The reason for leaving sometimes is to return. Simply to return. – Yrsa Daley-Ward
I just returned last week from my holiday from Greece – I am almost still in vacation mood, which I’d like to use to write my blogpost of the month of August which is about questions regarding the topic vacation, public holidays and recreation.
What was once understood by “public holiday” and which meaning does holiday have to today in Western societies, where most of the people can also afford a holiday?
The English word “holiday” derives from “häligdæg” (holy day) and was mentioned first 950 BC. It is similar to the Latin word “fêria” (feast day), a day on which you leave your work in order to participate in religious and public celebrations – and such holidays we still know today as our public holidays.
Who does still actively participate in such public holidays in our society🤔? As I grew up in the countryside, I experienced these public holidays very traditionally and perceived them as rather “constricting” and “obligatory”, even though celebrating and networking together was and is very important and useful for living together.
Relax and recreation took place in our family mainly on weekends and during school holidays in summer, by taking individual trips in our sourrounding area or visiting our relatives in other federal states of Austria and other countries, occasionally with an overnight stay – but that was it: only as a teenager I started to travel and going on “holiday”. From the Austria-Ticket journey at the age of 17, to several Interail-journeys to various long-distance and business trips – during all those journeys it was important to me to get to know new countries and cultures, networking and to “experience” something – I rarely stayed longer at the same place and I didn’t want to be on vacation at the same place twice; adventure, people and sports, less relaxing per se were important to me.
Travelling and going on vacation starts for me as soon as I start packing my suitcase and driving towards the train station or airport and when I allow myself for a certain period to not think about work – to simply enjoy the moment and to dive into new worlds and let go myself. I also love driving around in cities by taxi having conversations with taxi drivers to get first impressions about the city.
11 years ago, I discovered with Kim White, Molyvos, a place on the Greek island of Lesvos, at the Hotel Aphrodite, which enriched my understanding of being on “holiday”. It is a place where I can relax withing a short time, a place which provides me with a lot of energy, where I enjoy getting ab in early in the morning to go for a run or to take a swim or to go snorkeling, where I always meet new and interesting people and where I meet “old acquaintances” again, where I open my heart and connect with Mother Nature, a place which I find so special that I want to share with friends, if somehow possible I’d like to spend my holiday at least once a year in exactly this place.
I generally try to integrate relaxation and vacation into my everyday life, by allowing myself “relaxation sessions” during a work week, where I sit in a café and look into nothingness or where I simply spend time with friends or family without constantly thinking about time.
In a few words, “holiday” means for me to find inspiration and a way to myself, to simply do nothing or to discover new and old things.
JU’s 3 questions of today are:
👉Do you remember your first holiday? Which moment was special for you?
👉What do you need to relax properly and to find a way to yourself?
👉Do you have any favorite vacation spots or destinations?
🙍🏻♀️🇦🇹🇬🇧 Christina Bornberg
Christina has a BSc in Electronics and currently lives in London. In September, she starts studying medical imaging in France, Italy and Spain as part of an Erasmus Mundus Masters – I have known Christina since 2011 when I taught her and her classmates in Geography at HTL 3 Rennweg, Vienna – even as a student I appreciated in her tireless effort, enthusiasm and broad interest with an eye for the big picture, as well as her empathetic nature and social skills. Christina loves playing the guitar, in addition to her interest in research work in the fields of medicine and space technology.
I’ve been working with John on and off for several years now, and what I appreciate about him is his technical expertise, his focused and solution-oriented work, his calm and unassuming manner, and his sense of precision and honesty – John is currently studying Game Engineering at the FH Technikum Wien, where he is also a tutor. He is passionate about developing games – twonodes.games, goes running and also enjoys playing games himself.
Why I associate with John Angelo Soliman I will reveal in my description of the next blogger.
👩🏻🇦🇹🇩🇪Beate Kulha (Weghofer)
For the first time a married couple answers the Between Oceans questions for me – and this couple is a newlywed one – Beate and John got married on July 7, 2021 and fell in love with each other on October 7, 2011 during a school event I organized, namely the visit of the exhibition ‘Angelo Soliman’ in the subject geography.
Beate studies Game Engineering at the FH Technikum Vienna and also works there as a tutor – she develops games, twonodes.games, together with her husband and draws, besides programming, great graphics – I have experienced Beate already in 2011 as very self-confident, dedicated, goal-oriented and social person and I appreciate her accuracy and organizational skills.
Her hobbies are running, badminton, bouldering and her three cute rat girls, for whom she always thinks of new things to do.
🙍🏻♀️Christina Bornberg 🇦🇹🇬🇧
We travelled around quite a lot when I was a child. Most of the time this was quite stressful since we never really stayed at a place but went from one to the next without taking breaks. I can remember being in a train from Saint Malo to Paris when I started complaining that we never have a relaxed time, since my only wish was to be at home and watch tv. Nowadays, whenever I plan a holiday, I do exactly what I was moaning about in the past. I travel from one place to the next with the goal to see as much as I can. The whole thing became kind of the attitude towards my life, living in different places and getting to know the culture and traveling to cities around with new friends I made.
