1. They Offer a Change of Perspective
One of the crucial elements of happiness is really knowing what we want out of life.
Sometimes in the day to day hustle and bustle we can lose track of what is really most important to us; in terms of the type of person we want to be, how we would most like to act and engage with people and what type of life we want to be living.
The perspective shift of a holiday can help us to see what is most (and least) important to us in life and when we return we can integrate that into our lives...and begin to set the goals that really matter.
A man travels the world over in search of what he needs, and returns home to find it.
~ George Moore
2. They Give us Time to be Still
Our lives are often defined by activity. We seek to be 'doing' things constantly and stillness can actually be quite uncomfortable for people if they feel that they should be constantly in action, performing and completing tasks. But many of our greatest realisations about life and spirit come whilst we are being still and mindful.
The mental and emotional 'break' that we give ourselves when we are on holiday can allow us to chill out and let go of our attachment to activity for activity's sake; in the process reducing our stress and anxiety in the moment, and with a carry on effect that can make us more mindful in our daily lives.
Your innermost sense of self, of who you are, is inseparable from stillness. This is the I Am that is deeper than name and form.
~ Eckhart Tolle
3. They Provide Joyous Experiences!
I've always thought that one of the defining points of a life well lived is what I call 'joyous experiences'.
These are the moments of joy and wonder that leave us breathless and they are the very moments that we will often cherish for a life time. These wonderful, rich experiences are those we have when we are on holiday, and there is no better example of this than the richness of experience we have whilst travelling.
The world is a book, and those who do not travel, read only a page.
~ St. Augustine
4. They Can Offer a Simpler Kind of Life
Holidays are often on some level a simpler form of life for us.
We may travel somewhere to be pampered and looked after in an exclusive resort, or we may choose a rustic holiday on a beach in a hut with nothing but a pair of board shorts and a surfboard (my favourite!) but either of these two disparate scenarios simplify our lives.
We can become overly stressed out and anxious due to the physical and mental clutter that we accumulate in our lives, and holidays remove us from those distractions. They also provide a wake-up call that perhaps we can remove (at least some) of our day-to-day stress and anxiety by cutting out extraneous things from our daily routines.
Simplicity is making the journey of this life with just baggage enough.
~ Author Unknown
5. They Give us Something to Work Towards
When we plan for a holiday we really can see the 'light at the end of the tunnel'.
It is a reward that we have set in place and so is a very real way in which we honour ourselves (something we could all afford to do a lot more!)
Taking regular breaks is crucial for optimal happiness and life satisfaction. Too often people live according to a 'deferred life plan' where they work hard, and long, for a long period of time in order to (hopefully) enjoy their retirement. Unfortunately by the time many are of retirement age they are sick and tired and unwilling or unable to do many of the things that they had wanted to do in life.
The idea of 'mini-retirements' (which are in essence holidays based around interesting and varied experiences) is that we make a decision to begin to live the life of our dreams right now. Subsequently if there are experiences that we would like to enjoy we plan for them and make them a reality in our short term future, rather than putting them off.
We often fall into the trap of waiting for 'the right time' to take a holiday. But this can lead to us never actually taking a break and having some of the wonderful experiences we could have.
There will never be the 'perfect time' to do anything, but there is the right time to start living and having joyous experiences...and that time is now!