Tuesday, 29 March 2011

What makes a holiday – or a vacation?

Brits will deny a vacation exists; while for an American a holiday is a vacation. However I disagree entirely – a holiday is a part of life; as an individual you’re existing day to day just without the dramas of work and expectations from an employer; while a vacation – to me – is turning your life upon its head, doing everything differently and forgetting or blocking out everything that happens day to day. Exploring who you are as a person: re-evaluating your priorities and making decisions for where your life goes next. Taking that lead in the direction of your steps.

A large family trip to Les Deux Alpes turned out to be exactly this. Joining forces with four couples who normally lead totally different existences and working together for a week to enjoy the same experience; on top of a mountain – our feet strapped to boards with no escape but to slide down – and go with the flow.

While this analogy maybe reminiscent of any group ski trip, this is in some ways where the similarities end. Skiers can remain upright for the most part often a long stream of flailing four-legged wonders; while snowboarders (whilst learning) unflatteringly roll down the mountain sliding occasionally to prove the existence of that single board – but until seasoned professionals who make ballet dancers look messy – us snowboarders are the greatest dramas queens stirring up catastrophic disasters both ahead and behind as every other person on the slop attempts to steer/stay well clear!

The sheer concentration thrown into the descent as a four-legged army or wavering boarder oppresses all other thoughts from the forefront of the mind and within a matter of days are entirely segregated to the depths of one’s mind that when their existence emerges it’s with a different perception – outlook – and as a peculiarly different subjectivity.

Holidays give us a chance to suppress thoughts and feelings; while vacations oppress them, dissect them, flip them up and regurgitate them. For the first time in a very long time I managed to escape my reality in favour for a much more (dangerous) optimistic view on life – that of which is today – the present!