A holiday is defined as ‘an extended period of leisure and recreation, especially one spent away from home or in travelling.’ I would agree, and when using that definition, it seems that I don’t know whether I go on holidays very often. Not anymore at least.
For example, when I chose to walk across Iceland, I was battered by wind relentlessly, ate nothing but semi-frozen chocolate bars, couldn’t stop to rest because it was so cold, and saw my brother peel of the end of one of his toes. Yet by the definition of a holiday, it almost fits:
– Leisure (time when one is not working or occupied) – I was not working and was occupied only by something I chose to do. Then again, we all choose to do something, even if that something is to go to work – we simply may not desire to do that thing.
– Recreation (activity done for enjoyment when one is not working) – this certainly was done for enjoyment, however, I counter that it should be possible to find a job that you like doing. This definition of recreation seems to state that there are things you like doing and there is work. This disparity does not have to be reality.
– Being away from home or in travelling – I certainly was travelling in the sense that I was moving continually, but as for being away from home, I don’t really live anywhere anymore, thus my home is my backpack. Arguably I have a travelling home.
So was Iceland a holiday? I would say not, but it was something that I very much wanted to do and walking across Iceland was something I will always remember fondly – but never do again.
After Iceland however, I did take what I would call a holiday. And I chose to go to Greece. This was partly motivated by the fact that I had just been in Iceland – which was very cold – and I had a desire to go somewhere warm. It was also motivated by the fact that I had been eating chocolate bars and uncooked instant noodles – which are not very delicious – and I find Greek cuisine to be my favourite in all the world (partly due to my ongoing vegetarianism). Having little money, I was also keen to find an abandoned building where I could squat and knew of Greece’s many part built villas that might be suitable. Finally, my good friend whom I was travelling with, also loves Greece.
And so it was decided. Warm weather, good food, and free accommodation lured me to spend my holidays in Greece, more specifically, Naxos. I didn’t know anything about this island when I set off, but my budget flight whisked me into Athens and from there, I hitchhiked to the ferry port and picked an island at random. Was Naxos an extended period of leisure? Yes. Was it an extended period of recreation? Yes. Was it time spent away from home or in travelling? I’m not sure – for the two weeks I was there, it was my home because I didn’t have anywhere else to be. It was a good one.