21 August 2014, by Tan Li Lin
Dreaming of a break? You don’t have to look far, or get bogged down with detailed planning, or spend a chunk of those savings on touristy activities. Sometimes planning for a holiday seems as much work as, well – work. Between the office, household chores and the kids (if you have any), just the thought of preparing for a trip can make one feel tired.
However, you still need those breaks.
Science shows that brief diversions drastically improve focus. Your performance drops because “the body becomes “habituated” to the feeling and the stimulus no longer registers in any meaningful way in the brain” (Lleras A., 2011). If you find yourself short of energy to focus on important things like work, family and spouse, here’s the good news – it’s time to pencil in a quick getaway: Yippeee!
Weekend getaways or ‘staycations’ can do wonders for a couple. Ronald and I have found that spending quality, undisturbed time together increases sharing that builds understanding and fosters connection. I’m more adventurous than Ronald, and I like opportunities to do something together that is ‘out of the norm’ and experiencing him in a different light… but because that’s not quite Ronald’s thing, we mostly take the quiet time to just indulge in our worlds – wake up late, snuggle and enjoy the luxury of time and companionship.
Not long ago, Ronald and I decided to do something different.
On a Saturday morning, we left Singapore for ‘Rider’s Lodge’. After an hour’s drive into Johor Bahru, we reached a quaint Manor House atop a small hill, overlooking a stretch of stables.
We were going horse riding!.
Embarking on something out of the ordinary isn’t the only reason getaways like this are particularly rejuvenating. Watching Ronald on a horse kept me in giggly fits throughout the next 2 days – and we all know what laughter does to our spirits. Ronald and I do many things together, most of which don’t involve sporting activities. This was a great excuse to mount him on a horse and look on from behind him as he helplessly groans at how unobedient his horse was. Surprisingly though, he enjoyed horse-riding, and I got to share my fascination with horses, with him. We learnt something new about each other that weekend.
Time seemed to slow down in the peaceful countryside. In between the horse-riding sessions, we took walks, and drove out to the nearest town for cheap massages. Dinner is home-cooked and pretty good – and a hearty breakfast the next morning got us ready for more riding.
Couple time away from our usual weekend routine was rejuvenating, but the great part was leaving the experience knowing that Horse-riding could be a part of future holiday activities. Now that I’ve gotten Ronald onto a horse, I just need to find a way to turn him into a prince.
Lin Tan is an Entrepreneur and an Executive Coach who dedicates more time to making society a better place over making babies (for now). Follow her blog on ilovechildren.sg/blog and journey with her as she embarks on all things ‘life after 30′.