What a holiday really looks like

“I desperately need a holiday!” I told my friend, almost in tears for how seriously exhausted I feel. “Preferably, that has to be in the Dominican Republic. I shall start looking for a Dominican Republic Villa,” I added.

“But you are always traveling!” These were his few words of consolation to me. The way he stared at me made it quite clear that he thought mine was an oxymoron.

Punta Cana, Dominican Republic (36)

A perfect holiday view – photo courtesy of Ben Kucinski (flickr)

I know, I know. To most people, travel bloggers live a fantastic, glamorous life where they go from place to place and have a blast all the time, and working is just a side thing. This is a bit far from the truth, though. While we certainly have a lot of fun, we also work very hard. My average working day counts between 8 and 10 hours (pretty much as any other job), and I work 6 days a week. I even wrote a post about the real life of a travel blogger a few months ago.

To find out more about what travel blogging really means, read my post “13 things I have learned about travel blogging.”

Punta Cana, Dominican Republic (24)

Looks like I can get a good dose of vitamin sea in the Dominican Republic – photo courtesy of Ben Kucinski (flickr)

Besides, our trips are actual trips, not holidays. And there’s a big difference between the two. First of all, trips imply a high level of activities, which is usually even higher in the case of travel bloggers – we do in one day the same amount of things that the average traveler may do in 3 or 4. In my mind, holidays are far more relaxing, the only transportation involved is a flight to get to the final destination (and no long bus rides day in, day out), and once there I can unpack my bags (I can never really unpack during my trips, because I stay in the same place for 3 nights at most) and forget about it all.

So yes, although I have been on a countless number of trips in the last couple of years – to India, to Spain, and more – I haven’t really taken a vacation in a long long time. And I am becoming pretty desperate for one.

I need to go to a place with beautiful white sand beaches, palm trees, and clear waters. A place where I can go out if I want to, without feeling obliged. Somewhere where the local culture is warm and fun, the local music seductive, and the people kind. So, it sounds like the Dominican Republic might really be what I need.

This is how I envision my holiday in the Dominican Republic

After sleeping in a huge comfortable bed, I will walk to the kitchen to prepare a delicious cup of coffee and a healthy breakfast, packed with local fresh fruit. I will sip while I lazily flip the pages of a glossy magazine – I don’t want to read a newspaper, because I want to disconnect from the world. I don’t even want any internet connection. I already spend too much time online and social media, emails and work can wait. This is all about me time.

After a very slow breakfast, and a long relaxing shower with the most luxurious toiletries, I will make the extreme effort of wearing my bikini and smothering my skin with a good amount of sun block, I will wear a sarong and a hat, carry a book and walk to the nearby beach.

There, I will lay on a recliner, under the umbrella (the sun hurts my skin) and move just to go swim in the clear waters, perhaps snorkel a bit, and wave my hand to order a much needed cocktail – because that’s what a girl’s got to do on her vacation.

Bavaro Sunrise, Dominican Republic

This is the kind of sunset I should be seeing during a holiday – photo courtesy of Joe deSousa (flickr)

Once I will be completely soaked in the sun, I will walk back to my villa, and continue relaxing by the pool until sunset, when I will enjoy a leisurely stroll at the beach to take a few pictures. Once home, I will enjoy another long shower (and perhaps throw in a massage) and get dressed for a delicious dinner which will be served al fresco, and freshly prepared just for me and a few other friends that may wish to join me.

After a relaxing chat and a bit of star gazing, I will be ready to grab my book and make my way to bed.

And if I really, truly am up for the effort, I can still venture for a day trip to explore a bit more of the island: I could go on a day catamaran cruise to see the coral reef; I could go zip lining; I could take surf lessons; I could go horse riding; see the waterfalls or even visit the capital Santo Domingo.

Now, this is what a real holiday looks like to me.

What is your ideal holiday?

This article is written in partnership with Luxury Retreats.

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  • Frank
    15 March 2017 at 11:32

    Good post, we’re full-time travellers and you’re right there’s a difference between “travelling” and “being on vacation”.
    As travellers we still do the every day stuff we did at home: shopping for groceries, laundry, cleaning. cooking…normal every day kind of stuff. Of course the advantage is that we spend hours exploring the new place we’re in (we’re slow travellers so we often stay a place a month at a time). As travellers you also tend to meet more locals and less people in the tourist business which is a good thing.
    A holiday is totally different. We’ll take a “holiday” from our travels as well where we stay in a hotel, eat our meals at the restaurant, have them do our laundry, lounge by the pool…on holiday basically you’re whole day be be spent on the things you want to do. And the people you meet are different: you’ll be interacting with taxi drivers, hotel staff, tour guides etc a lot more than regular locals…

    I will say however that you’ve chosen to concentrate on a very specific example of “travelling” and being a travel blogger. Seeing 3 to 4 times more in a day than an average person and staying in 3 nights in a place at most is not how most travellers travel. Actually I don’t know how you do it, I think its a recipe for burnout It’s actually how we travelled as tourists before we started travelling full day – we would come back from vacation needing a vacation from our vacation :).

    Anyway, everyone travels differently. But I totally get the issue of travelling is not the same as being on holiday.

    Frank (bbqboy)

    • Frank
      15 March 2017 at 11:35

      Oops, had a few typos up there. Still, I’m sure you get the gyst of what I was saying.

    • Claudia Tavani
      Claudia Tavani
      15 March 2017 at 15:08

      Thank you so much for your comment Frank, and thank you for understanding. I do agree with you – we all travel differently. And even more so, I am on my way to being burnt out. I will really have to go on a holiday!!


Who is Claudia?

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Hello, nice to meet you!

Hi, my name is Claudia. One day I packed my life and started traveling... except I packed too much. Follow me as I fill my life with dreams, drop the weight and inspire you to live your dreams. View and download my media kit here (updated December 2017). Learn more about me here...


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