Recently I was torn by indecision. My husband and I had agreed earlier this year to travel overseas at Christmas. In some ways it feels rash, almost rude, to leave at this time of year. After all, the New Zealand summer doesn’t really last long enough to spurn a few weeks of good weather by leaving the country. But Christmas and New Year is the easiest time of the year to get time off work. The country shuts down, packs up, and heads for the bush or the beach or the lake until the end of January. It is impossible to get much business done at that time of year, and so the best time to go away. Besides, my poor salaried husband only has four weeks annual leave (we look enviously on the Europeans with their minimum six weeks), and at Christmas/New Year, public holidays mean we can easily travel for several weeks.
Our intended destination was Rajasthan, India. It will have decent weather at that time of year – with a relatively mild, dry climate. It would be a new destination for us both. We’ve always wanted to see the Taj Mahal, and the deserts and palaces of Rajasthan. We had decided on an itinerary. It was detailed, and exciting.
But when it came to booking, I kept getting cold feet. And I don’t know why. Whilst I loved the thought of a new, exotic destination, (the photo opportunities alone excite me), I found it hard to muster the enthusiasm that I should have for such a trip. I felt exhausted at the thought of the long flights, of the jet lag that comes with an eight-hour time difference, at the thought of sightseeing and moving on every two or three days, of dealing with India’s chaos, the inevitable stomach trouble, and of worrying about other health problems flaring up. Usually this wouldn’t bother me, and I feel ashamed that I want a simpler, more relaxing holiday. I’m worried that I’m getting too old for exotic adventures, when there are still so many on my “to-go” list.
For weeks, I was racked with indecision, torn between a colourful, exotic destination and something more comfortable, relaxed and indulgent closer to home. My second home in fact. So we’re going to Thailand. I can’t wait.