Oh, what a difference a week off makes! As I sit here now, with a glass of wine in my hand and a cat on my lap, I feel happy, refreshed and energised; after a week off work to do nothing but feed my soul. The start of June marked the end of another campaign year at work, the completion of year 5 of my part-time History degree, and an eventful month 2 of my new blogging journey! It has been a fun few months, but boy have they been busy!! So to take a week off just for myself – to lie in, surf, sunbathe, practice yoga, read…or simply just to be – has been a complete blessing.
Often we get so caught up in our daily routines and responsibilities, we can forget the much needed time to just be ourselves; to connect with our beliefs, goals and dreams in life and make plans for the future. To spend a whole week following my own path, and making decisions based on instincts – not necessity – has allowed me to take stock of where I am in my green journey; as well as boost my energy and passion for the coming months.
After my Devon exploration earlier in the week – in which I caught up with family and treated myself to some local vegan goodies – the latter half of my time off has been spent enjoying friends, beaches and my own company. I consider myself very lucky that not only did I manage to take my time off in one of the consistently sunniest weeks I’ve seen in years; but living in Cornwall means I got to spend it on some of the most beautiful beaches (and before they get busy for the summer!) The pleasure of lying on the beach alone, with nothing but a book to keep you company, evokes such a wonderful feeling of freedom; akin to strolling alone through an unfamiliar city, and taking last minute turns up unknown roads, just because you can.
As I lay on these beaches, watching the waves roll in and the sand glistening in the sun, I was reminded that I really don’t need much in my life to feel content. Of all the materials items I could buy in my lifetime, nothing could compare to warm feeling of my feet sinking into the sand, or the weightlessness of floating in the cool sea. It really is the simple things which make us the happiest.
This feeling of contentment was mirrored this weekend, as I celebrated the Summer Solstice with one of my bestest friends, by camping out by the beautiful beach of Gwithian. Last year we had driven to the historic Stonehenge site for the Solstice, but left disappointed by the rowdy drunken teens and disregard to the druid traditions we had so looked forward to viewing. After a night of feeling old, grumpy and too hippy for our own good; we vowed to celebrate the summer solstice 2014 in a more simply and peaceful way; in line with our natural surroundings, focusing purely on the beauty of the rising sun.
So after an evening dip in the sea, a bottle of the meinklang (biodynamic vegan wine) and a veggie BBQ feast; we had an early (ish) night, ready to wake for the 5:10am sunrise. As we stood there sleepy and silent that morning, staring in awe at the glowing orange ball in the sky; I felt a connection with nature that I hadn’t felt for a very long time. Something as common and predictable as the sunrise is something I take for granted, but rarely stop to experience.
I guess that kind of sums up my week off work. Whether it’s taking time out to be alone, reconnect with the simple pleasures in life, or stopping to appreciate the modest yet stunning wonders of our planet; I’m so glad I chose to stay close to home for my holiday. Not only did I avoid the cost and carbon of flying abroad; I got to truly slow down and appreciate what I already had right on my doorstep!