I have a tendancy to keep going until I drop – and thats not even when I am somewhere new and exciting with things to do. My first ever trip was to a few cities in Europe, and A and I did about six things every day for three weeks and returned exhausted. We weren’t much better in Germany the following year, but at least the long bus trips between cities forced us to sit still for a spell.
In the intervening years, I have learnt the value of having a few days where you don’t do anything big. When I was in Thailand, my rest day was spent doing laundry and making the most of my hostel wifi and air con. I usually use rest days as a day to catch up on this blog, to upload all my photographs, to draw, to write, to be calm despite my best efforts.
To use the battery analogy, running until empty is really not useful for anyone. I guess I’ve always been afraid of missing out, of not wanting to waste a single second of my time spent on holiday. I have to keep reminding myself that I will be here for a whole year, that I will have plenty of time and that I can do things at a nice sedate pace, with plenty of time for rocking up at Auckland library to made desktop edits to this blog, or to sit in Costa and read my book (Erebus, by Michael Palin at the moment. My sister bought it for me as part of my ‘airport survival kit’ – which included books, a notebook, gin and chocolate. She knows me so well) or to text my friends and have an entire conversation where I need to write a story afterwards just to send her. Or drawing.
I am good at lazy evenings, I like staying in being comfy in the evenings. I’m not a huge fan of parties or crowds. I have been drawing a baby dragon making books fly for the past two evenings, and it’s been nice to just curl up on one of the awful sofas at my hostel (they are gross, and collapsed) or perch at the breakfast bar and plug in some music and just draw. The other night, the person next to me was doing the same thing, and we got into a discussion about fandom and me asking why I couldn’t rotate my page on the app we were both using.
Rest days are important to just recharge – to enjoy the surrounding without needing to barrel head first into more. I quite like sitting in Starbucks and watching Queen Street go by, or sitting by the harbour and watching the boats. It may not be the adventure holiday people think of, but I think it’s more sustainable for me (personally, you do you) over the next year.
That being said, I leave Auckland on Friday for an adventure filled month on the Kiwi Experience bus including White Water Rafting, caving, hiking and other definately-not-sitting still things! I am looking forward to it immensely.
Cheerybye from a rest day!