Welcome to your ‘Alternative Holiday Guide’ created by Clare. No advice about drinking water or how to pack your ultimate capsule suitcase, it goes deeper than that! Are you ready for the truth? Get prepared for your best holiday on record.
My top 5 suggestions are designed from years’ worth of experience from working abroad and in the business, observing tourists in action, my life coaching skills and a long career in the travel industry. Add this altogether and what do you get!?
This blog -I am not invisible, or dead, I am a 40 plusser - on holiday!
A 40+ woman's take on modern day lifestyle, championing the fact that at this 40+ age we are more alive than ever and love a good holiday.
I do have some funny stories to tell and others I’d rather forget, but as a 40 plusser with a heightened sense of visualisation and a memory for inane and irrelevant facts about people, these memories stick. The good, the bad and the ugly – look out for my ‘lips’ sign for one of my ‘stories’
1. Communicate your holiday intentions
This year I want to sit on a sun lounger for a week, read limitless amounts of books, swim, eat spanakopita and look out for Helonas (read last week's blog here) - which is great, as that’s what my SO and youngest want to do as well, because we discussed it. The action holiday comes later (to suit all needs).
We all know life can be hectic – blah de blah – and booking a holiday is often a solution for a magic wand to fix everything that is broken. If we can only have a two-week holiday and then the rest of the 50 weeks may be bearable -WRONG - sorry. If this is you, there is an awful lot of pressure on the two weeks to be: a) sunny; b) perfect; and c) harmonious.
Once as a rep I was physically assaulted by a very normal-looking 40 plusser man because he had field mice outside his villa and this wasn’t part of his perfect holiday plan.
My suggestion would be communicate your needs, listen to others needs and work out how all these needs can be achieved. Get adventurous, be open minded and remember sometimes things don’t happen in the same pace as we expect. Always take a park of cards or Uno. The end result … laughter instead of rows!
2. Complete the following quiz
Do I like the people/person that I am going on holiday with?
Am I looking forward to a break?
Am I happy to be flexible with delays, jams, weather variations and insects?
If you have answered YES to all three questions, skip to number 3. If you have answered NO, then please read my story
*I was once visited by a 40 plusser lady tourist every single day from 9-12.30 for the duration of her two-week holiday. OK, so my office was in an idyllic setting, located in an authentic style Taverna with colourful pots and views of the Med, so not a hardship, but as a 20 plusser I wondered why she left her husband in the apartment while she chatted away to me. I really wasn’t that interesting! Towards the end of her holiday she told me that she couldn’t stand her husband - they were opposites. She missed the company of her children and couldn’t wait to get home so she could be at peace. Ouch. He hated foreign holidays, she loved them. Perhaps the solution for anyone in this situation is either separation or go on holidays with your girlfriends!
If you want to do yoga everyday on the beach, perhaps your holiday partners may not want to?
3. Switch off all media/ social and anti-social/ don’t buy a newspaper and shut down
If this is your one opportunity to spend time together, that doesn’t mean sending your SO a text from the beach to the bar to order a drink (although sounds like a great idea), RECONNECT by DISCONNECTING.
It is TIME to charge you and not your phone/iPad/laptop
Who cares where another friend is on holiday and if they look like they are having more fun than you? If you care that much, I'd suggest going on holiday with them next time! Reconnect with your loved ones, remember why you are together or sharing time away. Reading, however, is permitted, always take a lucky dip book too! Plus, a thought provoking one.
*On recent trips, (where phones are banned, and my family find it hilarious that I can predict the time correctly by looking at where the sun is -seriously, I can) it breaks my heart to see other families, sitting at their table, not talking, heads down and glued to their phones or tablets, while the sun is setting *weeps*.
4. Welcome and embrace the holiday brain
If the only taxing major decision you must make in your day is where to eat, CONGRATULATIONS you have officially switched off. If you forget your left from your right, you have achieved ‘holiday brain’. This phenomenon sweeps nations at holiday time all over the world but has been recently on the decline. Keep ‘Holiday Brain’ alive and not only give your body a chance to relax but also your mind. Shall I do breast stroke or front crawl? Chocolate or salted caramel flavour ice cream? Oh, is that the time? Do you think the supermarket will sell milk, or the bakery, bread? You get the type of thing?
5. Make a great playlist - music soothes and calms places that are crying out for some TLC
Do you want to be subjected to banging house music from a bar, or bad American 80s rock anthems? Nope, neither do I. And while part of the adventure is to find a place that suits your music tastes, sometimes this doesn’t work. Plus getting showered and ready to some soulful tunes, in a relaxed way, for me, is pure heaven.
Here are my top 5 chill out summer vibes
Summer Breeze - The Isley Brothers
Everybody Loves the Sunshine – Roy Ayers
Anything by Stevie Wonder
Summer Madness- Kool and the Gang
Summertime -Nina Simone
What are yours?
The Epiphany Moments
Had any of these while relaxed and destressed?
Time and time again over the years of being in this people watching, perceptive and open to opportunities type of living, the ‘light bulb’ moments never astound me, like they do others.
We’ve all done it.
“When I come back from holiday, I am going to”…..delete where applicable
Change my sleep patterns/not drink so much/detox/eat healthier/exercise more/spend more time with my SO or family/get a new job/get divorced/get fit/kiss more/ laugh even more and sell up and move here!
Guilty? Oh yes. and do we keep these New Holiday resolutions? Do you?
Help is at hand, as I completely understand the issues that arise from holidays and the support that can be offered to explore these ‘light bulb’ moments in more detail.
And my recent Light Bulb moment to investigate offering Life Coaching in Greece, because of these thought processes, I introduce to you
The Summer Madness Coaching Special - July-Sep
30 min FREE telephone consultation to assess suitability (under no obligation)
90 minutes coaching session tailor-made to your requirements
2 follow-up emails
Telephone, face-to-face or Skype
Whether it is PRE or POST holiday it is time to:
Create the space, time and permission for change to happen
My parting gift for you this week is my faithful friend Harry Helona...