Ladies What Travel hammock relax
Part-time travel,  Travel Lifestyle

Giving myself permission to slow down and relax – I’m taking a real holiday!

One of the things I love about travelling is getting to explore new places; see the sights, visit the museums, learn all about its history etc. However, as much as I adored my jam-packed three days in Tallinn (more about that on the blog soon!) I came back from that holiday needing another!

I’m now admitting to myself that I’m burning out – it’s been a stressful year for me and I’ve been go, go, go for so long that I just can’t remember how to turn off anymore.

It’s something I’ve always been bad at, but now that I’m an almost constant ball of stress, I’m making a concerted effort to make myself ‘turn off’.

Ladies What Travel Keri at work

Giving myself permission to do this is something I find really, really hard. As a bit of a control freak I’m worried that if I don’t do everything all the time the whole world will fall apart. Plus, when I travel, I guess I get a bit of FOMO (I’m cringing at using that word, it’s almost as bad as YOLO) and try to squeeze in everything during my time there.

So I’ve decided this coming holiday is going to be different. I’m going to have a couple of busy but enjoyable days in Kuala Lumpur, but then I’m off to Langkawi where I’m going to take a ‘real’ holiday and properly unwind.

What’s a real holiday feel like?

I’m aiming for lie-ins and relaxing by the pool or on the beach with a cold drink and my Kindle. Of course we will go out and see some of what Langkawi has to offer, but at a much slower pace and in a less structured manner.

Instead of a packed itinerary, we’re putting together a little sheet of things we’re interesting in checking out and then we’ll pick stuff we’d like to do on a day-to-day basis.

I may do social media bits ‘n’ bobs while I’m on the island, but instead of telling myself I must post everyday, I’m just going to do it if I feel like it. I do wonder if I’ll actually end up on Instagram more, simply because I’m enjoying it – something I haven’t for a while because it’s begun to feel like a chore. I guess we’ll just have to see.

Learning to be kinder to yourself

I’m also trying to be a bit kinder to myself on the run up to the trip. Justin and I tend to run ourselves ragged with work on the weeks coming up to our trip ­– so much so that it takes most of the holiday for us to begin to de-stress and then straight away, worries start to ramp up again because we begin thinking of all the things that will be waiting for us to sort out as soon as we get home. Yes, seriously, we need help!

So I’m doing something that, for me, is totally crazy – I’m taking two weeks off from the blog. I only made the decision about an hour before I wrote this, as I was sitting looking at my list of pre-holiday jobs and caught myself grinding my teeth.

Now I don’t have to find the time to write four more posts before I go away to cover the time I’m off, which is ah-may-zing. I’ve now got time to concentrate on everything else that needs to get done, and I’ll hopefully arrive at the airport in a week’s time in a much better state of mind.

I know I might sound very silly, but actually stepping back like this is a BIG deal for me, so if you see me anytime soon, do give me a pat on the back!

Ladies What Travel Keri

Will this work?

Will I actually begin to de-stress and allow myself to do bugger all while we’re away? I honestly don’t know. But I have to try, because my current way of life is really becoming bad for my physical and mental health, as well as my relationships with those around me.

I hope that doing this is a step in the right direction, and by stopping for a short while, I’ll learn that the world won’t fall apart around me and that it’s OK to take time out. Just promise me you’ll still be reading our blog when I’m back – OK?!

Any advice?

On a final, serious note, I’d truly love to hear any tips you have to offer me. How do you ‘turn off’?

This isn’t a generic ‘end a blog with a question to get people to comment’ ploy, I’d really love to hear from other people about how they find ways to relax, and tell themselves it’s OK to just stop and smell the roses.

And perhaps also my own admission might help some of you other stressballs out there know you’re not alone…



Extraordinary Chaos
Wanderful Wednesday | Ladies What Travel

By day Co-Editor Keri is a freelance journalist and copywriter, but spends most of her free time either travelling or planning her next trip!  A complete travel fanatic, she has a love of tropical climates, wildlife and afternoon tea (hence the creation of her Global Afternoon Tea Challenge!)


  • Ania

    Well done for making this decision. It is SO important to switch off and look after your mental and physical health, especially when things have been more stressful than usual. I think most of us these days are guilty of not taking time out, especially with smartphones which make it so easy to peek at what we think we should be doing back in the real world.

    It’s sensible not to have too much structure and not try to cram everything in – remember, if you miss anything that you’d like to do, it will be a good excuse to go back another time. Even if you spend a lot of time just sleeping in or sitting by the pool, the fact that it’s in a different setting and a nice climate means that it was worth the journey! I probably can’t give any advice that you haven’t already thought of, but make sure you take a step back and get headspace whenever you need it. Have an amazing time! x

    • Keri

      Thanks me dear, lets see how good I am at sticking to it though! I’ve got some podcasts on the phone, Kindle’s stocked up and Im taking one or two of my colouring books as well as some card games to play with J. Hopefully that’ll help me unwind, but lets see eh? As you can imagine, Im properly stressing about getting everything done before I go right now lol.

