Holidays Are…

Holidays are a psychological must!

For real!

Look at what we endure by way of day-to-day urban grind – work, kids, studies, families, friends, fitness, home-making, commuting, relationships and not to mention the mound of life-issues that we get battered with and see ourselves through, every day.

Holidays provide one of life’s essential pleasures – the anticipation of a stop-the-world-I-want-to-get-off-moment  – whether for a weekend, a week, a fortnight – or if we’re really really lucky, even longer (lottery-win/sabbatical/retirement /sugar-daddy – permitting)! They provide a crucial space where we can suspend our daily reality and emerge ourselves into an alternative environment that can be an anaesthetic to our mind, body and soul. Bliss personified! *face-in-palms-sigh*

Why is it that mental-imagery important???

Because we all need a break, that’s bleddy why.

“True-that” I hear you say…

The Psychology of Holidays

I started this by saying that holidays are a must psychologically. I know I always throw psycho-analytic stuff at you – and I make no excuse for it! Human Development is about strengthening the mind and the spirit, so that we can be better-equipped to live our lives. The scientific practice is called psychoanalysis, the right-on way: spiritual  development and the most simplest word to explain it is motivation. Regardless of how you feel comfortable seeing it, the issue is the same.You’ve got to reward yourself with time out. Even soldiers who are battling on the front-line get leave to go home or go around the world, and take out their batteries, so they can be refreshed and ready to hit the ground again, running, on their return.

Do you programme holidays for yourself? Do you take yourself away from it all? When last have you taken one? Did it do the trick? What are yo waiting for??!

If you haven’t in a while, then do yourself a favour. Not for me – for you. Get on that web browser!

The holiday I take gives me the space I need to clear my head; the ‘hit’ I get from my holiday experience makes going back to my everyday-life much more bearable!

I’m known to come back from one holiday and plan the next – hey that’s my thing. I set up what type of hoiliday I think I’ll need for my next break to have a full mental, spiritual and physical clear-out I reckon I’d require next, and hit the road again.

I remember when I was in one of my cycles of unemployment in the early 2000s. Money was scarce! I made a point of visiting one friend outside of London every other month – it meant backing an overnight bag & scraping the money to get on a train and chill with friends in quaint parts of the UK for long weekends. That was a brilliant experience – it lasted 2 years and it changed my perception of holidaying in the UK! The point I’m making here is:

Don’t Make It About The Money!!!

Picture what you want first then think about the best way that you can fund the version of it to suit your pocket and circumstances. If you start off with the money issues you may negate the will and resolve required to make something happen. Dream first, then get practical (and determined)!

My Kind Of Holiday

My taste for holidays have changed over the years. Growing up in a Carribbean-British family & sub-culture in London, the dream of going back to the Caribbean was drip-fed to me by my parents and peers, so returning the island of Montserrat was my perfect haven. Into my late 20s, when I stepped out of the closest, I discovered America and in particular Black gay life and spent a fair few years falling in love with my close African-American friends in the USA. Into my 30s, I decided to explore more of a diverse gay life in London and Europe and started to take European City-trips. The clubby, pride-event based, gay-life-oriented, fetish-driven, group of lads adventure, which consisted of sleeping well into the afternoon, eating light lunches with sunglasses on and getting ready for the night’s events which lasted into the next day and returning home needing another holiday. They’re great mann!!! ‘Rah-Rah-Holidays’ (as I call them) have their place!

But this holiday was different for me – I’d already planned my Rah-Rah-Hholiday, which took place at Madrid Pride a couple of months ago – and enjoyed every moment of it. You see this time a year ago I was about to see an end to my life-transition, I was days away from starting back into a dream/career/full-time role after lengthy unemployment. I knew that life would change significantly and I’dve had a year of intense working to get hold the reigns in a senior management role, in a very consuming profession. So I booked a week’s holiday in Berlin a whole year away to celebrate my birthday, also knowing I’d be bushed and reflective after a 12-month slogg.

Boy was I right. Call that decision an epiphany if you will – all I know is, it was one of my better decisions! I’d spent my annual European Pride holiday last year at Berlin Pride funnily enough. And yes I did the Rah-Rah-Holiday thing, however something struck me about the City – I felt there was much more to see of it and wanted to return. So I decided to take a full-week – away from friends, away from the Rah-Rah of a Pride event, to just be. 

Since then I’ve started dating and the picture’s adjusted for the better – I now share my life with a great man who gets me and my extremes *gushes*, so my planned holiday for 1 became a ‘time-out’ holiday for 2! The theme didn’t change though – it was going to be about taking the slow lane, discovering a great European (gay) city and relaxing.

I totally chilled out and made the best use of the quality time. Here are some of the exclamations I made whilst in Berlin:-

Berlin Is

A Hard Core Gay City!
The gay scene is one of life’s hiden treasures. I’d heard gaffaws about it but only after witnessing it did I relaise it totaly blows Amsterdam (my previous most favourite gay European City) out of the water! It’s the centre of all things gay fetish, sleaze  hard-core. There are very few bars without a cruising (dark-room) area or a theme night of some kind (bears, underwear, naked, boots-only and many of the other dream sleeze scenes which captivate the minds of sexually adventurous gay men). At the same time there are many poptastic, house, drag-queen, karaoke & twink-driven bars & clubs too – the scene is extreme at either end! You can take your pick. Schöneberg, the gay area, is simply nuts by day or night. It never stops. I love it!

