Travel – Getting away from it all
I’m drafting this week’s article from a hotel room. As a periodic traveller for business and pleasure, finding myself in a hotel isn’t that uncommon. What is unusual is that I’m away with my husband – and no kids. We both travel independently from time to time, so it felt a strange checking into the hotel together yesterday.
To put this into context, our eldest child recently turned 10 and this is only the 2nd time we’ve gone away together alone – the 1st being back in 2009. Unfortunately, we don’t have family living close by to support this kind of endeavour. This weekend was only possible because of the angel that persuaded us to go and offered to take care of the kids for us.
The big weekend
Life is so busy that we are often like ships passing in the night and barely get the time to see each other, let alone to really connect. So, we planned the weekend around us. We targeted Nottingham, a place we both know well and have fond memories of. I lived here for the first 8 years of my working life and it’s where I was living when we first met. This would give us the opportunity to connect back with our younger selves as well as each other.
First stop was some open water swimming at a local lake. I know this wouldn’t be everyone’s first choice. We both compete in triathlons but we rarely train together due to childcare and other commitments. This gave us a chance to do something together that we both enjoy. And with no time pressure for once!
We then continued our way towards Nottingham with a stop for a well-deserved hearty pub lunch on the way. We also walked around Wollaton Park, did a spot of shopping and enjoyed a night out with some friends. We weren’t woken up by kids and were allowed to wallow a bit with our sore heads this morning.
Having just enjoyed a leisurely breakfast (more like brunch) in the hotel, we’re just enjoying a quiet chill-out before we check out at midday. This afternoon we’re off to walk around Rutland Water (at our pace, for once) before heading back home for dinner with the kids.
So, what’s it to you? A few months ago, I shared a post on the importance of rest and recovery. This is an extension of this theme.
Benefits of getting away from it all
This weekend has been very therapeutic for a number of reasons:
Break from the norm
It’s felt very liberating to break from the normal weekend routines of kids’ swimming lessons, birthday parties, exchanging library books and catching up with household chores.
Making our own plans
Similarly, it’s felt very indulgent to be able to make our own plans and do what we want to do this weekend, without having to consider other people, activities and commitments. It’s also been novel not being interrupted every time we try to have a conversation!
A time to reconnect
My husband and I have been together for almost 20 years and married for over 10. We know each other well and even quite like each other. But sometimes this can get overlooked with the daily grind. It’s been good to spend some quality time and to reconnect with each other. Couples sometimes need time together too.
Being in the present
So much of my life involves thinking 2-3 steps ahead at all times (I am a planner by nature). It’s been great to slow down and recognise the here and now a little, enjoying the moment, seeing the sights etc.
Getting away and being somewhere different has given us a fresh perspective on life, which is nigh impossible to get when you’re at home.
A little indulgence
It’s been a treat to be able to indulge a little this weekend with a nice hotel, meals out etc. It has felt like a mini holiday…
Why is it important?
Life is a marathon, not a sprint. Sometimes it’s easy to forget this when life is running its course.
Time to recharge ready to embrace life again (not merely face it).
Couples need to invest time too. Too often families (and specifically the children) become the key focus. What about the adults? And what happens when kids ultimately leave home?
Alternative solutions for getting away from it all
We feel lucky to have been away for these 33 hours, but what if actually getting away isn’t possible? After all it’s taken us years to achieve this. How can we capture some of these benefits in other ways?
- Spa day – see my article on a little bit of what you fancy
- Regular date nights / lunches
- Day off work – alone or as a couple
- Trying something new
- Periodically disconnecting from internet, phone etc.
- Escapism via books, films, theatre etc.
We’ve had a great weekend away. Whilst we enjoy and value our family time, it’s beneficial to switch off from this sometimes. It’s been great to walk, talk and even indulge in a little retail therapy. It’ll benefit us as individuals, as a couple and as a family in the longer term. We’ll try not to leave it so long until the next time!
Thank you for reading. For more interesting articles, visit my blog at www.agelifebalance.com to learn more.