For me, it is actually quite difficult to relax, but I have to admit, that staying in bed for a couple of days and just do entirely nothing, helps to recharge. This doesn’t even need to be in a nice place, the more plain the better. I can relax when there is nothing new around me, when everything is familiar, including the people I see.
I have to say, I don’t really have a favorite place. Every country is beautiful in its own way while having major problems. I like to be in the UK, because I can call this place my home after I had decided to live here due to study exchanges. I am currently based in London and I just love to take long walks along the river Thames and watch beautiful sunsets. I am pretty sure, most people would find that quite relaxing, but for me it’s exciting because I am not at home in Vienna. Besides, I love the mountains, especially the ones in Vorarlberg, which is the place where I was born and therefore have some special connection.
🧑🏻🦱John Kulha 🇦🇹🇩🇪
My first vacation was to Kos, but I don’t remember that because I was only one year old.
My parents always took me to the sea once a year.
The special moment was always when I saw the sea for the first time.
The distant view of the sea fascinated me even as a small child.
The journey was also always very special when I flew.
I was allowed to go up to the pilot and take a look at the cockpit, which always thrilled me.
For a long time, I would have answered this question in a nutshell with beach vacation.
A week or longer lying on the beach and swimming in the sea everyday, now and then an excursion, then I am totally relaxed.
Through Beate, I have now also become acquainted with another type of vacation, where there is no beach and you are on the road all day.
We usually do this as a city vacation, because there is always a lot to visit there.
I’m also (usually) much more relaxed afterwards and get to clear my head, which means room for new ideas.
A psychologist friend of mine explained to me that the brain takes a vacation when you do something different than usual.
When I was a kid, I went on a lot of trips and was actually out and about every day, so beach vacations were the perfect way for me to relax.
Now I sit a lot in front of the computer or in lectures and I’m actually not on the road as much as I used to be, so now even the more active vacation is relaxing for me.
The United States of America! It’s probably the most diverse vacation destination in the world.
If I would have to choose a country where I spend the rest of my life on vacation, it would be the USA.
In New York alone, I could spend several weeks as a tourist and never get bored.
This city offers so much, when we were there for a week, we didn’t even see a fraction of Manhattan!
I still like to think of the beach in Miami 5 years later, it’s just gorgeous.
When you think of Las Vegas, the first thing that comes to mind is gambling, but this city offers so much more.
The hustle and bustle on the Strip is just as fascinating as the shows and the hotels themselves.
Also, the national parks of the USA are unique and they differ completely.
I would especially like to highlight Point Lobos, a beautiful park next to the ocean with spectacular cliffs.
In general, car trips in the U.S. are very varied and enjoyable. There are exciting stops everywhere and you can stretch the driving time as you like.
Last but not least, I have to emphasize the friendliness of the Americans. We had many very nice conversations, with each Uberdrive one learns something new.
We were also approached by people from time to time and chatted with them, which was always very interesting.
I am already looking forward to the next vacation there!
👩🏻Beate Kulha 🇦🇹🇩🇪
No, I don’t remember my first vacation, as my parents are very fond of traveling. I am pretty sure that it was Gran Canaria. I was about one year old and through stories and a very cute photo I know that my first steps were towards the sea. That was for sure a very special moment for me, because I am smiling overjoyed on this photo. After that we were regularly on vacation on the Canary Islands, we made many excursions and I was swimming every day. I have always liked the bungalow resorts best, when we had our own little house and there was a mini disco in the evening where all the kids danced wildly. Those are my fond childhood memories that I will never forget.
That’s quite simple: John. I always put myself under too much pressure and stress myself unnecessarily. John can always bring me down very well and make me relax. No matter if it’s just soothing words or a great massage.
But to really switch off, a change of scenery is always good. Otherwise, I quickly find myself projects at home for the apartment or for other private purposes. Even though I always like to do things with friends and family, I quickly slip into “leisure stress” during the vacations. I like to take on too much and am over-motivated, but when I’m somewhere else, I can switch off best.
There are a lot of them, and no one stands out as a clear winner. I always like to be by the sea, and it doesn’t matter where I am. Due to childhood memories, Gran Canaria and Tenerife are my favorite places. Due to the honeymoon, of course, Rhodes too.
The two vacations to America with John were great. We were in New York and Miami during one vacation and then in Las Vegas, San Francisco and Los Angeles. In between we drove Route 1 along the coast and there my favorite place was Point Lobos. Such stunning coastal scenery and walking right by the ocean was wonderful. It was a treat, and it was so quiet and relaxing. When it comes to vacation countries, the USA is definitely at the top.
Also, very impressive was Iceland. With the geysers, hot springs and impressive landscapes, I would love to go there again, but this time with John.
The trip to South Africa was also a very great experience. Due to my cousin’s wedding, the trip was special in itself, but with the safari through Kruger National Park and the subsequent side trip to Victoria Falls in Zambia, it was a unique trip.
Finally, I have to mention Disneyland. As a child, it was already particularly magical there and even today as an adult, I am still drawn to Disneyland every now and then. I can simply forget everything there and live in the day. You don’t have to plan anything in advance and can always decide spontaneously what to do next. 2018 was the last time I was there and that was the first time with John. I want to go again in the next few years and definitely with our own kids. I love roller coasters and there you can just be a kid again.
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