flowers, gaze at the beautiful trees, play with my cats, feed the birds and come back in refreshed and with some more creative ideas to play around with.

    I’d rather be the West Indian boatman!

  2. I really love this holiday idea Chris!! And no packing!

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