What do you prefer while on vacation? To Explore or to Rest?

My struggle today: wondering whether the lovely views of Tianshan Tianchi (Xinjiang Heavenly Lake) is worth the 3+3hr return bus trip. The alternative is to essentially rot in bed in the nice hotel I booked myself into at the end of my trip.

Which do you prefer while on holiday? To explore the area you’re at, or take a good long break?

I know the ideal answer is, of course, to do both but unfortunately, that is rather difficult to achieve. The tendency is to make the most of wherever one is at. Opportunity cost, my friend. After all, with the world so huge, there is little incentive to return to a place one has been. (I make an exception for London. Somehow…that place is intoxicating)

This has been my struggle for a couple of holidays now, and I expect many people feel the same way. How many times have I heard colleagues coming back from an exciting time abroad exclaiming that they need another holiday to rest? And you rush from place to place, not so much for the ‘checklist’ that travellers like to badmouth, but because you wish to acquire knowledge, to grow in experience, to feel that you can leave the place with no regrets, all that within a limited time frame.

Tough choice to make, because the alternative of lazing in bed, while sounding like a superior choice for any weekend, feels like a waste of time (and money) when you’re overseas.

I haven’t seen everything I want to see, but I decided that if I haven’t got the energy to handwash my laundry, I haven’t the energy to travel to Tianchi or Turpan. Plus, the next week back at work sounds fiendishly tiring. (See how hard I try to make myself feel better?)

If anyone happens to read this – how do you manage your limited time for rest against the desire to see and explore? What do you tell yourself to make you feel better about taking it slow on holiday?

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