Your Brain On Holiday

Let’s talk holidays. Specifically, let’s talk about adventure holidays versus ones where you spend the entire time lying on a quiet beach, with a tropical cocktail in one hand and trashy book you bought at the airport in the other. I used to be quite opposed to the latter, thinking it was a complete waste of time and money, but over time I’m coming to understand the appeal of doing literally nothing (or at least the bare minimum) for a week or two. 

The question is, can you do both types of holidaying at the same time? Surely it’s possible to, like, go to the Philippines and do only the bare minimum, except also go surfing, take a couple of hikes in the jungle, and maybe get a souvenir tattoo. Around Siargao, for example, there are plenty of activities on offer to keep adventure junkies entertained, but it’s also a fairly chill slice of paradise, so why not make the most of both?

I asked my mum, and she gave the predictable response of ‘do whatever you want, except don’t get the tattoo’. It’s not that she’s completely against tattoos; it’s more that she thinks I shouldn’t get any more of them while on holiday – especially when I’m meant to be relaxing and recharging. She might be onto something there. I mean, it’s not like getting tattooed is a restful experience. It actually hurts like all get out. 

What she’s concerned about, though, is me making a decision about tattoo content while in a holiday frame of mind. She doesn’t trust me not to get carried away with whimsical notions while I’m chillaxing, and she thinks tattoo shops enable this tendency. It’s all because of that tattoo artist in Delhi, who supported my decision to get a large surfboarding elephant etched on my lower arm. That was one time, ma. 

Besides, I kind of like the surfboarding elephant, even if I do get some funny looks at the law firm from time to time.