Travel broadens the mind, but is mine wide enough?

suitcase pilePhil: If there is one major difference between Candice and I, apart from the obvious one, it’s our attitude to holidays.

When we first met, she had just returned from a break in Australia. Since then there have been regular vacations. Usually by the time one is underway, the next has been booked. Every few months, friends are treated to more pictures from an exotic location via Facebook.

I, on the other hand, like the concept of a holiday as long as I don’t actually have to go on it. Travelling is something I’d like to have done, but not actually do. If you’ve seen the film “Total Recall” or read the original story “We can remember it for you wholesale” where an industry has grown up selling memories, you’ve probably got an idea how I’d like to operate. All the pleasant bits from a trip without all the hassle and inconvenience would make me happy. Looking at the Nolan photos, I envy trips to Cape Canaveral, but not enough to load myself on a plane and go.

Part of this is that I don’t like flying. Sitting in a tube an unfeasibly long way above the ground makes me nervous. I know planes (generally) don’t crash. I even have a pretty good idea why they stay in the air but it still all seems wrong to me.

More of a problem is that it’s so inconvenient. When employed in proper jobs, I have been actively encouraged by some bosses not to take time off. One would delight in suddenly producing something “that must be done” late in the afternoon on my last day. Alternatively I’ve found meeting booked into electronic diaries even when mine clearly states I’m not around. Meetings important enough that if I wasn’t going away, I felt I ought to come in for them.

There are a couple of years in my past when I didn’t take a single day of my annual leave entitlement. (Before you get the violins out, I was on flexi-time in both jobs and so earned odd days off, so I had time off but no longer than a long weekend). Looking back, I received no thanks for this and never expected any. It was just the way things were.

Even since joining the world of freelancers and contractors, my last proper trip away was in 2008 – that shocked me when I looked it up on the blog I set up in a fit of enthusiasm for a lifestyle change involving more getting away from it all. OK, there have been loads of days out and even a few nights away but nothing you can properly call a holiday.

Why do I mention this?

Well, next week I’m away for a few days on Isle of Man. Then later in the year I’ve been invited to speak at a conference in Australia. You can’t spend that much time travelling for a weekend so I’ve booked a proper trip involving Adelaide, Sydney and a couple of visits to Hong Kong. Comitting myself to that was a bit scary if I’m honest. So I couldn’t bottle it, I told lots of people I was going. Needless to say, several, including Candice, have given me excellent advice and a list of places I should visit when I’m there.

I think I’m looking forward to it but already I can see work piling up and a voice in my head is telling me that it would be a lot more convenient not to go…

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2 Comments

Filed under Phil

2 responses to “Travel broadens the mind, but is mine wide enough?

  1. Christian

    Don’t worry dude you will love it – don’t forget to bring some toy trains for a little flavour of home!

  2. Yep, take a couple of kits and don’t forget the Aussies are very keen on model railways and full size steam trains.

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