How many meals do you have in a day? Two? Three? Six? Numerous studies have confirmed that eating small, frequent meals through the day aids metabolism, weight loss, and an overall sense of wellbeing. Now, here’s some food for thought: can the ‘mini meals principle’ apply to travel cravings, too? Is it better to take mini-breaks through the year than focus all our energies — and budgets — on that distant annual vacation? To answer that question, I took up the mini travel experiment and here’s what I’ve discovered over the last seven months:
Bigger is not always better
For most people, it’s the anticipation of a holiday that’s more exciting than the holiday itself. And honestly, the destination per se is of little consequence — as long as you have the right company, good food, and whatever it’s that makes you happy!
As I was packing my bags for a road trip to Goa earlier this year — and then to Puducherry two months later — I realised that the enthusiasm wasn’t any different from when I was off to Mauritius. If anything, I found myself a lot more relaxed, knowing that there are not many to-dos on my list. It was, after all, only a mini trip!
Different folks, different strokes
As a child, I hated summer vacations. My family travelled to Kerala during the hottest and most humid months of the year. Every single year. I couldn’t wait to grow up and explore better places. Well, I’m all grown up now, but the predicament hasn’t changed much. The spouse prefers the simple joys of life — a nice resort with a functional TV remote and a swimming pool, while I yearn for diverse experiences — impromptu parasailing, exotic spa sessions, window-shopping at local markets. And then, there’s the little one, who has her own preferences. The fact of the matter is that people travel for different reasons. And it’s very difficult to please everybody with that sole family holiday. Mini breaks give you the liberty to cater to different travel choices; even take a solo trip, if you so, please.
The joy of doing nothing
When you have been looking forward to something for 360 days of the year, it’s unimaginable that you’ll squander the priced opportunity by doing nothing. I’m often the victim of over-planning and over-stuffing my holidays with too many places to visit, things to do, and emotions to feel. It’s easier to deal with weary feet and grumpy co-travellers than reason with a guilt-ridden heart. You travelled all the way to Rome and didn’t see the famous Spanish Steps?
My recent experiments with mini breaks have taught me that there’s no joy like the joy of doing nothing. Recently, we were at Coonoor — the calmer cousin of Ooty — for a weekend trip. With no agenda, except for enjoying the amenities at our charming cottage — playing badminton, sauntering across the lawns, gorging on delectable meals. A mini do-nothing-holiday is the perfect stress-buster!