‘Where are your books’ my boyfriend asked me as I finally finished packing my case for the third time (an O.C.D habit I developed and now can’t get out of).
‘I’m not taking any‘, I reply looking over at the stack he has piled next to his already full bag.
Then he asked the question I always get asked. ‘How can you not be taking any books on holiday?’
I understand that for many their perfect holiday is sitting on a beach for a week or two, devouring one book after another, nursing a pina colada in their free hand. There is nothing wrong with that, but it is just not for me. Don’t get me wrong I love to read, but I don’t get why a holiday is the right time to stick my head in a book.
The most common argument I hear is: ‘Holidays give you time to do things you don’t normally have time for’. OK, true.
But, whilst I agree with this statement, I just do not see reading on the top of the list of things I do not normally have time for. I can read anywhere, well not in the car as I get carsick, but in the morning, during my lunch break, and before bed. I can read waiting for a bus, in the park or even sat on the toilet. My point: reading can happen at any time, and it should. Reading develops your mind and lets you delve into your own imagination.
When I go on holiday I want to make the most of my time in an exciting new place, not making time for something that I could make time for at home if I really wanted to.
My holidays are nearly always to destinations that I have never been before. Somewhere new and exciting. Somewhere where there are volcanoes to climb, waterfalls to swim under, crazy frantic cities to explore, and yes the odd beach too.
I am attracted to places with cultures I do not understand, and whilst I can read a guide book about that culture, to really know it means participating in their spiritual rituals, it means talking to them about their education and hopes and dreams, and in some cases it means eating deep fried bugs on a skewer.
These are all things that I also do not have time to do in my everyday life, and each as every bit rewarding as the satisfaction of completing a good book. It also develops my understanding of a diverse and fascinating world. And now is the time to explore it before all of the fascinating beliefs and customs of far flung communities are lost as they try to integrate into the modern world or deal with issues created by climate change.
In any event, as good as the author and your imagination is, I do not think it can bring to mind quite how astonishing and inspiring this world can be.
Let’s face it, travelling isn’t cheap. It costs a lot of those hard earned pennies to be able to afford to go to wonderful places and I want to make the most of every second.
So no I will not be bringing a book to read on my holiday…OK, maybe just one for the plane.
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