Do you have a place of retreat, where you can recharge your batteries? Mine is the place of childhood.
I had gone home to Kerala, India, over the holidays last month. 2017 had offered me a mixed bag – rewards, rejections and ho-hum moments, and I was looking forward to some precious down time with family.
I must have dragged my American stress associated with parenting, not to mention job search, along with me as, two weeks into the trip, I was indeed finding it hard to relax. I was snapping at loved ones and pretty soon they were commenting on how tightly-wound I was. Clearly, I hadn’t found that sweet vacation spot where I could feel rejuvenated and at peace.
That was until we visited my mother’s childhood home in Pudiyankam, a rural town deep in the hinterlands of Palakkad District, Kerala.
As a child growing up in Dubai, I had spent many summer vacations in my mom’s hometown. I have wonderful memories of those lazy summers – spending sun-dipped days with neighborhood kids, plucking ripe, juicy mangoes from trees in our backyard, visiting temples to offer prayers and getting to know long-lost relatives in our tharavad or ancestral home.
Today, those neighborhood children are adults gainfully employed elsewhere, and our ancestral home has one lone occupant, an aging maternal aunt whose children live and work overseas.
Nevertheless, Pudiyankam remains the same. A place of refuge, untouched by the speed of modern day.
As I looked out at the vista of paddy fields and mountains and heard nothing but the sweet sounds of nature, I finally felt at #peace.
This was the #vacation elixir I needed. I realized that my place of childhood has always been my place of retreat.
I hope that you too have a go-to place, where you feel in total harmony with the elements, far away from the stresses of your #workplace and daily #routines. I hope that #2018 leads you to that place, if you haven’t found it already.
This article was originally published on the author’s LinkedIn page.