Why I go on a holiday every year without my kids or husband

By Sophia Auld

While I’m no juggler, my days are spent trying to keep a lot of balls in the air. Like many women, I have a husband, kids, a career, and a home to keep in some semblance of order. Taking a holiday alone or with a friend is invaluable for helping me to recharge and re-evaluate my priorities.

Remembering who I am

As a wife, mother, sister, daughter and employee, it can feel like my life is defined by my relationships to others. Don’t get me wrong—these relationships are great. But a holiday with a friend reminds me that I’m also a woman with my own interests. I love visiting Noosa with a girlfriend. We can jog on the beach in the mornings, have coffee on Hastings Street, and spend leisurely hours browsing boutiques. We can laze by the pool with nothing to do but sip champagne and catch up on gossip. And we can do it without feeling guilty or pressured. Bring it on!


Recharging the batteries

Because I work in healthcare, I see the effects of unrelenting stress first-hand every day. Some people never take the opportunity to really relax.

A psychologist once told me that I was like the knot at the bottom of a string of pearls—if I came undone, all the pearls would fall off. Taking a holiday without my family helps me stay “knotted.” When I’m rested and refreshed, I’m much better at taking care of my “pearls.”

A few nights alone helps me appreciate them more. Last year I spent a couple of nights in a Sydney apartment. It was great to catch up with old friends over dinner and drinks in a hotel, then do beachside breakfast the next day. I got to explore my old stomping grounds on my terms. And when my husband and daughters picked me up at the airport, their hugs and kisses were extra sweet.


Rebooting the drive

A holiday gives me the opportunity to remember what’s important, like my fitness routine and healthy eating habits.

I love visiting Brisbane, taking long walks by the river and exploring the museum and gallery precinct. I relish sitting in riverside cafés with notepad and pen, and brainstorming for the weeks and months ahead.

When I’m away, I can think more clearly, and my brain gets a chance to reboot. That way, at least, I can choose which balls to keep juggling, and which ones I can happily drop and watch rolling away.


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