“Nothing is as far away as one minute ago”
Jim Bishop

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I realise most of my blog reviews and articles so far have been rather heavy reads, and quite substantial in substance. I understand for some this isn’t ideal reading for the daily commute, or a quick flick in the lunch break.
Well it’s time to meet the needs of the many and those too lazy to read anything more than a few paragraphs, with an article which I’ve been debating with myself for quite some time… Long weekends away, yay or nay?

Work life, family life, rising costs of living (in certain countries) are literally just a few of the stresses and time-consuming aspects life is constantly throwing at us, and it seems with our commitments life is only becoming busier on a yearly basis. So, with the general population becoming more and more bogged down by the daily struggle, the long weekend away has unsurprisingly become a popular choice for those wishing to travel.
The concept of a long weekend away basically involves a cheaper trip over 3 to 4 days which doesn’t even have to occur on a weekend. It allows travellers to get away without the worry of interrupting daily life too much. Cities, towns, villages take your pick the world’s your oyster for a short trip.
Some of these places would not be prime locations for a longer holiday either because of limited landmarks/ points of interest, or the expenditure that would entail. A long weekend away can go a long way in combatting this. For travel fanatics it enables numerous places to be visited in a shorter space of time, as not all of us are multi-millionaires who can travel around the globe 365 days of the year. Sights worth seeing can be explored and ticked off the bucket list, whilst enjoying some ‘me-time’ in the process. Even for those who are not big on exploring, the shorter trip offers a chance of some relaxation away from hectic lifestyles back home, in locations which can be both beautiful and interesting… Traveller or not, you can’t beat a change in scenery.

Short getaways are all well and good, with their nice ideas and concepts, but are they in fact more rushed and stressful than we let on?
Travelling itself can be rather time-consuming and painstaking at times, especially when jet-setting to another country. The days in which you travel are almost write-offs. However, if you neglect doing anything on these days during a short-break, then you are effectively wasting 50% of your trip.
To get around this, travel times are altered to maximise the duration. Anti-social travel hours involve a significant amount of disruption, and you can almost guarantee minimalistic hours of sleep. For the trip itself this doesn’t pose too many issues, most can power through after a few z’s on the plane. However on return to reality, the post-holiday hangover kicks in and it really is like you’ve been hit with a ton of bricks. There is most certainly an undeniable feeling that you really need another holiday to recover from this ordeal. Now add into that the travelling aspect. That wherever the destination may be you have literally got to manage your time so precisely and efficiently that you wouldn’t look out of place organising a military operation. All the sights which you want to see must be crammed in, and their can be no room for error. It can be a whirlwind of a visit, leaving you mentally and physically exhausted. It also begs the question whether on this whistle stop tour you actually had the opportunity to take everything in, and most importantly enjoy yourself. Can you really get a good vibe or feel from somewhere if you’re rushing through?

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I think you can. I’ve had many amazing long weekends away, and for all the hassle they can cause they are more than worth it. Never the less the hangover which subsequently follows can be brutal, especially with a full-on life. For those who like to explore new places these short breaks are far from relaxing, they are tiring, but also ever so rewarding. Is it a case of taking the rough with the smooth then?
I think it possibly is, albeit I’m not entirely convinced either way. I believe some destinations are better than others for the long weekend, that’s a given, but even then how can we avoid just skimming the surface. People have even started branching out into long-haul short trips which I personally can’t see the appeal of at all. At the end of the day it all boils down to whether or not you value your rest, or your desire to travel more. I’d say for me my hunger to see new places, experience new cultures, and meet new people overrides all the negatives which come with it. However, this does not mean I don’t find it stressful and rushed, I just choose the lesser of two evils… I’d rather travel like this, than not travel at all.

So here we have our very own marmite topic. Some will love short trips, others will hate them. For me I’m well and truly going to sit on the fence with this one, if anything slightly erring towards favouring them… at least for now. But here we hit full circle, and back to the original question. Long weekends away: short and sweet, or rushed and stressful… what’s your thoughts?

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