5 powerful lessons from holiday that apply to life

Being on holiday, like I have been recently, reminded me of how different it is compared to back home. My time away from the routine, the work and the rushing around feels very different. It made me think of how holidays can seem different and how that can help us in our day-to-day lives.

A reminder, travel is stressful, as is life

No matter how often I travel, even to a location I have been before, I get apprehensive. I wake up too early; I’m restless before leaving, just killing time waiting to go. Even when I finally leave home, a nervous tension remains within me. It’s the newness of it all or the expectation.

It’s not so much anxiety because I don’t imagine something terrible is going to happen. But I feel on edge, an uneasiness in my body. It only goes once I get to my destination and accommodation; I must take a little time to recover from the journey. If you’re like me, travel can be the most demanding part of the holiday experience.

We must accept that it will often be like this and try to enjoy the experience even as we worry. As with our lives, uncertainty will not go away. We need to find a way of thriving within it.

Accepting life as it comes

Travel means going outside our comfort zone; this can result in things going wrong because we’re not expecting them or have yet to plan for them.
Life on holiday is one long adventure that starts when you leave home. Delayed trains, cancelled flights, bad weather, it happens. Experiencing this uncertainty and misfortune can help you adopt a different attitude towards life if you’re open to it.

Instead of squeezing life into a plan, you learn to take life as it comes, adapting, learning, growing, and changing plans to fit the circumstances.
It’s a process of letting go, of control, being certain, feeling safe, and embracing each moment as it arrives. Holidays allow us to do this far more than the routine of home. Because the unexpected is more likely. A break away from home can be a significant learning experience.

I learned I was more capable than I thought. I don’t get a chance to push myself during the day-to-day routine. But climbing hills in fog, facing my fear of heights and travel. It has helped increase my confidence.

Broadening your horizons

Because there is so much free time on holiday, you can get much more done. Your life seems to expand because there’s no responsibility to do anything. You can use your time as you see fit without any obligations. Holiday represents freedom, away from the prison of the day-to-day. I feel a little reluctant to go home. Because that means the routine is back. The work, the chores. The same places and same faces.

When I return from holiday, my life feels like it has shrunk. I feel smaller, imprisoned, and even a little down. Because I know I won’t be able to match what I accomplished away from home. The lesson here is to try to make the home more like a holiday, even a little. Use your free time to go on adventures, try new things, and stretch yourself.

Getting a different perspective

With all this extra time, you can contemplate your life more easily. Out from under the deluge of tasks, you can spend more time in reflection. Learn lessons from the past and consider the future.
Travelling also means seeing how other people live. One of the best ways of understanding yourself is to learn other viewpoints. You gain insight by comparison; the more different, the better. You can see yourself and your life with greater clarity at some distance.

Learning to savour the moments

One of the things some of us have a problem with is we live at a frantic pace. Looking back, I’ve just skimmed over life without a deep connection.
When I was on holiday, I slowed down so much. I spend a couple of hours just familiarizing myself with this new place. It means I don’t get to do as much, but the upside is that I feel a greater sense of connection to the place.

On holiday, you have the opportunity to slow down. To savour the moments and deepen your perceptions. The result is that your experiences will be more vivid in your memories.

Every so often, stop for a moment and savour being in that place. Be attentive, notice what’s around you and how you feel. Stand and stare.
That way, when you are back home in the fast lane of your life, you can say you remember the time you had.

Making life a little bit more of a holiday

I feel it’s essential to take these insights from our time away and use them in everyday life. Perhaps trying to make the day-to-day seem more special, like a holiday.

Each holiday I have has felt the same way. An adventure. That’s what life needs to be like. Stressful at times, yes, but rewarding. A way of growing and expanding your life.

So the next time you are on holiday, go to learn, to grow. ‘To see what can be seen, hear what can be heard, and learn what you are truly made of’.

How do you remember your holidays? What did you learn, about the world, about yourself? Comment below.

2 thoughts on “5 powerful lessons from holiday that apply to life”

  1. Hi Richard, glad you had a good holiday, and I like the idea of making every day life a bit more like a holiday, we shouldnt feel imprisoned just because we’re working and in a routine, we are creatures of nature and are born to be free.

    • Quite true Rob, I feel modern society has made many of us just cogs in a machine. The ‘live for the weekend’ mentality is a symptom of this. Holidays represent a time when we are liberated from the drudgery.


Leave a comment