Monday, 21 June 2021
Gillie Sutherland Gillie Sutherland

When the line between being on holiday and being at work fades in the Dubrovnik sunshine

Written by  Gillie Sutherland May 09, 2021

“You just look like you’re constantly on holiday”, they tell me.

I hear this on a regular basis, and it no longer irritates me, in spite of the fact I can’t remember the last time I had a full day off.

For it’s true, my life does look like a holiday, especially through the lens of social media. I’m always outdoors, I take regular trips to the beach, I swim in the sea, I go hiking, I eat well, and I live in a small piece of paradise called Cavtat.

Even my “business trips” to Dubrovnik feel like a day out on vacation, as I learn more about Croatian culture, hanging out in cafe bars, see the sights, and even in hotels I’m out on their beautiful terrace, overlooking the Old City.

This particular Thursday morning, my online students tell me it’s minus two degrees in the North of England. So while I strip down to my vest top by the beach, I am conscious that perhaps, yes, I may have it good. It’s only 9am and it’s almost 20 degrees.

My life over the last few weeks has in fact been a bit of a whirlwind, travelling here, there and everywhere - teaching, planning, co-creating - and yet it doesn’t feel stressful because I’m loving every minute, and I’m not allowed to rush, because the locals give me a ticking off.

“Polako”, they shout reminding me there is no need to rush, and with that one word I am transported back into holiday mode.

I don’t get irritated by the assumptions that I’m always on holiday, but then I don’t feel guilty either. It’s just a choice I’ve made. To live life like I’m on holiday.

People often wonder why they feel so good when they’re on holiday, but really it’s quite simple. We re-connect with nature, and adopt a more natural way of living, and we find ourselves again.

If you consider that we are plants, and we need Earth, Water, Sunlight, Air and Space to thrive, we get all we need when we’re on holiday.

We just forget about all that when we get home, and we get back on the treadmill, back on our devices, and back to what we consider normal life.

But all this changed when the pandemic hit.

94777093 10158566470995820 4999427887724494848 n

According to recent research by the Global Wellness Institute, a whopping 70% of people found unexpected benefits to their wellbeing or lifestyle during COVID.

The top 5 of these benefits were - 

Deeper connection to family

Eating healthier

Less stressed

Better sleep

Increased fitness

Could it be that this pandemic had some silver linings after all?

Perhaps we needed to slow down, take a breather, take time to smell the roses, and remember what’s important. I hope so.

And while life remains challenging for many, perhaps there are some who are waking up to the fact that there is another way to live - one that improves our sense of well-being and connection to others. One that is more sustainable for us and for the planet.

In many ways I think this is our great awakening.

The Earth has everything we need to survive. Tesla knew this, but we have to look after it, and we have to look after each other.

Maybe we don’t need as much as we thought we did, maybe we don’t need to work all the hours in the day to be effective, maybe there is time after all.

For me, I know my life works better when I’m working better, which means watering the plant that is me, and making sure I get the nourishment I need.
It may look like I’m on holiday all the time, but this is my fuel, it’s my medicine, and it’s all I need.

My life is simple. I don’t have the big house or the flash car, but as I put my feet in the sand, breathe in the sea air, dry myself off in the sun after my swim, I feel rich.

Even if it’s just a short hour break in the working day, I have that holiday feeling, and I know I want this for the rest of my life.

Read more Gillie here...  

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Gillie Sutherland grew up in the north of England, before settling in Devon, but has now swapped her UK address for one on the Adriatic in the very south of Croatia, in Molunat. A professional Wellness Consultant she now runs retreats and online courses from her Konavle base. She also writes a weekly column for the Devon newspaper, The Express and Echo.

To find out more about Gillie go to www.behappyfit.co.uk

 

The Voice of Dubrovnik

THE VOICE OF DUBROVNIK


Find us on Facebook