31 March 2013

Who needs a holiday?

A facebook quote sparked this post.  

"Instead of wondering where your next vacation is, maybe you ought to set up a life you don't need to escape from." ~ Seth Godin

This reminds of my discussion with a workaholic friend. He enjoys his job tremendously and shared how puzzled he is by people who is constantly looking towards holiday. Another guy said he is very weary of dating girls who are always out of the country for vacations on every long weekend. He does not understand why they are so upset with their life that they have to opt for escape with every chance.

We were not referring to of people who travel once or thrice a year to experience adventure, explore a new culture, get new inspiration or experiencing fun family time. Neither are we referring to expats who wants to maximise their time and proximity to explore other parts of Asia while they are in Singapore. Nor retirees who have the time and  money to travel around the world.

Here, we are referring to a group who could be stressed, unhappy or bored with their current life to the extent they always feel the need to escape out of their country to feel SANE.

These "escapists" may be leading a miserable life due to the following:

1. They are ego-driven — having the continual need to win, put others down or boast about themselves in order to feel moments of superiority. While they might be successful in their careers, the price of expressing their egos too readily leaves them feeling really lonely and unloved. This feeds into the vicious cycle of making them suspicious, untrusting and unloving which will ultimately cause them to feel emotionally tensed and tired.
2. They are always fending off attacks from people in point 1 at the workplace. Their workload is beyond them. However, due to other commitments, they dare not leave their jobs. They require holidays to relax their defences.
3. People with family issues to handle. They feel they can't let go of their responsibilities emotionally. Eg: Caregivers. They seriously need holidays to prevent being burnt out.
4. People who finds crowded city life too tough to cope.
5. People with low self-esteem who lack the ability to connect with others and themselves on a deeper level. They crave for holidays or entertainment to fill the emptiness in their lives.

If such is the lives they lead, they will need to find ways of escaping.

Some might argue traveling is fun, we travel while we are young and mobile. But adventures, new experiences and challenges come in many forms. Learning to play a new musical instrument, foreign language or sports can be fun, healthy and exciting too. So actually there is no need to go overseas to get it. Once in a while, a trip for a refreshing change/inspiration is perfectly fine. But if someone has to go for holidays constantly to "escape", then there might be a deeper void inside that one has to look into, besides the financial one. One might even start by thinking about a staycation as an option and as a good way to question yourself the need to go overseas..

Before we spend thousands of dollars on holidays, what we might really need is a mirror. I liken a good life coach as a mirror. A mirror to reflect who we are. A life coach would encourage us, teach us ways to manage stress, build our sense of emotional well-being, broaden our mindset and guide us to discover our happiness in life. Our joys and passion are best developed when we understand ourselves better.

Besides engaging a life coach for an one on one coaching sessions. There are other ways to self-discovery:
1. Feedback from honest, kind and wise close friends and family members
2. Divine revelation from God
3. Self-improvement workshops
4. Personality tests
5. DNA fingerprint test

Once we know our personality, motivation and talent, we are able to find passion, confidence and joy.

In future, prior to bursting our hard-earned money or exhausting ourselves from tight and tiring overseas holidays, do consider what we really need. Is it a holiday, a change or a reflection?