For the love of holidays (and words) December 19, 2017
- Definition: ‘Preposterous’ – contrary to reason or common sense, utterly absurd or ridiculous, outrageous, impossible, harebrained, balmy, laughable
Holidays are not easily come by. First, there’s all the work – the hard work before the holiday, saving enough money, finding the right gap in everyone’s schedules, getting enough done to take the time off, and the seeming snowball effect of work the week before you take your leave. In an increasingly time-demanding world, to take time off has become a previous commodity. Second, there’s all the choosing, plotting and scheming – do we go for safari or sea, bush or beach, mountain or lake? This invariably involves taking multiple likes and needs into account – Grovelly McCamperson over there on that side of the room, the Princess of Pale Percale in this corner and the Great Compromise “Just-a-flushing-loo-will-do”. Third, there’s leaving home, a logistical exercise not dissimilar to planning a world war. Fourth, there’s the stressful travel – the endless bits of booking which need to connect up, the airport security, the hurrying and the waiting, the driving, the parking … that point where you wonder if it really is worth leaving at all.
- Definition: ‘Retreat’ – withdrawal from enemy forces as a result of their superior power or after a defeat; or to change one’s mind or plans as a result of criticism or difficulty; or an act of moving back, withdrawal; or (noun) a quiet, isolated place that you go to in order to rest, to be alone, to get away from it all
This means that when we manage to clear the time to go on holiday, it needs to be worth the investment we made in getting there. Increasingly, I find that I want a remote, otherworldly experience which takes me away from my everyday life. I want to be embedded in nature, another culture, the best of local, seasonable produce, interesting architecture which connects me to my context, inspiring décor and calming views to open my heart. Give me art.
- Definition: ‘Art’ – the expression of human creative skill and imagination, typically in a visual form, producing works to be appreciated primarily for their beauty or emotional power
The transition itself can be rough – coming down from a hectic work schedule and stressy travel invariably means passing through the veils of discomfort, confusion, anxiety, boredom and sadness. ‘Stay the course’ I have learnt to tell myself, because once one drops through these portals, one accesses another dimension altogether – of a new dimension which stretches forwards, backwards and back round again into infinite time and rest, full with mindful sensory richness, delicious in discrete and connected moments where things seem unified. The very existential despairing questions themselves fall away.
- Definition: ‘Rest’ – refreshing quiet or repose, to cease work or movement in order to relax, sleep or recover strength; to be placed or supported so as to stay in a specified position; in music, an interval of silence of a specified duration
And so, I finally arrive at my vacation destination. The other-wordly Thonga Beach Lodge in Northern KwaZulu-Natal, where creamy sands, the sounds of the sea, the earthy thatched huts and delicious food are a balm for the soul. There is a groundedness to the luxury here such that it does not feel ostentatious, but allows for simplicity and a sincere connection with the pristine local environment. The local staff are delightful and connect easily with guests of all ages. The food manages that rare combination of healthy and delicious.
I take guilt-free naps at 11am. I wake tousled and find myself happy. The creative energy I thought had forsaken me returns in delightful bursts. I laugh at silly banter until my sides hurt. I walk barefoot, letting my pasty toes soak up the soft sand, salt water and sun. I do not shy away from a wave that reaches up onto my linen slacks. For this is a place where anything is possible.
- Definition: ‘Holiday’ – an extended period of leisure or recreation, especially one spent away from home or travelling; a short period during which the payment of instalments, tax etc. may be suspended; from the noun ‘Holy Day’ or Sabbath rest, day of recreation
Find out why our lodges are ideal for an extended family holiday, where you may even book out the whole lodge for an unforgettable experience: Give the Gift of Togetherness