The last time we went on a big fat holiday it was because I was worn out and saddened by what my work had become. I used the time to switch off, decompress and de-wire. I wasnt on Facebook, hadn’t been for two years before, and I hadn’t discovered Instagram. That mini-break eventually became the serendipitous realisation that what I really needed was a life that I didn’t want to constantly escape. A life that didn’t make me desperately crave a holiday. By the end if the holiday I had found what I was looking for. The much needed courage to take a sabbatical from work even though it seemed like the craziest, scariest thing to do at the time.
This time around things are very different. When we planned this one, part of me did it because I suddenly realised one day, that OMG-it’s-been-three-years-since we last took a break. And part of me did it because I wanted VC to take a real, solid break. I, frankly, don’t deserve this holiday. And going by the levels of sloth and luxury that are panning out as we go, this feeling only gets stronger. My regular life though busy and hectic as it is, is still very simple and I like it that way because it is fulfilling. It has fashioned itself so simply that when I want to take a break just driving out about ten minutes to hit rolling fields, catching a drink on a beach nearby or just spending a Sunday cooking suffice. Actually not just suffice, it totally hits the spot. I don’t know when or how it happened but when I did the math, I realised that as someone who felt the itch to go somewhere once a month, I may have turned over an all new leaf.
This time the feeling of wanting to escape life is missing. I am happy to be away from my routine but that’s about it. It was meant to be a gadget-free holiday. I ditched my laptop at home like I always do, but armed my ipad with a couple of books. When I turned my phone off on boarding the flight at Bangalore I was prepared to be off the grid completely. I thought I’d perhaps not be the over-sharing picture-taking tourist for a change.
BUT. Sri Lanka has put a massive spoke in all that yougaiizzzz.
With it’s strawberry blushing sunsets. Thick, acrylic skies that make you question science. Happy, cheerful people who you want to grab and hug for no reason at all. Beautifully clean, quaint and undiscovered corners. Pristine colonial sights that make you want to have chicken sandwiches and tea. With it’s gentle marrying of religious serenity and transactional tourism. It’s incredible capacity to make me want to hang on to every memory in tedious detail. It’s ethereal moments that catch me off guard. With it’s colours that pop. And it’s charm that beguiles even the cautious travellers that we are.
The last time I was on a big, fat holiday I turned off my phone and escaped life. I had nowhere to share my pictures and I didn’t care to either. My holiday was all mine and I wanted to soak myself in it completely.
This time it’s so different. Sri Lanka is too pretty not to be photographed. I’ve turned my phone off, but I can’t stop taking pictures. I’ve come so far away from home, but I haven’t escaped. I’m having an impossibly good time but I want to share snapshots of it all with you. Maybe it’s because all those lets-get-back-home-and-write-all-about-it moments never materialise. So instant over sharing makes sense.
V said this morning, sometimes you’re making memories, sometimes you’re living the life you’d envisioned already. Maybe this is one of those few times that it’s possible to do both. At once.