Time is a construct of our own doing.
It doesn’t exist, yet we have been so conditioned to live within this paradigm that every 365 days, we fall into a sort of exhaustion. We suddenly become so useless that every aspect of our lives suffers for it. “January is such a long month!” Umm, no it’s not. January is just as long as any other month. So too is December. If you had to take two weeks leave from work in June, then it would be just as long a month as December and July would be, well, July.
It really is something slightly short of amazing to observe, this herd-mentality.
We work tirelessly to create a comfortable living space, afford a form of transport and surround ourselves with luxuries such as television sets, internet connectivity and that perfect garden. Then, during the month of December we suddenly feel the need to leave that comfortable environment and trek to a foreign, crowded, over-priced, uncomfortable environment to ‘relax’ and unwind.
Now, call me cynical, but isn’t the idea behind putting in all the effort into our homes solely for the purpose of relaxing in that comfort when we have the chance to do so? And then there’s something else that puzzles me – you are always more tired when you return home from holiday than before you left. “Man, it feels so good to sleep in my own bed again!”
So here’s my take on why home is the best holiday destination, hands down:
Let’s face it, you bought those couches because goddamit you owe it to yourself to have a comfortable seat after a long hard day’s work. Your bed and pillows too. Everything in your house is exactly where you want it and purposefully bought just for you to enjoy. You can lay in as long as you want without having to hang a “do not disturb sign” on the door lever and you don’t have to worry about strangers rummaging through your personal belongings while they clean your room during your trip to the beach. Your clothing and toiletries are exactly where you last left them – no need to remember which friggin compartment you last threw your toothpaste into, or which pile is the dirty laundry. Your own bathroom eliminates the “which-side-is-the-hotwater-tap” puzzle in the mornings. The small things.
When last were the sheets in this room washed? Are those flea bites? Did the last group not see that no-smoking-sign on the door? How many people have showered in this shower before me and when last has it been disinfected? There’s a weird odour coming from the bath trap and is it normal for there to be so many cockroaches in the kitchen?
If you’re home you already start relaxing from the moment you put your feet up and realize that there is no work to go to for the next few mornings. Your friends start their holiday with a stuffy six-hour car trip. In traffic. With roadblocks, traffic stops and tollgates. They might even get lost once or twice along the way despite the nice GPS-lady. On average, the trip to the destination alone will set you back at least R1 500 – and that’s just the fuel. Then, you have to factor in the five or six tollgates at an average fee of R50, the snacks and drinks which could add roughly R500 to the mix and the occasional sightseeing stop along the way. Then – and this really is the clincher – you have to repeat that whole manoeuvre two weeks later. Accommodation is easily in the region of R3 000 a week, if you opt for the campsite experience, or half that per day if you prefer a hotel room. Then we look at food for the duration of your stay, excursions to the beach or theme parks or shopping outings at the mall. The same shops you have a few blocks from your home.
4. Peace and Quiet
That’s right, the neighbours are all gone. The streets resemble a ghost town and the malls are practically empty. There is always a shopping trolley available and you get to park right next to the entrance. You get to use all the machines at the gym. You can play your home-theatre system full volume for as long as you want and nobody will complain – vice versa. Heck, you can suntan naked if you want to, because guess what? There’s nobody home on either side of you.
Statistically you stand a far higher chance of being hijacked while on holiday than if you stay home. Because of the amount of cars on the road this time of year, there are more deaths in December than any other month.
And so on and so on. There are a multitude of other advantages for staying at home that you already know and I’m just not so inclined to waste time writing about. As a final thought, 31 December is the day before 01 January. It’s just another day like any other. There is no magic that happens at the stroke of midnight. It is all in your head – something you could explore in the safety and comfort of your own, clean and quiet home while do nothing but relax.