For readers of my blog or Instagram followers, it may appear as if I were on a perpetual holiday, but like most people finding time to escape for a multi-day holiday is increasingly difficult. But lately, the stress of life was starting to effect my mental and physical wellbeing. I knew what I needed, a respite from my quotidian routine, in other words I needed a microvacation but not just any microvaction. I needed a solo microvacation.
Johannesburg can feel inaccessible and unlike Cape Town, which people fall in love with handily because of its natural beauty and laid back lifestyle, Jozi is a hardscrabble city that is always churning. If Cape Town is a watercolor, than Johannesburg is a high contrast photograph that requires an interpretive guide. Past Experiences founder, Jo Buitendach, is just such a guide and her Braamfontein Art Tour provides an interesting perspective of the city.
La Colombe consistently appears amongst the Top 10 Best Restaurants in South Africa. Despite its proximity to Cape Town and my goal to eat my way through the best restaurants in South Africa, I had yet to dine there. Cape Town in July is ordinarily rainy and cold, so I had planned a quiet weekend in Constantia (a suburb of Cape Town) comprised of indoor activities – wine farm visits, reading, a massage, roaming Kirstenbosch gardens, and a long leisurely lunch at La Colombe.
The drive through the macadamia, litchi, and granadilla (passion fruit) orchards on the road leading to Summerfields Rose Retreat and Spa convinced me that my weekend stay on this working farm-cum-spa was going to be the an idyllic weekend retreat. But when the receptionist inquired, “what kind of champagne would you like to drink with your romantic bath?” I knew I had found a destination suited to my persona to a tee.
Traveling is how I relieve stress and recharge. Lately, I have had to scale back on my travels due to work commitments and while I try to build in stress reducing Pilates classes, massages, or explorations in Johannesburg, these activities are never as relaxing as my weekends away. Away from my daily life, I give myself permission to relax. At home I can’t quite give myself license to do nothing.
Falling ill has a way of bringing out our inner child. When we find ourselves sick and away from home, the desire for the familiar can be overwhelming. Our hard earned holiday has gone askew. Getting sick while traveling in can be particularly overwhelming and it’s best to be prepared.