The verb ‘relinquish’ is described in the dictionary as “voluntarily cease or claim; give up”.  More commonly, I guess it is known as giving up something, turning something over to someone else or parting with something. I have recently just come back from a glorious month exploring Europe and for the most part of it relinquishing control of my normal everyday life.

For most people, a holiday is an excuse to do what they want, eat & drink what they want and eliminate themselves from the troubles of life for a moment.  However for me, it never seems to be that simple. Everyday life for me is strict – strict eating, routine exercise, routine bed time – turning off that switch is unfortunately not that simple. I am a little bit of a control freak. On the other hand, this trip was long overdue; I was tired and not had a decent holiday in about a year and a half. So I made a promise to myself to not let the little things get me down and prebuilt expectations in my head that I was not going to eat and exercise like I do at home.

This mind set made my holiday not only better than I could ever expected but also allowed me to learn that excessive control is not mandatory. Firstly the food was AMAZING! The world did not end because I ate bread everyday; if I ever move to Europe, I think my carb-free living may possible go out the window. Secondly, walking 20k+ steps a day gave me a ready-made excuse to not have to do other exercise. When exercise is built into your life, it doesn’t become chore and is actually enjoyable. Finally, embracing the different cultures and way of life in each place made me learn so much and truly experience the unique differences within each country. I particularly loved that most places we went embraced actual conversation and long lunches. No mindless eating and people glued to their smartphones, the fact that I noticed this makes me think NZ and Australia must be particularly bad.

For those of you, who are like me and don’t have that off-switch, please take two minutes everyday to think about how much you need to control. Even letting go a small amount was a huge weight off my back. It allowed me to truly enjoy my holiday, embrace the experiences and cultures in ways that are only possible when you let the journey guide you. Travelling can give you so much experience and broaden your mind to so many things but only if you let it. Take a chance and let something go, even if its a small thing your mind will thank you for it.

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