Why I’m Taking a Little Break

I’m going on holiday!

Very soon I’m going to be making my way to the airport to get on a flight to Portugal to visit Sintra (google it, it looks magical) and to revisit Lisbon. I am so excited. I am in need of some sunshine and a little bit of that treat yo self feeling when it comes to gifting myself some me-time.

I went to Portugal around 5 years ago now (oh wow that makes me feel old) at the start of my big gap year European travels. I went to Faro and Lisbon. I got horribly sunburned (having a peeling forehead isn’t a good look). I cycled to a beach by going through an airport. On the same trip, I fell off my bike on the motorway. I realised Portuguese people take karaoke very seriously. I watched a new friend tackle a plastic waiter through a glass barrier, then try and get into a rubbish truck. I almost gave an old Russian lady a heart attack by turning on the light in the hostel when I was going to bed (it was only 10pm okay!). I ate some incredible custard tarts. I saw Belem. I visited the street where Fernando Pessoa wrote The Book of Disquiet. In short, I had a fantastic time, and I can’t wait to go back and visit Sintra.

Because I’m going to be away, there’s not going to be any posts here, or really on social media, for about a week. For me, that seems like ages. There’s a big old gap in my editorial calendar. But for you, it probably won’t be that long. You, dear read (hi!) might not have even noticed if I hadn’t written this post. No one actually cares that much if I take a day off social, or if I take a week, or three, off blogging.

That might sounds like I’m being super negative. I’m not. When I came to this realisation, that no one is as invested in what I’m doing as I am it was so freeing. If I’m the only person I’m accountable to, if I’m the only person who will notice, then why should I feel bad about taking a week off to enjoy some sights and some sunshine? Have I let anyone down? No, in fact I’ll probably come back from a rest even better.

I’ve harped on about this before, but it is so important to take breaks, proper breaks. That said I’m the absolute worst at practising what I preach when it comes to time off. I hardly ever just take a full day off doing any work. Then, when I do, I spend the whole day anxious about what I could be doing.

Why do I do that? I’ve got to give myself some credit, to trust that things will be okay, that I’ve done what I need to, and if I’m happy with what I’m making and happy to take a break then that’s all that matters. At one point this year I was 2 months ahead on my blogging schedule, but I was still freaking out if I hadn’t written something that day. Man was that dumb. On one hand, it’s good to want to be productive. On the other, you (and I, mainly I) really need to understand that it’s also good to stop and to know that you can take a break, even if it isn’t a special occasion.

And right now I really feel like I need that break. I haven’t been feeling the best about what I’m creating. I’ve been comparing myself to others, and just generally feeling pretty down on myself and what I produce. While I’ve freed myself of your expectations, I haven’t managed to escape my own. I really don’t feel like I’m where I want to be in my work or in my life at the moment, and that’s a tricky feeling to navigate and keep working. So I’m hoping this break will do me the world of good, and allow me to step back and reevaluate.

So, I’m about to embark on a guilt-free holiday and damn does it feel good. If you need a break. If you need a holiday. Just do it.

See you all in a week or so, when I’m hopefully going to be well rested, and a little bit more tan.

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4 Comments

  1. July 9, 2017 / 10:11 pm

    Girl, you are going to it enjoy it! I visited Lisboa for a week and took a day trip to Sintra earlier this year. It was pouring, but even in the rain roaming around the city was so must fun. And I personally adore your blog, your creativity and your way of writing. It’s inevitable but do remember that comparison is the thief of joy. Still, treat yourself. Take that break- we all need one once in awhile, and Lisboa is gorgeous. But! I’ll be looking forward to reading more posts upon your return!! [Keep going :)]

    • Natalie
      July 23, 2017 / 4:34 pm

      Thanks so much Rae! You were right exploring Sintra was so much fun, we even had the weather on our side.

    • Natalie
      July 23, 2017 / 4:34 pm

      It really was! I’d definitely add Portugal to your list of travels for when you’re older

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