Is it time for a ‘real’ holiday?

Alpine Chalet Sign

Pre-holiday panic

I got in a bit of a pickle before going away on this trip. Having been back in the UK for a few months I’ve found myself influenced more than I thought by the structure with which most of our friends work and play. So when we planned a two week jaunt to the French Alps I tied myself in knots trying to get everything done before we left. I didn’t want anything hanging over me on our ‘holiday’.

The stress of unwinding

Of course I didn’t manage to get everything done so arrived at the beautiful Secret Chalet half way up the mountain overlooking Morillon a tad stressed. Did I have my laptop with me? Yes. Would I have taken it with me even if I had achieved all my impossible goals? Of course. But that’s not the point. I had got it into my head that I wanted a proper holiday like normal people have.

Hot tub in French Alps

After a day of mild unwinding (a hot tub under the gaze of curious cattle will help) and exploring (a patisserie open on a Sunday, bliss!) it was back to work on Monday. We promised our friends it would only take a couple of hours but they returned at dusk, sun-kissed and happy to find us still engrossed at our laptop screens, oblivious to the dwindling daylight. We were a little shame-faced. When there’s no one to see you working when you could be enjoying new surroundings it doesn’t seem so bad. With witnesses, you feel a little geeky.

That evening, as we discussed the day over French bread, giant prawns and saucisson I realised that:

A) we can’t fit into a traditional ‘holiday’ model because we don’t work in a traditional way.
B) If you like what you do, it doesn’t really feel like work anyway.

You only really leave business behind when it is someone else’s business

We spent the final part of our holiday at Chalet de Philippe near Chamonix. We moved into our dolls house-style chalet in the trees with utter glee at its sheer quirkiness. Again, when we noticed the plates from last night’s dessert had yet to be cleared the next day we realised perhaps it was time to power down the laptops, let the staff do their job and check out some mountain sights (yes, they actually brought us a gorgeous four course meal, one course at a time down steep and mossy steps, despite increasingly heavy drizzle, so we could eat in our own cosy kitchen!)

Hot tub in French Alps

When you are location independent a lot of the time you choose to spend travelling may look like ‘holiday’ to those looking in from the outside. But you will know different. And as your friends countdown to their annual summer break you may have pangs of envy, suspecting that however hard you try, a ‘normal’ holiday, where you switch off totally, just isn’t within your grasp.

The good life- where work and play merge?

We’re coming to the end of our break and have had an absolutely wonderful time. We’ve strolled along ornamental lakes and traversed hazardous waterfalls; we’ve eaten tartiflette in the sun and ice cream sundaes in the rain; we’ve barbequed cheese and pretended to understand complex French menus; we’ve woken up to mountain views and gone to bed from a steaming hot tub surrounded by dense forest. And within that we’ve written blogs, managed our team, contacted potential clients, made website updates, sent a newsletter to 4000 subscribers, issued invoices, replied to customer enquiries…without even really noticing.

Lifestyle design- making your days perfect for YOU


Hot tub in French Alps

If you are lucky, as the end of your holiday looms it won’t really matter to you. Who knows what’s round the next corner? When play, work, exploration and routine merge seamlessly together into your LIFE you’ll be glad that you won’t ever take a ‘holiday’ again.

If you get the chance to stay in the French Alps then do check out the Secret Chalet and Chalet Philippe, they are simply AMAZING!


Would you exchange your holidays for this play/ work mix?


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One Response to “Is it time for a ‘real’ holiday?”

  1. The chalet looks amazing! I’ll definitely put it on my list of places to stay…
    I have to admit, I’ve never been very good at having “real” holidays – I got so used to either studying or working abroad (as an employee), that I tend to get bored if I have too much time on my hands! ;-)
    Julia Barnickle recently posted..Why It Doesn’t Pay To Lower Your Prices


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