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Hooray for holidays!

Updated: May 5, 2023

Our last blog was posted a month ago, and that was because I’ve had a fortnight’s #holiday in #Scotland recently. And boy did I need it! I knew I needed it, but I had forgotten just how much there is to gain from a proper break away from work and home life.

As we are in the lead up to summer holidays in the northern hemisphere and winter holidays in the southern hemisphere, I thought I’d share a few reflections from my holiday:

#RandR– establishing distance from day to day life

I’m an avid traveller as some of you will already know, and I hadn’t had a whole week (never mind two!) outside of London since September 2019 when I went to #Serbia with my friend Kathy. During #COVID-19, I knew I needed breaks even though I couldn’t go away, so I scheduled them in roughly on the same frequency as I always used to. I know I need at least one week off every quarter, and somewhere across the year I benefit from one of those holidays being a fortnight. If I’m lucky, it might be three weeks for a big trip.

What I’d forgotten about in the last 15 months is that #workingfromhome and #holidayingathome is fairly similar. In that there is always ‘something that has to be done’. My mind never really rested and there wasn’t any time to really recuperate. I did not spend much time truly forgetting about bills and chores and work. Two weeks in another part of the UK got me outside of my own head for most of that time. I was able to marvel at the beauty of Scotland and enjoy time with friends I hadn’t seen for a very long time. Every day was different!

#Adventure - Incorporating the ‘new’ with existing hobbies and interests

This leads me to my second reflection. I love photography but I hadn’t used my #DSLR or taken it on holiday since I went to Central Asia in October 2018! I was definitely a) out of practice and b) unfamiliar with a new (to me) second hand camera body that was definitely a few steps more advanced than the one I’d had! One of the reasons for visiting Scotland was to see puffins on the Isle of Staffa, so of course the DSLR had to come with me. I fell in love with photography all over again.

I have been reminded recently about when I love #photography – and it’s when I am seeing new things, that I want to capture the beauty and the moment. The sense of adventure and appreciation of #nature and #architecture in particular drives me to capture the best images I can. When I’m using my DSLR I am definitely #inflow. This means that I am fully present and also concentrating on doing the best I can – time flies!

I am also yet to find the perfect camera backpack to take on all day adventures. I must do some research to find one that will protect my camera gear, hold my water bottle and a rain coat, with a sensible secure spot for my valuables. If anyone can recommend one, please message me! This will help me get out on weekends for photography adventures.

#Leadership – being part of a #team whilst on holidays

In my fortnight, I spent the first week with one set of friends and the second week with another. I noticed times when different people took on different roles in our little teams. I’ve spent a bit of time thinking about my leadership style and how that showed up whilst on holiday:

· Offering up ideas with shared decision making at key moments, such as stopping at Loch Lomond for a lunch spot!

· There were other times when I made a decision for all of us, such as when I offered choice to my friends about something with no firm view in return, I made a quick decision.

· Providing lots of encouragement and support to reframe thoughts, such as my friend doing all the driving in unknown territory.

· Recognising when to sit back and let others lead, such as being on a schedule and fitting in to that schedule.

· Compromising for the benefit of the team, such as getting up earlier than I would prefer so that we could maximise our day. I do like a sleep in and a cup of tea in bed on non-work days!

· Problem solving during stressful periods, like everyone is very tired and hungry and we can’t find anywhere to have dinner that isn’t fully booked – remaining calm under pressure and just keep exploring options. Getting frustrated won’t help anyone.

· Getting outside my #comfortzone to achieve something – I’m not a massive fan of boats, although I love being in the water. To see the puffins, we caught five ferries and three hours of sailing time! Fortunately it was mostly calm water and beautiful seascapes to photograph.

· Recognising when I need alone time to recharge and/or give others space.

· Appreciation of what others do for my benefit, as well as appreciation for all the resources we have in our daily lives.

My holiday has really grounded me, and as I return to London with a change in working arrangements, I am so grateful that I could have that substantial break in between. In our #threegoodthings facebook group, we will be starting a new challenge at the end of this week to help with grounding. Why not join us!

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