are vacations really a holiday?

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When I was in school, I was always excited about all these things I would do and see on a trip: the museums, local culture, shops, people. After I started working, the idea of a holiday was to lie around on the beach in a nice resort and have nothing else to do, except perhaps read a book. And of course, scroll through the blackberry…

I remember I always used to get ill during the first few days of a holiday, that after a while, I actually allotted time for being sick before I flew off to some location on the beach. I guess when I was busy working everyday, the body didn’t have time to be sick. Sounds almost ridiculous but yes, that was the absurdity I allowed myself.

So after I recover from the flu what not, then I’d fly off somewhere exotic and meet up with friends and go on my “holiday”. Mostly it involved the beach of some kind where I can sit and do “nothing”, i.e. scroll through my blackberry and respond(!!) to emails and requests from work. Unfortunately, my inability to refrain myself from replying meant that I had allowed my colleagues to expect me to respond during a holiday. My bad.

And as I sip my cocktails next to the pool or the beach, I calculate in my head how much my holiday had cost me. After all, I wanted to be comfortable and relax after those hectic months. But these holidays were an expense and a dent in the bank account. So I guess to finance my lifestyle I had to keep working, so I have that steady income to sustain this beach resort holiday!

Funny how I created this vicious cycle for myself, but it seemed so logical for a while….

Worse, I don’t even know if my vacation and time off helped rejuvenate me. It didn’t feel much like a holiday because somehow I always felt more tired, and then there’s the tension of going back to the office and “reality” hits again.

I wonder what your holidays are like?

One Response

  1. […] worked hard; I deserve a break, right? At least for those 12-hour flights across the world to some pristine beach, surely. Plus, I had all these friends who worked for airlines who could bump me up a grade, and […]

about Noch Noch

Enoch Li, (pen name: Noch Noch) was born and raised in Hong Kong and Australia. She has also studied / worked / lived in the US, France, UK, Japan, The Netherlands, China, and has travelled to more than 40 countries. She loves travelling and her curiosity in foreign cultures and languages has led her to enjoy her life as an international executive in the banking & finance industry. However, she was forced to take time off work in 2010 due to her illnesses and after spending time in recovery, cooking, practising Chinese calligraphy, reading and writing – in short, learning to take care of herself and letting out the residual work stress, she has transitioned into a Social Entrepreneur and founded BEARAPY to help corporates make workplaces mentally healthy, and support executives to become more resilient.