Cappy took a holiday, his first real holiday in seven years.

The Ole Captain’s “vacations” include motorcycling to Alaska, hiking mountains, weekend binges, month’s long motorcycle trips, leaving home for months at a time, all to make up for lost time I was putting forth “maximum effort” in my youth.  These epic adventures and vacations are perfectly fine, and I would even say mandatory for a real life.  But people who put forth “maximum effort” tend to do it in all aspects of their lives, NEVER giving their bodies or minds the time they need to rest.  I just recently came back from a 5 day TRUE vacation where I did nothing but sleep, eat, and sleep some more with the Masculine Geeks at an Atlantic beach house.  The last time I had a vacation like that was 7 years ago at a wedding in Jamaica where there was no cell phone reception or internet.  The body needs to sit and rest for at least a week a year.  And by “rest” I mean “do absolutely nothing.”

Remember what I said the other week about rest and rejuvenation? It’s pretty important seeing as it could quite literally save your life.

I was gratified to read that piece from Cappy. He’s had a recent health scare and it has woken him up, (although I very much hope that it doesn’t transform him into some vegan health nut because that would be sad when we would have to dispose of him forever.)

Hiking mountains is not a holiday. Nor is climbing mountains, nor skiing down those same mountains. Hell, a month ago I took three days to go and watch the Spa Grand Prix with a friend and I was so exhausted afterwards that it took me a week to recover. The most exhausting thing that you can do in the modern world is travel so why would anyone think that traveling to take a holiday will help relax you, let alone recharge your batteries?

A holiday is when you wake up and you’re not entirely sure which day of the week it is. You eat a leisurely breakfast and then you wander down to the vacant pool and maybe you lie in the sun for a bit, and then maybe you get a drink or three, and then maybe you have some lunch, and all the while there is the sound of birds chirping and waves crashing and most of all there are no screaming children or morons attempting to cajole you into another game of “beach volleyball for all ages”.

I find that the very best time to take a holiday is exactly this time of the year. October is a brilliant time to get away because nobody else is doing it. When I lived up in that little village high in the Italian Alps, October was the absolute best time of the year. The colors were amazing, the days were crisp which meant starting the fire and cooking stews and drinking good bottles of red wine.

But most of all because there were no tourists; the valley was empty. October at that time for me was my downtime. The rafting season had ended and the winter season was yet to begin. I have very fond memories of those valuable months. And it was where I learnt the enormous value of really recharging. This was the time before I met my ex-wife. With her I began taking what is known as “holidays” but before that I simply had my rejuvenation time.

Because of work I will be forced to take time off this year over Christmas, when everyone else is doing it. But this year I am not going anywhere, nor am I doing anything. After laying in my provisions I intend to raise the drawbridge, lower the portcullis and instruct the guards to shoot anyone on sight. You can have a holiday at home; you just have to know how to do it.

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