Sunday 27 October 2013

Professional side effect or personal defect?

It feels very odd to be here in Sydney on an actual holiday with no itinerary and nothing particular to do other than enjoy time with my family. After so many years and so very many trips as a travel writer, this is taking some getting used to - that time spent just mooching isn't time wasted.

On assignment, I'm usually following a detailed, dovetailed itinerary that's generally as full (sometimes fuller) as possible, whisking from one thing to another with, my usual complaint, never enough leisure to enjoy the detail. But this time, with only one thing planned, it's hard to adjust, to listen to conversation instead the bus-tour commentary, to just drift.

This must be how it is for most people who go away on holiday to relax, rather than to travel and see the sights; those people I see everywhere as part of the scenery, sitting outside cafés and lying on beaches as I trot past. Honestly, I can't say I like it that much: even in a familiar city where we've done our tourist duty on previous trips, I'm uncomfortable not making notes. Tch.

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