Stand up and be counted

We’ve just returned from holidays in Jamaica - 18 glorious days in the tropics, enjoying the sun and sand and company of friends and each other. 

We went scuba diving, walked along the beach, dressed up and danced, ate jerk chicken and curried goat and grilled lobster. We went to a foam party (okay, we went to two of them, it was so much fun). 

Some people might say that this sounds far too busy to be a relaxing holiday, but for us, doing all these things was relaxing. The freedom to do just what we wanted, to have experiences we don't get at home - that is our idea of a holiday. 

This week I want to explore that idea: What is the perfect holiday? 

What does your favourite holiday look like? Have you ever been on a holiday only to come home thinking, "I wish I had done something else"? For Martin and me, a holiday is an adventure, an experience, a new set of memories that we stack up to fuel us on tough work days. It is a balance. 

We don't spend much time napping on holiday. Martin likes to tell people at the resort how much it costs per hour to sleep, to encourage them to make the most of their time. For some people, the idea of a snooze on the beach is possibly the best thing that could happen to them on holiday, and I'm not saying that's bad. I don't see the point of only snoozing, though, or of always sitting on the edge of the activity. 

We visit two resorts in Jamaica. The atmosphere of one is much higher energy than the other, so, we party and go all out for most of the holiday with our high energy friends, then spend a few days at the end being a bit more low key. Even for those last few days, we are keeners though. 

There are always people who look at us funny - we're the ones who stand up when the entertainers say, "Who wants to learn a new dance move?" or volunteer to play a game or sing along. Why not? As long as I'm not hurting anyone, it's worth the adventure to participate. That's part of why I'm there. If I ever decide to have a holiday without that kind of interaction, I think I'll arrange something secluded, with no neighbours. 

While not exactly an extrovert, I don't need much encouragement. Some people are much shyer, and prefer to be on the outskirts of the action, and I get that. Have to admit, though, that I don't understand folks who stand with their arms crossed and a scowl on their faces as the fun goes on. Why did they come? 

I once listened to a motivational talk that talked about being grateful. I am a firm believer that this is an important step in maintaining happiness. The best comment on the topic was, "If you're not feeling grateful, then think about what you might be grateful for, if you wanted to be." To me, that basically says there is no way around it - if you don't feel grateful, you will miss out. Whether in everyday life or on holiday, the same applies. 

Missing out in the hustle and bustle of daily life is one thing - it can be hard to keep up - but missing out on enjoying your holiday? That's just a horrible shame. 

So, here's my two cents this week: Don't get caught snoozing. If you're going to take a break, do it with intention. Grab the moment with both hands. Do the Hokey Pokey on holiday, what have you got to lose? A bit of dignity if someone posts a photo on Facebook? Who knows, maybe that photo will be the impetus for an old friend or relative to reconnect. You might be grateful you took a chance. 

Besides, I hear the Hokey Pokey is what it's all about.

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About the Author

Kristin Peturson-Laprise is a customer experience specialist by trade, which means she is someone passionate about people having a good time. 

Her company, Wow Service Mentor, helps businesses enhance their customer experience through hands-on training, service programs, and special event coordination.

Kristin enjoys her own experiences too, and that is what she writes about in this column. She and her husband Martin Laprise (also known as Chef Martin, of The Chef Instead) love to share their passion for food and entertaining.  

Kristin says:

"Wikipedia lists a gourmand as a person who takes great pleasure in food. I have taken the concept of gourmandise, or enjoying something to the fullest, in all parts of my life. I love to grow and cook food, and I loved wine enough to become a Sommelier. I call a meal a success when I can convey that 'sense of place' from where the food has come . . . the French call that terroir, but I just call it the full experience. It might mean tasting the flavours of my own garden, or transporting everyone at the table to a faraway place, reminiscent of travels or dreams we have had."


E-mail Kristin at:  [email protected]

Check out her website here:  www.wowservicementor.com


The views expressed are strictly those of the author and not necessarily those of Castanet. Castanet does not warrant the contents.

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