Gay accommodation is a-plenty. I stayed in the no1 gay hotel, which is lush. It’s strapline is ‘hetro-friendly’ – ha! I can’t even tell you about the goings on in the spa right now – well! Anyhoo, I took a treadmill run every morning and a steam to start my day. By night I watched a drag act in the hotel lounge and spilled out 2 minutes into the gay scene to watch catch a meal and the evening’s social adventure. Perfect! Whatever aspect of gay life you prefer to indulge in, Berlin serves it up full and fierce  You wont’ be sorry. Tired you may be, but sorry – nah.

Clean!
In 7 days I saw dog shit on the pavement only once. The place is clean! There is a dust-bin on every other lamp-post and they are used by all. Shop owners sweep outside their premises, sort the rubbish for re-cycling, then sweep up and discard the rest. The first time I saw a man doing that I wanted to hug him.

Cycling-Friendly!
I’m a cycling convert! I’d heard about how great Berlin is for cycling but didn’t hink much of it until I was given strong advice that hiring a bike was the best way to get round the city by day. The city is completely dedicated to cycling – the cycle lanes run on the pavement and have their own lights at junctions so it feels much safer to cycle in, than in London or Amsterdam. I cycled for 8 hours straight, stopping off at monmuments, cool areas and cafes and wish I’d did it earlier. We’ve both vowed to make the msot of our shamefully unused Boris Bike keys when we get home.

Rich in History!
The Berlin Wall needs no introduction. It’s an awesome history lesson that stirs emotion of anger and wonderment. There are also estates, monuments, castles, parks and historical landmarks splattered across the city that will keep even the tourist-fodder-adverse and museum-adverse visitor (such as myself)  captivated and inspired.

Shit for Food!
German’s aren’t known for their cuisine. You’ll suffer for palette adventure. It’s either Italian pizzerias, American burger restaurants or German sausages and chips.  If you venture into Kreuzberg you’ll find Turkish kebabbish houses, but that’s it. Thank the universe for Cafe More in Schöneberg – it’s a wonderful little chic bistro/cafe that I frequented for lunch and dinners. My fella was in his element with the vegetarian options too  its inventive and delicious in all cuisines!

Shit for Fashion!
Well Germans have never been known for fashion. All I can say is, don’t go there expecting to shop – FFS!

Terrible at Service!
Whilst the people are laid back and friendly socially, service-orientation is fundamentally lacking. Slow, cold, attitude-ish and not focused on the customer-experience are a few of the words included in my rants. All I can say is if the waiters moved to America they’d starve and be homeless. The End.

Very Quirky!
I never saw an eyebrow raised (negatively) at another person, once. Never. Trans-people, gay men of all persuations, to name but a few. Outlandish behaviours and looks – straight and gay – lived as one. Travel out of Schöneberg, and into the suburban areas and ‘gay outlandishness’ subsides but quirkiness remains strong – changing into the cool fashions of a metropolitian crowed – all cutlures and sexualities mixing as one. Kreuzberg resembled a blend of Camden (urban, youthful  studenty grunge) meets Stoke-Newington (bustling Turkish community) – but on a mass scale. Rowdy and eddgy, yet exhilarating.

Obsessed with Health Care!
Berliners put beauty & health products very high on their list of life’s essentials – there is a road sign on every block with a massive A for Apotheke on it. Inside one of these odd retail establishments you will find everything relating to grooming, health and skin care. Some also contain pharmacies. I can’t work out why the German public need signposting to these establishments every 5 minutes. It had me scratching my bald head!

Has a Strong Cafe Culture!
It’s all about chilling outside – wether it’s for coffee, a drink, food, or just pulling up a chair outside your art gallery or bric-a-brac shop. ‘Take it outside’ is the order of the day – marvellous!

Easy for transport!
Transport is very easy-to-understand, cheap, and reliable (although the trains are very old & frar-frar looking)!

I didn’t expect to experience these exclamations – I was quite ignorant to what I would see, explore or experience and did not research my activity until I was in-the-moment ( I like to do that). Instead I focused on setting-up the destination, the company I’d have and the gear I was going to take the holiday in. I ended up having a completely different experience to the previous visit 14 months earlier when I went to Berlin Pride. So who says that we don’t make our own karma??!

It’s All About You!

Plan your holiday as YOUR well-deserved time-out. Don’t make it become all about the money-make it about your re-fuel! Understand WHAT YOU REALLY NEED to SWITCH OFF. Set a path to achieving the feeling you want to experience, that will make returning to your every-day life afterwards, worthwhile.

Do It!!! Holidays are YOUR psychological must!!! Or YOUR spiritual re-boost…or YOUR motivational springboard…

 

SpiritedStrength = daily life driven by: • heart • realness • liberation • purpose • learning • happiness

 


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