Recently I read a great blog post about 5 Tips to Make The Most of Weekend Getaways. While I really love travelling this post got me thinking about how much comfort I am still prepared to sacrifice for that. Don’t get me wrong, I could come up with a different destination to travel to every single weekend and I would sure love to explore them all one by one. But only if I was able to do the usual weekend stuff during the week. So here’s why these five tips make me want to stay at home.
Now let me be clear about one thing, I am not the most spontaneous person one could think of. I like to know what’s ahead of me and I don’t handle sudden changes of my carefully planned activities very well. All the characteristics that earned me the nickname of »the little organizer« by my husband. So you would think that the task of planning a weekend getaway from the first to last detail and then sticking to it to make the most out of the limited time could be my dream come true, right? Wrong. I prefer if my whole plan for the two free days consists of general ideas what to do, which can quickly be altered if something else comes up. Or if I just don’t feel like completing all the too ambitious tasks, which is even more likely.
I too want to maximize the mere 48 hours of each weekend plus a bit of Friday afternoon. Actually, I want to stretch them over Monday and a bit of Tuesday too, but that’s not possible. As a consequence my real-life weekend maximizing looks more like this: stocking up on food for the week ahead, washing and drying laundry, ironing only what’s absolutely necessary and doing all kinds of other chores around the house. In between I try to squeeze in some more pleasurable activities like relaxing over a glass of wine after lunch, enjoying coffee with friends on Saturday morning and doing some sports. Unfortunately, there are no magic fairies living in our household who would take care of all these errands if we go away over the weekend. This means that I am left with no choice but to do them during the week when my time is already maxed out without all the extra work. For me this doesn’t work as an incentive enough to go away just for two days.
My whole week is all about focus. Focus on the priorities, focus on meeting the deadlines. Therefore, my weekends should be the opposite of that. I don’t want to follow any particular goals, nor tick off any extensive to-do lists. Instead, I want to afford me the luxury of sleeping in in the morning or just gazing away in the distance if I feel like it. I just need some time off from everything without feeling of being under pressure.
After I’ve spent the whole week rushing from one task to another, simultaneously working on several different assignments, cultural immersion is the last thing that comes to my mind over the weekend. Sometimes a home-cooked Asian meal is as far as I am willing to immerse in anything exotic. So I am perfectly happy if all my discovering of foreign cultures consists of watching a movie, going to a concert or even aimlessly browsing through my twitter feed (I do follow people from across the world, you see).
It’s true that if you spend your weekend at home, there’s not much to reflect on later on. But you have time to do that during the weekend itself and that’s what I do a lot. I think about the reasons why I enjoy spending time at home so much. Is it because I really love our house and I feel perfectly at ease just sitting on the terrace enjoying the view? Am I turning into a couch-potato because I am getting too old to handle the exertion that weekend travel brings? I know one thing for sure: none of this affects my love for travelling. I guess I’ve just accepted the fact that weekend travel, no matter how rewarding, in the end only contributes to my stress instead of relieving it. And that is wrong. So I’ve learnt to plan our trips with more time on our hands, even if they are not as frequent. We may see less of the world, but we enjoy our travels more this way.