Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Holiday activities

Some people are happy just to wind down by going for a holiday to relax. I personally can't relate to this. I can't just go to a resort and lie in the sun or sleep. That is not my idea of a holiday. I always want to be active. If I am at a resort, then I want to go canoeing. If I am in a deck chair by the pool I want to read a book.

The activities I like to do when I go away are:
1. Mountain biking
2. Whitewater canoeing
3. Horse riding - not in a paddock - but trails that get you up into the mountains
4. Hiking - particularly in the mountains or along the coastline
5. Snow skiing

But there are competitive activities I enjoy such as:
1. Table tennis
2. Billiards/8-ball
3. Soccer

Having reached almost 40yo I find that I have no particular interest in going out and drinking in bars anymore. Wasted alot of time doing that. On the rare occasion that you would meet interesting people, they would just want to 'relax' and be superficial. In seems to be a defining difference between me and other people, that they want to loose focus and do nothing, whereas I tend to 'switch focus'. Thats not to say that I am so serious or competitive, but I dont feel threatened by these activities, but I sense that these people are.

There seems to be too few activities out there for intellectuals. I want to differentiate true intellectuals from those who are very selective in the topics they cover. I think an intellectual is open to all issues, and does not just 'read' material, he studies it, dissects it, breaks it down to form new principles or takes new perspectives. This is what intellectuals do. But I am sure there alot of pseudo-intellectuals out there who dont do this. These artists or business people are generally more interested in 'social networking' than in discovering any truth. These people just want to get somewhere - fine - but without any respect for truth. Instead their way of getting somewhere is through other people - favours, support or beneficiaries. There seem few that respect things in themselves - for the utility they provide. Its more about the social climb. Maybe that notion would be attractive if I would meet people that challenge. Well I do....but they seem too inclined to run away.

So I'm left reading books. If you want to find people at their best - read their books.
Andrew Sheldon www.sheldonthinks.com

Planned vs Unplanned holidays?

We all face the question of whether we should plan a holiday or just see where the breeze takes you.

Maybe we should also differentiate planning from preparing a holiday. I think every holiday requires preparation. But there is a difference between putting petrol in the car, and checking the oil, and from working out where you are going to be at 12 noon tomorrow, and deciding where you are going to eat and stay. I think there is a difference between making a hotel booking and printing out a list of possible places you can stay at. Such planning means nothing if you dont have some constraints:
1. Some idea of what you want to do
2. Some idea of where you are going to go

So what are the benefits of a planned holiday?
1. You have everything organised
2. You dont waste time
3. You have certain expectancies - but these might threaten you. eg. That pre-paid flight you missed, or your favour hotel, which was under renovation, or that special beach, which was decimated by a recent storm.
4. Plans are by necessity a simplification of life. Trying to follow them can only simplify your life experience.

So what are the benefits of a prepared holiday?
1. You are more flexible
2. You have no expectations
3. You are less likely to be disappointed
4. You are more likely to be surprised

There is no question you need to prepare. You need to sleep somewhere, so if you dont anticipate 'no vacancies' you will disrupt rather than enrich your holiday experience. But these issues need not bind you if you plan your holiday accordingly. eg. Taking a campervan allows you to stay almost anywhere. But thats not to say you should. Its just so you have the choice.