      Speak when Im back xx

  • Sarah Christie

    We did this in April, i did the odd story and tweet but other than that we spent our days sunbathing and chilling and we so needed it, thanks so much for linking up #mondayescapes and have the best break x

  • Claire at Tin Box Traveller

    I have that same FOMO (cringe!). Good for you taking the blogging break. I find myself heaving a sigh of relief when I can’t get wifi because I know I can guilt-free time off. Life shouldn’t be like that all the time, right? Have a great time! PS. I hope you’re not reading this on your hols!! #MondayEscapes

    • Keri

      Yeah I have to agree, sometimes no Wifi is the only time I really stop lol. And no, not on hols yet, got a few more days of madness before I stop (although I can imagine I’ll faff on social media by the pool – but only if I WANT to! 😉 )

  • Molly @ The Move to America

    I have to really choose to step out of my routine, so it often means not getting on the social media and making sure I get out and walk about more, as I can become a bit of a hermit, which actually doesn’t make me feel rested. I find still doing things, but that recharge my mind really helps me!

    • Keri

      Yeah I do try to go out at lunchtime and take a walk to clear my head. It’s always worthwhile but been struggling to find motivation to go out recently with all this rubbish weather we’re having in the UK!

  • Sammie @ The Annoyed Thyroid

    I hear ya! The temptation with travelling is wanting to see and do ALL the things, usually with limited time. Last year we did an epic 4 week trip in the US and came home exhausted because we hadn’t stopped. This year we balanced a busy couple of weeks in Disneyland and San Diego with a week of down time in Hawaii – it was just right! I haven’t stepped back from the blog completely when I travel (I usually post a weekly round up from wherever I am) but I definitely scale back and if I’m organised enough, get some guest posts from some of my bloggy friends to keep things ticking over! Have a great trip!

    • Keri

      Thank you! Yeah our trips have been pretty crazy, I came back from Tallinn so tired this summer! We’ll still do things, but as and when we feel like it, plus make sure we do have a couple of days sitting around on the beach or by the pool. I’m gonna do some blog stuff in KL, but only pop on social media if the mood takes me while Im in Langkawi. Im hoping both Justin and I will have the odd digital detox day!

  • Bryna | Dotted Line Travels

    Have a great break, Keri! So much goes into running a blog and taking a break when you need one is important.
    As much as I love to blog, with work and school and life going on, I also find the need to take a break every now and then. Enjoy Langkawi and I hope you can fully unwind!

  • Lolo

    Sounds like a great idea! I’m feeling the same way at the moment and I can see my husband is too. Sounds like we need to do exactly this, go somewhere nice for the weekend and do nothing! We’re always go, go, go on our holidays we never actually have time to relax. #WanderfulWednesday

  • Cynthia

    I have been feeling the same way lately – trips are great, but I want a REAL holiday! In the process of planning one for next summer already – can’t wait! Enjoy your time and don’t forget to just be… don’t feel bad about just lazing around, reading, wandering… not feeling like you actually *need* to do anything.

    • Keri

      I have to admit I struggled a bit Cynthia, but did take a good few days out to just sit by the pool and read. It was bliss – but went by way too quickly!

  • Vanessa Brune

    I’m bad at switching off and fully relaxing. I kinda get nervous when I don’t have anything to do and lying at the beach for hours on end doesn’t exactly help! A really good book that you don’t want to put away, however, definitely does the trick for me 😉

  • Sarah

    So good that you’ve come to this realization and are going to have a “real” holiday – I so often come back from trips feeling more run down than when I left. Beach holidays are the best for relaxing! When I need to relax I usually do yoga or go for long walks. I have also recently been trying to make a concerted effort to not look at any screens for an hour before bed and it has helped my sleeping quality immensely… I never had trouble falling asleep, but now I just feel more rested when I wake up!

    • Keri

      I need to get my other half to do that – he’s on some device right up until he goes to sleep, but doesnt sleep well at all. Stubborn bugger won’t listen to my advice though!

  • Travelling With Our Kids

    This is something I need to do more. I dont think ive had a holiday without work for over 10 years. As I work for the family business & have our blog the laptop comes with us on every holiday so I can get work done. So i have no tips for you, but I look forward to reading if you end up with any tips that you can offer! #MondayEscapes

    • Keri

      Wow! I felt drained just reading that. Don’t you ever get burnt out?! My advice would be that if you do have to take work with you, make sure you take concerted time off – maybe one day on, one day off so you have quality down time…

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: