Sunday, 10 July 2016

Why A Beach Holiday Is Good For You

I came back from a holiday recently, my first overseas break in three years and I think because I hadn’t holidayed in a while I definitely appreciated the getaway a lot more.

A snap from my recent holiday 
Not that there’s anything wrong with going abroad multiple times a year. In fact, I used to be that type of person, a frequent flyer and I even went travelling around Southeast Asia. I had this thirst to see the world and I was fascinated to see how other people lived in different parts of the world.

But then all of a sudden, my interest in travelling dwindled. Perhaps it was the shock of realising just how much money I had spent on holidays, which is money that could have been put to more practical use.

Or perhaps it was the difficulty in getting people to commit to a holiday. Add to that, it seems everyone gets on each other’s nerves on holiday – no matter how close you are, being cooped up with someone 24/7 is bound to lead to some issues. So maybe this is what put me off.

But I don’t think my reluctance to go on holiday was really even that: I’ve spent the past couple of years feeling exhausted by life, whilst simultaneously trying to figure out what I want and need to be happy, therefore arranging a holiday was quite low on the priority list. Not to mention, the hassle of travelling and becoming accustomed to a new place seemed like an added stress when I was fast becoming a creature of habit (perhaps as a way to manage stress and anxiety).

When I first moved back to my hometown, I also grew to love and rediscover my city with all its scenic sights. In a way, it was therapeutic and it felt like a no-hassle substitute to going abroad.

However, sometimes a change of scenery is exactly what you need, especially to somewhere warm, sunny and by the sea if you live in an urban metropolitan area like I do.

Interestingly, I forgot to set my phone up for roaming abroad which meant I lost access to my phone network (including calls and text messages). With intermittent WiFi access as well, it meant I was shut off from phone and internet communications, and I think it definitely did me good to be cut off from technology (and the constant updates and notifications) for a while.

A few days into my holiday, I noticed how relaxed and less irritable I was. I was able to completely unwind out there. I didn’t think about work or my life back at home that much, if at all.

Looking back, we actually did quite a lot in a town that wasn’t bursting with tourist opportunities. However, it was such a pretty little town that we found stuff to do…but in a no-pressure kind of way. Whilst we did have plenty of relaxing days by the beach, we didn’t spend the entire holiday just sat on a sun-lounger. At the same time we didn’t want to pack too much into the holiday and end up tired and drained when we returned home.

It’s like time slowed down out there, but in a good way. And when I returned home, it felt surreal being back because I'd gotten so comfortable out there. This has only happened to me once on holiday before – I didn’t even get this content, settled feeling when I went travelling. And I honestly think that’s the mark of a good holiday. The friends I caught up with when I returned all noticed a change (beyond the tan) and commented on my sunnier disposition.

Another added bonus is that my skin cleared up massively out there. I’m not exactly sure how that happened as, wanting to glam up in various outfits for both day and night situations meant I was applying makeup a lot more than I do at home – something my skin doesn’t usually react well with. Not to mention the use of sun block, which is usually too heavy for my skin.

Wanting to experience the nightlife as well meant I had a few late nights, especially when I was also getting up early to make it for breakfast in time. Lack of sleep usually wreaks havoc on my skin too.

The only thing I can attribute it to is a lack of stress. I guess you don’t realise how everyday responsibilities, stresses and irritations can mount and take its toll on your physical and mental health.

Either that, or the dirty city air is the main culprit here - I always thought Leeds was clean compared to the likes of London, but coming back from a lovely clean coastal town in Crete showed a contrast.

Another great thing about the holiday was that I got to practice my swimming out there. I’m not a strong swimmer, but a few lazy days by the beach and my confidence grew in the water. I’m generally a walker which keeps me in shape (just about), but after doing something more intense like swimming, I’ve noticed my leg muscles are a little more toned and defined. So improved fitness levels is definitely another pro for going on holiday.

However, trips abroad come with downsides too. The whole process of getting from A to B is very tiring, what with getting to the airport on time, checking your luggage in, going through security…and then going through it all again at the other side.

You also have to make sure you go on holiday with the right people - more specifically, you need to go with people who want the same experience as you. Some people want a party-all-night-sleep-all-day kind of holiday. Others prefer lazy days by the hotel pool, not venturing beyond the realms of their 5* resort. Some, like me, want a little bit of everything: some relaxation time by the beach (I’ve always preferred to swim in the sea than in a hotel pool), a few excursions and cultural activities, shopping, meals out and experiencing the nightlife as well.

There is no right or wrong way to holiday, just different tastes and ideas on how to spend your leisurely time. But there’s nothing worse than travelling with someone who wants an entirely difference holiday to you. Figuring out a day-to-day itinerary can become exhausting especially if people don’t want to compromise.

Another con is adjusting to a new place and that includes the diet, customs and time difference. When you’re aboard, you want to try new things, especially the cuisine. But (and without going into gory details here) your body may not be able to withstand it. And there’s nothing worse than being ill abroad, something that can very easily happen.

The cost of a holiday may also dissuade you, which is why I wouldn’t recommend multiple trips abroad – I think it’s more special and a bit more of a novelty if you limit your holidays anyway…you get a real feel for the place with lasting memories. Too much travelling and the experience is probably a blur. I see way too many people (especially on social media) who want to visit places purely to say they've been, rather than it being a place that they genuinely have an interest in seeing.

Regardless, the pros for holidaying far outweigh the cons. With today’s modern lifestyles, there are very few times when you feel happy and content and I think a break away can work well towards that: you get the time to just kick back, relax and rejuvenate when life can get so fast-paced sometimes.

If you go through periods of depression and anxiety where you have to try and not let everyday stresses overwhelm you, that feeling of relaxation is even more alien. You definitely notice the difference and appreciate it. And even if you're not prone to depression, everyone needs to recharge their batteries from time to time.

First holiday in 3 years, made a little travel montage :)


  1. What a beautiful post. I simply adore the beach and all it has to offer: the tranquility. solitude. and simple being purely you.
    Angie | Chocolate & Lipstick | Beauty, Fashion & Lifestyle Blog

    1. Hey thanks a lot! You have a great blog too...yes, you can't beat a good beach holiday! So many gorgeous destinations in the world too.

      - Lubna :]

  2. You've seriously convinced me to go and head to the beach asap! | Bloglovin' | Instagram

  3. Haha! I got that a lot when I returned from my hol and uploaded my travel pics :D

    - Lubna

  4. what a lovely blog post!! had a great read <3 thanks for sharing




    1. No probs thanks for dropping by =]

      - Lubna

  5. I love having vacation by the sea! I like to spend most of the time in the sea though :D

    Pink Frenzy

  6. Can't beat a good beach/swimming holiday, especially if you're used to more urban settings :)

    - Lubna