The price of peace
So I have been waiting for this holiday for about…ooh let’s see, when was the last time I came on a package holiday? About 3 years ago. Now that wasn’t the last time I had a holiday, but that was the last time I did the package thing. In that time it seems that there is one thing that has shot up in value.
I went into the travel agent to book a last minute get away with a friend a few weeks ago, and we made it really clear that the top of the priority list was PEACE. The purpose of this holiday was to engage with sun, sea and lots and lots of sleep. We took her recommendation, never having been to Tunisia before, and yesterday we arrived at her suggested hotel. We were booked in there, together it seemed, with the entirety of Europe’s Club 18-30-style all-generation-family fans. It was not long before we realized we had an issue on our hands. This was not a hotel that did ‘peace’. Not at all. The music was pumped from speakers, thumped from open bar doors and every other orifice of this edifice from 8am through til….
We didn’t stay there. We couldn’t. I felt that my whole body was resisting the invasive noise. Yes I was tired and desperate for stillness and quiet, so maybe that’s why I was so sensitive to it. But even after a nights sleep, it felt like the constant, loud noise was overwhelming, abusive to me… There was no escape, no where to go to get away from it. I could feel my shoulders up, my jaw was tight, my whole body was resisting, reeling from it. The noise was stressful. Being on holiday so that my body could subconsciously go into a high stress physiological reaction was not what I paid money for!
No one else there, seemed to mind, and I marveled at the clearly oblivious or actually happy other guests and as we went through the process of requesting a transfer to another hotel, the reactions we got from all staff were the same: ‘this is nice hotel, good hotel’. They could not understand the concept of too much noise. It got me thinking.
When did non-stop noise become a mandatory part of a holiday, where you actually have to pay extra if you want peace? When did we as a generation become so accepting of constant loud noise? Is it more than accepting, have we become needy of it? Could it be that we are so used to the feeling we get in our bodies from living on adrenaline and cortisol, fueled by our highly stressed lifestyles, that even when we are on holiday we put up with/ enjoy/ need to continue to feed our addiction?
We found another hotel. Don’t get me wrong, they still play tunes now and again throughout the day by the pool, but it is at an appropriate volume, they know where the off-button is and they are not afraid to use it! However as I am sitting writing this, I am listening to the music of trickling of water and the sound of waves on the beach. My jaw is relaxed, my body is chilled and my shoulders couldn’t be more down. I have found my holiday haven. Right now I am surrounded by peace…and yes I paid more for it, but for the sake of my holiday, my sanity and my health it was worth it!