ON WRITING

“It’s very easy to quit during the first ten years of writing. Nobody cares whether you write or not, and it’s very hard to write when nobody cares one way or the other. You can’t get fired if you don’t write, and most of the time you don’t get rewarded if you do. But don’t quit.” Andre Dubus

Friday, 19 March 2010

The Staycation, the new Vacation

The Brisbane River is right at my front door. What is at yours?

Don't we all need a break from the computer, and all the distractions of our ordinary lives? Sometimes we cry out for a break, but we just can't afford the time, the money or the emotional strength to plan a week or two in some exotic location. We're too busy creating exotic locations for our heroes.

Why not just make your weekend, or a couple of days off, really special by having a 'staycation?' Stay at home, yet feel like you're on vacation. I like it.

For me, a staycation is just the ticket to help inject some excitement into my usual routine. It also helps keep my budget in check by exploring my neighborhood and nearby areas rather than jetting off to another state, the tempting off-shore islands or far-away Europe. It's also good mentally to get out and about, we might even find the odd story idea.

Australia is far away from everything, but living in Brisbane, I have access to many great tourist spots, beaches, restaurants and parks, and it's surprising how fresh and new it seems when I go out of my way to become a tourist, not a resident. So take the time to investigate what's in your neighbourhood; you might just find a surprise or two as I have.

Here are a few suggestions for creating a little vacay for yourself without straying far from home. I'll concentrate on indulgence as I have a flair in that department...


Let's start with the pampering, because that's just what we need after writing ourselves silly all week.

Visit Your Local Spa

This can be the most super indulgent of treats. Never been?  As L'Oreal says -you're worth it. A spa doesn't have to break the bank if you do your research. What better reason to give it a shot while you're on your staycation? If your staycation includes staying at a luxury hotel for a night or two (lucky you!) choose a pamper package, where the spa treatments are included.

If your idea of a staycation is to stay in, you can also create your own spa settings at home to indulge in whenever the mood strikes. Gather some glorious scented candles, some bubble bath containing exotic ingredients, a soft bath pillow, your favourite relaxation music in the background and you're ready to dream. Glass of wine optional of course - bring on the bubbly for me! Warning! Try not to fall asleep.

If all of the above are out of the question, get the luxury French linens out of the cupboard (or go buy some with the money you've saved), decorate your bedroom just as you'd like it, then put on a face mask and read a great book! I like that too!




What's Next?

Hold a Wine Tasting

Who doesn't enjoy visiting wineries? Probably those that don't drink wine, but I've found this doesn't apply to most of my writing friends. We are all quite partial to a drop to keep the creative juices flowing. Having a wine tasting is a fun way to spend an afternoon, but we don't all have a vineyard in our backyard. To be true to the staycation spirit we need to bring the vineyard to us.

Have a wine tasting at home. Invite a few 'besties' and enjoy a leisurely few hours sipping and nibbling. How relaxing is that! Remember, choose a nice mix of bubblies, reds and whites, and don't invite too many people as you don't want them feeling like they're crammed into a wine tasting mosh pit. Oh, and don't forget some good music. Sitting around chilling at sunset is just the thing!

Of course, after the wine we need the food...

Cooking up a Theme

You could break out your cooking skills and try some dishes from around the world, perhaps from the place you'd visit if you had the time/money. Vacation is about exploration, and even if you can't go to your favoured exotic destination, it doesn't mean your taste buds have to suffer. My personal favourite is French Food, but not just the fancy stuff or the weird stuff. I go to my local Farmer's Market to gather all the ingredients I need for my indulgence.


I call it my 'French Dinner' when I break open a fresh baguette, slather on the runny brie/camembert, top it with duck liver pate and pop a muscat grape in my mouth for that bit of sweetness I like. Not forgetting bubbly to sip between decadent mouthfulls. You might be more creative. Even I am at times. I'm a dessert freak and there's nothing like a French Creme Brulee with strawberries and chocolate suace. Yummm. Try it. The opportunities are endless and the rewards are priceless. Yeah, I know, the scales, but we have to forget about them occasionally!


These are just a few thoughts to help spark your imagination and I haven't even mentioned sightseeing. What are your staycation suggestions? It'd be great to have other bloggers write about their dream staycation.


Is it over yet?


5 comments:

  1. I am out for lunch today, then going to meet friends tomorrow morning over tea/coffee and no doubt cakes, so that will be something to look forward to.

    Also my son is over from uni tomorrow, so we'll be going out for more meals.

    I really should find ways to party that don't include so much eating...

    ReplyDelete
  2. I always like to have something booked up to look forward to. In the next couple of months I'm going to some great writing events with friends, and then from June onwards I'll enjoy all the local gardening shows.

    Count me in for the creme brulee, by the way!

    ReplyDelete
  3. We have to eat to live so we may as well enjoy it and eating has always been a great communal activity. So sad if you had no one to share a meal with.

    A creme brulee occasionally is food for the soul...and family and friends somehow 'taste' better gathered around a table...

    ReplyDelete
  4. Hi and thanks for your comment on my blog!! It gave me a chance to have a look at yours and read your latest installment.....
    I am a big fan of staycation!! We indulge with my husband a few times a year, and I try to do it with my girlfriends too. It's just lovely! Chicago is probably not as isolated as Australia can be but the running joke is that there is nothing to do around except running in the cornfields!
    : )
    I surely miss being in Europe for weekend gateways!

    BTW - I am SO curious about Australia!

    ReplyDelete
  5. Hi and thanks for your comment on my blog!! It gave me a chance to have a look at yours and read your latest installment.....
    I am a big fan of staycation!! We indulge with my husband a few times a year, and I try to do it with my girlfriends too. It's just lovely! Chicago is probably not as isolated as Australia can be but the running joke is that there is nothing to do around except running in the cornfields!
    : )
    I surely miss being in Europe for weekend gateways!

    BTW - I am SO curious about Australia!

    ReplyDelete

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