We are all guided by some basic principles in life that drive our actions and reactions. Two principles that have driven my behaviour have been:
- the world is just a little too small so we better get out there and explore it;
- we never enough hours in the day so we should attempted to pack in as much into each day as is humanly possible.
These principles are a result from growing up in small town New Zealand at the bottom of the South Island, let’s face the facts that in the 70’s this is about as far away from the rest of the world as you get.
The advent of social media has not eased this feeling of wanting to do and see more, seeing pictures of friends travelling to far off locations, just makes travel more.
Holidays in the past were always a scarred object, I would plan my holidays out in detail to make sure I would get maximum use of the days out of the office and always have a few days in the bank to take advantage of last minute deals. For most of my pre-children years I was able to comply with these self-imposed rules.
My worst nightmare of a holiday was to be forced to take time off at a time, have no holidays left at the end of the year and needing to stay home. Due to a range of extraordinary factors I recently faced this situation, yes my first home-cation.
At the same time I didn’t want to take our oldest out of school when we soon faced 8 weeks of vacation (that is a story for another blog).
As I started my home-cation I soon realised that I had one thing that a parent of young children craves, time lots of time with nothing scheduled. Time to watch the TV shows I want, sneak off for an interpreted sleep in the middle of the day or just watching the world go by, pure luxury.
See for all you pre-children people out there, having time and nothing to do means nothing to you, I may as well be talking another language. Michael McIntyre best described the difference in this YouTube video:
As a parent you soon learn that the most valuable thing children really desire is not x-box or iPad but time with you. Time to read a book, to help put Lego together or for them to tell you about the world and how it works.
You soon realise that this time is the most valuable and fulfilling way you can spend your time. Our children’s younger years will soon pass and the time will soon come when they will not want to spend any time with me, so spending with them now will pay dividends for years to come.
I am using this time to clock up a few extra kilometres. I would love to run further each day but a combination of my fitness level and the Singapore humidity limits the amount of time I can spend out on the road each day.
What has been good about the home-cation is that I can start my runs just that little later in the morning. My body feeling better for the extra sleep and get to see Singapore in daylight and new group of people on my runs.
Taking my long run for the week on a Friday rather than Saturday has freed up some extra time to spend with the children over the weekend. While I try to minimise the time my running takes me away from the family, if I can find a way to crawl back some time, I will try and get this extra time with them.
I have spent a lot of holiday time in my study writing. I have not been concerned about completing posts but writing and researching ideas. I have not spent time at cafés to find inspiration, I feel that cafés in Singapore do not provide inspiration just average coffee. The study in our apartment is the place I find to be the most productive.
It is so nice to spend time writing without having to account for your time, creative without accountability is often an unrated activity.
What have I learnt from this Home-cation?
Nothingness is a good thing
We need to create times in our lives for nothingness. Holidays are becoming too much like work, needing to get “things done”, needing to go places and create new experiences. How often do you here people come back from a holiday to say they are tried and need a rest?
As parents with young children we often lack sleep, it is not until we have had a good sleep and given our bodies time to relax that we can appreciate the power of a good night’s sleep.
Singapore is a great city
Singapore is one of the world’s top holiday destinations and safest cities in the world, so why do I want to leave this place every time I have a vacation.
There is lot of great things to see and do, the weather is always hot and it is easy to get around.
The week of my Home-cation it was 4C at mid-day in Dunedin New Zealand while it struggled to be get below 30C here in Singapore. Heat beats cold any day of the week.
Embrace the area where you live
If you are like me I live a great apartment block in an interesting part of the city. What makes it more interesting is to explore the local cafes you never have time to visit when you are working.
By breaking up your routine and doing the same things at different time of the day you can gain new perspective on where you live. We should embrace the areas we live in and try to make them a better place to live.
It is time we stop thinking global and start thinking local by embracing the benefits of the environment around us. It is environmentally friendly and a lot cheaper.
I was forced into this home-cation and I did enjoy it, home-cation, next time I would like to try the experience with more members of the family.