Two weeks ago, I moonwalked out of work, waving like British Royalty. I was basically on my way to marry Prince Harry. I had spent the previous three days saying goodbye to my colleagues, and I toasted my exit with a bottle of Moët.
I was off on holidays -- for two weeks.
Cultural acceptance aside, the main thing my Asian escape to the sun taught me was that post holiday blues (PHB) should be a medically diagnosed illness.
Touching home ground on the coldest night of the year was only a slight factor in the realisation that normal me vs. holiday me could not be more different. On holidays, I don't set alarms (the audience goes silent in shock). While at home, I have a pre-alarm before my actual alarm, which is too early for my morning needs anyway.
As a human race, we are the better versions of ourselves on holidays. This is why:
1. Cleanliness is irrelevant.
I'm not the cleanest person in the world, my childhood was riddled with drought and egg timers for every shower. Facing the world without make-up was liberating. Trying to run around catching drops in a shower on a generated powered island, really put the need for a razor into perspective. Who says baby wipes should just be for babies?
Not shaving my legs for two weeks at home -- I'm instantly victim to a label.
2. You can splurge without guilt.
The week before I left, I refused to pay $8 extra for headphones with a microphone, on the mental assurance that I would be back in that same store with broken headphones less than a month later.
Holiday-me happily caught walking distance taxis, paid $18 for a glass of wine that I know is $5 per bottle in Australia, and was happy to pay extra to go to a restaurant that shunned using hands and had real cutlery. And yes, I need all the trinkets and magnets and fake sunglasses because they will come in handy one day.
Buying a 'real' Chanel bag in Australia -- it's two minute noodles for dinner for the next forever.
3. There's no pressure.
So what if I'm terrified of scuba diving? I'll give it a go, if I hate it after two minutes I can swim away, drag my tank across the sand and sit in the local bar.
Maybe I don't want to check out on time. What are they going to do? But, deciding not to do a report at work 'just 'cause' -- I'd be fired.
4. Everyone is your best friend.
Internationally, people fascinate me. Why are they there, what do they do, do they think in different languages? What have they seen? What do they know?
If I met an 18-year-old girl who's 'done' Asia on her daddy's credit card at home, I'd roll my eyes and turn the other way.
5. You step outside the norm.
See: scuba diving. Not to mention dining at a skyscraper bar (even with an extreme fear of heights) or fire twirling because you asked a local if you could give it a go.
At home, I look left and right 15 times before I cross the street.
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6. You don't care about the small things.
A $15 international transaction fee? No worries! A 45-minute flight delay? Hey, I get to finish my book.
In Australia, I shop at the local market to be thrifty and I curse the $2 ATM fee. If my train is delayed by two minutes, I know I'm going to be in a mood all day.
There's also the whole 'work' thing. I thought the world would end with my auto-reply on for two weeks, and then I realised that I wasn't that important. See: Prince Harry. If all else fails, I can always be a fire twirler.
7. FOMO doesn't exist.
I knew I would miss two major social engagements when I was absent and it made me sad. Until I was absent. Until I didn't have electricity from 10 am to 6 pm and couldn't use my phone. I just really didn't care -- no offence.
At home, I'd be trawling social media by the minute and cursing myself for missing out on the best night ever.
The most exciting thing about coming home and covering my tan with winter clothes was seeing my dog, and she didn't even miss me.
At least I am now at the longest point between two holidays.
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