Review yesterday’s reflections on why people travel for their holidays before we go on. And then consider why staying at home may meet all your needs.
a. You wanted a change of scenery. There are new sights to see within a mile of your easy chair. You can go to them on a bus or train ( for free if you’re old enough ). You can walk to them in some cases. I’ll bet few of the readers have been to all four corners of their respective towns. Who knows what sights are to be seen there – I rode a local bus through what I thought would be familiar suburbs and found that the town has changed into a new place. And I was not riding some death-bus full of grinning bandits into unknown peril, at $ 10,000 a go.
b. You wanted a change of weather – this really amounts to wanting cool when it is hot and warmth when it is cold. Or dry when it is raining. Got news for you – Cool comes out of air conditioners – if you have one, use it. If you don’t, go to a mall that does.
Same thing when it is cold. Sit in front of the fire or go to a warm café. Libraries are warm and quiet and they have free entertainment for all ages. They also have seats and let you sit there reading all day if you wish.
Weather will eventually change anyway – in Melbourne, four times per day. Just be patient.
c. You wanted new food and drink. Oh, please…there are more restaurants in your town than ever you have eaten at. And more bars, pubs, taverns, etc. for exotic drinks. You cannot eat or drink more than a certain amount in any one day and all you have to do is go into a new joint and sample their menu. Most Australian cities have more ethnic variety in their eateries than any of the countries that they emulate. Where exactly is Generia , anyway? Their cuisine seems familiar, if bland.
d. New people? Go to a new pub, club, mall, church or temple, and look around. Go clean, friendly, and polite and you’ll meet people you want to meet. Every newspaper and radio station advertises groups looking for new members every day.
e. Duty Free? Really? Is it really a good idea to pay $ 10,000 in holiday money to come back with a giant half-price bottle of Johnny Walker? You could go to the local Dan Murphy and whack down $ 100 and come away with all the whiskey you can handle. A queasy liver at 1/100th of the cost.
f. Relaxation? If your idea of relaxation is sitting on a beach getting skin cancer, you can do that at Cottesloe or Swanbourne. If you want to break your arm surfing, Margaret River is just three hours away. If you want shows and movies, there are plenty going on every day right here at home.
If relaxation for you is sitting in a café, there are a number of districts here that want your dollar.
g. Peace and quiet. This is the best news of all. You can get this in your lounge room for just a few dollars. Here’s what you do:
- Clean the house. Not a major campaign – just a day’s tidying. Sets the scene.
- Get in a week’s worth of ready-to-cook meals or a handful of local restaurant menus.
- Get a carton of beer or cola or whatever. Or a few bottles of the local vin ordinaire.
- Get an armload of new books from the library or book shop.
- Put on your holiday clothes – loose ones.
- Unplug the land line phone.
- Put the mobile phone under two pillows.
- Turn on the air conditioner and make yourself comfortable.
- Watch TV, read, practice your hobby, write letters or postcards, sit and think, nap, or eat and drink. All week, if you wish. Go to bed as early or late as you please.
Amazing how good it feels, isn’t it? And you are not dependent upon airport transfers, bell hops, tour guides, airline schedules, or any other travel hazard. You will not be stranded anywhere, as your bed is a room away. You are near your medical base. You can ring out for food if desired and ring friends to invite them to share it. You can binge watch on telly. You can be as vacant as you wish.
You can write internet weblog columns undisturbed.