I had a lovely 5 days by myself on the Sunshine Coast, north of Brisbane. The weather forecast said it was to rain all week but mercifully it was wrong and it was in fact sunny all week, with temperatures in the mid-high 20s. A lovely change from the 10s it’s been at home.
I had booked into a resort and managed to upgrade my room to one with a kitchenette and a balcony. This worked beautifully: I could eat breakfast on my balcony in the morning sun, and avoid the $20 buffet fat-fest that is a resort breakfast staple. Similarly, dinner was a light supper in the fading light, and lunch was a treat out somewhere depending on where I was exploring.
I was surprised how many people asked who I went away with, and did I meet anyone while I was away. No-one and no, are the answers. I went on my own, stayed on my own, spent every day on my own, ate 3 meals a day on my own, and came home on my own. It was bliss.
During the day, I would go for a walk somewhere. The resort was a stone’s throw from the beaches and there was a wonderful walkway that went for miles north and south so every day involved a walk along that. The shopping wasn’t up to much but I wandered the town centre idly looking anyway, and managed to find a good bookstore which always makes me happy (I bought a couple of books to show my appreciation for its existence).
I had made up my mind to sketch while I was away, and sketch I did: 3 per day. Generally one was of my breakfast, although that got very boring as it was the same every day. I sketched from the cafe or restaurant where I had my morning coffee or lunch, and of course the waterfront itself was ideal.
The rest of the time I spent sitting by the resort’s pool, reading and having an occasional swim. I almost always had the pool to myself, as the resort was very quiet the week I was there (perfect timing/luck on my part). I took a nap in the afternoons, not a long one but enough to revive my flagging energy for the remainder of the day.
And that’s what I did on my vacation. It wasn’t exciting or newsworthy, and it was a clear loser in the “Who Had the Best Vacation” one-up-manship competition back at work, but it worked for me. I didn’t force myself to engage in any kind of social interaction beyond the usual pleasantries with staff in stores and cafes, and I came back feeling refreshed, relaxed, and more importantly my health was improved by the break. Perhaps it was the naps, or the warmth, or a combination of these and the lack of social stress, but I have more energy than I have had in a long time. For me, that’s the point of a vacation.
I really should do it more often.