For the last few years I’ve gone on holidays with friends. Once a year with my uni friends, as part of a sort of tradition we’ve started where we pick a UK spot, book the coolest looking accommodation we can find on Air B&B, load up some cars and go. The others have been holidays in the sense of beaches, sunshine and girl time. The last three that I’ve got back from, a different friend has mentioned how much of a massive difference that change of scenery has made to their frame of mind and outlook and frankly, mental health.
It’s hardly groundbreaking, we go on holiday because we want to blow of steam, rest, top up the vitamin D and escape real life. The internal (and Facebook announcements of glee) parties we have when we turn on that out of office says it all. When I do mine I literally get Duke Dumont- I Got You start playing in my head. It’s like some ecstatic man in a Hawaiian shirt skips into my brain and presses play and then joy commences. And no, this doesn’t have to be reserved for jetting off to tropical shores with a vat of mosquito spray, this is to anywhere. I got imaginary Hawaiin shirt man even when I went to Wales and it was freezing and I had the flu, my mate had oral shingles (yes you read that right- she had shingles in her mouth) and my other friend badly burned herself. We went to A&E and an emergency dentist on that trip. We quite literally, as my boyfriend put it, put the ‘broke’ in ‘Pembrokeshire.’ But all that aside, all the snotty tissues and many paracetamol aside, I came back feeling like I’d been given the elixir of life.
Alright, slight exaggeration, because I was still coughing up green stuff, but you get my point. On the day we set off I was thinking to myself that the only way this group of ill, burnt and crying people would have a good time is if we just went home. I was of course wrong. As I watched a friend drunkenly dance to various Phil Collins songs around a converted barn because she finally felt de-stressed from a frankly shit time in life, I realised this is what we always need.
Of course, we’re not all millionaire lottery winners or chief execs, so it can’t always be converted barns, Indian Ocean beaches and plush hotel rooms with views of valleys. Sometimes it has to be another part of town you’ve never been arsed with visiting, like the time my boyfriend took me to an abandoned car park in Peckham. Romance is alive and well everyone. But seriously, we took really cool photos from said car park, then ambled about a part of London we’d never explored, walked about 4 miles, talked, ate food and erm, called the police because we witnessed an assault. If you forget the assault, that one day took me from tired and grumpy and fed up with my many health woes, to feeling better about everything and ready to go to work on Monday without groaning and moaning and sighing heavily.
Fast forward to now, I haven’t slept properly in weeks. I’ve been irritable, the most sleep deprived I’ve perhaps ever been, been suffering with symptoms of pain and immense discomfort and paranoia about my health and feeling down in the low, low dumps. I’m now on holiday and within one day, despite jet lag and still no sleep, I feel like I’ve had a facial peel that’s revealed a whole new human.
A new view and a bit of space. Enter all the ‘hands in the air’ emojis.