What are the ingredients that make you return from a holiday relaxed, contented and soul-happy? This topic came up again in our discussion yesterday, as it has often done in the past 18 months.
You would assume that having such busy lives in our everyday would mean that most people would seek some level of relaxation and escapism. But in many cases the contrary is true, with holidays often ‘over-scheduled’. For the desire of memories and Instagram-worthy photos, we ‘enrich’ our trips with sightseeing and activities a plenty.
Family holidays, in particular, seem to be set up now for constant, non-stop, in-your-face entertainment. Bombard them from the moment they wake with activities, rides, amusements, until they crash out ready to do it all over again the next day. I would be a wealthy woman if I had a dollar for every time friends came back saying ‘I need a holiday to recover from my holiday!’
When we reflect on our own historical holiday planning, as parents of children from the iGeneration (that’s an official thing by the way), we have to admit to being guilty of looking for the types of deals that guarantee all day everyday entertainment. Even our girls, who love being outside and can play happily for hours upon hours without needing anything other than each other’s company, would probably choose Movieworld every time. Can Nature ever compete with the Disney / Marvel / Star Wars / Harry Potter entertainment powerhouses?
It reminds me of a well-known Billy Connollyism, about returning to his beloved native Scotland with his young children, roadtripping and exposing them to the natural wonders, landscapes and beauty of his birth land. At the end, he asked them what they had liked best. The answer? Watching Peppa Pig on the tiny car headrest screens.
So what is the coming-of-age for nature appreciation?
Perhaps, in this age of thrill seeking and constant stimulation, resisting the pull of these action-packed holidays is futile? Don’t get me wrong, we would hands down advocate for the value of holidays that are less pre-packaged and more adventure on your own terms. But we wonder how many families would swap their roller coasters for camp fires, waterparks for wildlife, fortnite for forest bathing, and general over-the-top sensationalism for stillness.
The irony is that once immersed in the best of what nature has to offer, there are just as many photo opportunities, exciting experiences and rich offerings for memory making as in any packaged commercialised break. Conquering the iconic Mount Cooroora climb is as thrilling as any rollercoaster, and you don’t have to queue😁