Doh. So annoying. Rotterdam has been flooded by a flue tidal wave and OF COURSE, I got caught in the middle. I look like a super pale vampire girl right now and definitely need to take a freecation. During my waking hours – when not sitting like a zombie vampire on the couch, trying to keep my eyes open – I’ve been catching up on some reading, besides binging on hallmark mystery movies. Shht. I have the flue, I can do anything I want.

In one of the books I’m currently reading, a cute little romance, the heroine takes a trip to Nice with her beau and his niece. While that isn’t special in and of itself, what I found intriguing – enough to write about it – is that she’s taking what she calls a


“A vacation from the things that… weigh down our lives and keep us from being free.”

Bare Foot in Lace – Roxanne St. Claire

It just sounds wonderful. And it fits in with my mood of the moment.

A freecation to stop doing the things I loathe or just don’t like doing

Yesterday, I participated in the first session of the free Fire Starters Sessions audio course from Danielle LaPorte. Every day you get a set of thoughts and questions in your inbox to help your life go from glowing embers to a roaring blaze.

One of the questions relates to what you’d stop doing if you could. In Danielle’s words: What would you like to never, ever do again? Aha! See the link here with the freecation.

I won’t bore you with too many details, but the absolute number 1 thing I would really love to never, ever do again would be *drum roll please*:

#1 making and updating useless lists in excel.

It’s just so boring.

I know. It sounds real easy to stop. Don’t even get me started.

As I’m working on my never-ever-do-again list, taking a freecation away from all that is included on the list, just sounds SOOO deliciously wonderful.

My version of a freecation is to go camping

The concept of a freecation is not that far removed from my usual vacation experiences. My boyfriend and I always go camping and hiking to literally free ourselves from:

… our belongings. We have just the backpack. Some clothes. A tent. Sometimes we might take the car and go for the bigger tent, but we usually try to keep it basic.

… my make-up. As the sun is shining I never feel the need to wear any and that attitude has slowly slipped into my daily life as well.

… city life. During two weeks we spend our time mostly in the mountains, forest and little villages.

Mental baggage:
an absolute never-ever-do-again item

The only thing I do always bring is my mental baggage (so heavy. I should start packing lighter!)

So in the end, I’m not so free after all.

Each and every vacation, I give myself the huge and impossible task of solving my life’s “issues”. The insecurities. The anger. The failures. The “what do I want to do with my life?” My genius master plan.

That’s a big never-ever-do-again during your freecation, I’d say.

Be there in the moment.

There shouldn’t be any expectations of having to come back with some sort of epiphany, or trying to make the vacation – the best vacation EVER in the history of my life – by packing the vacation full of activities (and that includes big hikes). A freecation should be about easing up, relaxation, and having fun. In fact, that is the requirement.

Just be.

My next vacation is coming up: a long romantic weekend. Since it’s still cold here, in the Netherlands, we’re thinking to rent a little cottage in the woods, probably with a fire place and a sauna. Normally, I wouldn’t spend the money on the luxury, but this time I feel I deserve it.

Just chilling, relaxing in front of the fire or in the foggy hot mist of the sauna.

So good, I might not even need chocolate.

How to go about taking a freecation

I’m not 100% sure about the logistics just yet. For now the idea is to continue making a big list (NOT in excel!) of never-ever-do-again’s (thoughts, things, and activities) and they would be banned during the freecation.

So, for example, absolutely NO:

  • excel (luckily that is usually not an issue outside of work), nor
  • a computer (:S it can be a useful tool, but can also be a gateway to “compare yourself to other people” hell), nor
  • work talk, nor
  • future talk (I want to try and be in the moment), nor
  • negative thoughts (about myself and my capabilities), nor
  • demanding 8-hour hikes (only some light strolls).

It’s also always important to stay and focus on the positive, so on my yes list:

  • chocolate (#1 YES), and
  • books (just  some nice light reading, because I know myself, if I get into non-fiction, the researcher in me goes all out), and
  • my journal, and
  • [optional] my boyfriend. Haha just kidding.

Let’s see how it feels to just be.

I’m also really interested in hearing about your never-ever-do-again’s and how you’d spend your freecation. Find me on social media (if that’s allowed during your freecation, that is). 😉 #freecation #nevereverdoagain

The Mangrove Concept