Me-Myself & I .

Holiday Mode: on How to Take a Mini-vacation in Your City

Think about it. Most of the time we say, “I need to get away to disconnect”, “I need a holiday”, “I need to switch off.” What this means is that our brains crave rest. Usually, the quickest way to create this “mind-spa” is to change the scenery around us and get some real physical distance between ourselves and our worries. But what if we could achieve this without going through the hassle of long and expensive travel?

“But, we’ve been spending all this time at home!” I hear you sigh. Precisely! Stepping outside our front door to embrace the world outside will be an exciting revelation. Here are some easy pointers to help you transform your surroundings into a dream holiday.

Ask yourself, what kind of holiday would you like to have? Relaxed? Adventurous? Party town, cultural, family oriented or just a fun mix of everything? Make a list and take a look at what's around you, get your budget in check, plan your days and start ticking those boxes by getting creative.

A holiday state of mind

Whether it’s a tour around your city, a weekend getaway to your uncle's beach flat or a picnic in the park, you need to put your brain in vacation frequency. This means switching off your work related devices: emails and calls can wait. After spending so much time literally depending on our beloved technology to stay connected, it’ll be refreshing to engage with the people, surroundings and activities that are immediately in front of us and not on a screen.

Most cities will have a variety of attractions that are free and accessible: museums, beaches, botanic gardens, plazas and monuments. The National Museums of China, London and Copenhagen are free at all times, just like the MOMA and the Metropolitan in New York. Meanwhile, El Prado in Madrid is free every day from 6 to 8 pm and The Louvre is free every first Sunday of the month. The pleasures of art, and nature are much more accessible than we think.

Take another look at the things you think you know

Have you ever been mesmerized by the floral pattern on your favourite dress when you suddenly realize the print is actually polka dots? You get my drift. Even sleeping in a different room of your house for a few days can feel like a break from the routine.

Why don’t you try swapping apartments with a friend and explore their neighbourhood? Turn your own home into a private Bed and Breakfast for your friends and enjoy the amenities they’ll prepare for you in their own home.

A simple shift in perspective can do wonders for the mind. Put yourself in the shoes of the tourist: you know every time a friend is in town you learn incredible things about the city and all it has to offer.

Be curious and adventurous and don´t take your city’s attractions for granted. One of our friends at PDPAOLA after years of walking to work along the same street, discovered a beautiful public garden inside the grounds of the Petit Hotel in the Gothic quarter in Barcelona. Ask for directions like a tourist would and these will take you to unexpected places. There are beautiful sights hidden around every corner just waiting to be discovered.

Dress the part

Put away your work clothes, bags and coats and switch to light, fun and relaxed outfits. You’ll be amazed at the difference a costume change can have in your attitude. Spend a few more minutes doing the things you usually rush through, take that bath, slow down your walk, thoroughly consider your ice cream flavour choices. These things may seem superficial but they lead to a deeper enjoyment of the simple pleasures. Stop feeling guilty for not being productive enough and pamper yourself. Take the time to feel good. Listen to your body and mind with intention.

Have an experience

The holidays we remember the most are the ones full of anecdotes. Be it a funny night out with friends or an inspiring sunset that you enjoy by yourself, vacation is a time to disconnect from your worries and reconnect with yourself, your loved ones and all the things that inspire you.

Get creative with these tips and have an accessible, hassle free and fun dream holiday. Your wallet, your mind and your city will thank you for it.