Le bonheur est comme un papillon : il vole sans jamais regarder en arrière.
Happiness is like a butterfly: it flies away without ever looking back. [Robert Lalonde]
When I was 9 my father took me on a sailing trip to the Baleares Islands. His 8-metre long sailing boat was his floating house and really the sea was his world. I never understood how he could live on a boat all the time, especially away from me and mum. I, on the other hand, got used to my little town apartment’s comfort – although basic – as I lived with my mum.
Little did I know that in taking me on a “trip”, his intention was in fact to teach me a lesson about life: make me realise that my little “comfortable” city routine was far from what life what really about. After just a few days away from my mum, my TV, my bedroom, my friends and the little routine I got so accustomed to, I lost it! Especially at sea where I could essentially not escape. But after a few more “enlightening” days for the both of us, I had to start enjoying what was there for me to enjoy and most of all appreciate every little thing: The little pleasures of cooking your own food, eat because you are hungry, the smells, the sounds around you (all the time), the friendly neighbours paying an impromptu visit day and night, sleep under the skyline, stay up at night to make sure we don’t hit another boat, take a salt shower topped with a nice precious short fresh water rinse. All the little luxuries in life we so often take for granted!
It is really amazing how when you isolate yourself from some of the technology and distractions that surround you, your senses suddenly become more alert and responsive.
After three weeks, I was tanned, fit, relaxed, “unpolluted” as my father called it, blonde from the Sun-Sea perfect combination. Plus I had stories to tell, things to be proud of! But most of all, I was closer to my dad than I ever was since my parents’ separation.
I can never forget these precious moments, how they enriched my life and made me a better person. Going away is not just about discovering the world or a new place you haven’t been to, it is also about rediscovering yourself and/or cherishing the time with your loved ones.
I am well aware today that taking a break from the routine is not only a necessity, it is a duty – you owe it to yourself and to your happiness. No point procrastinating, the clock will not stop, so I might as well make the most of time I have right now and plan the break my family and I need. I beleive this applies to anyone. So my advice to you is: don’t say it, don’t add it to your TO DO list, take action. Work will be there when you get back.
And when you get back with the wonderful memories, this is the perfect time to Share your story, share the secret places you’ve discovered on your journey with others and most of all plan your next break: gives you something to look forward to.