I’m all for jet setting to a far off destination, seeking a bit of adventure, touring a European city and soaking in a culture different to my own. However, I must admit I am also a major fan of a good Staycation – a leisurely vacation taken from the comfort of your own home.
I relish the opportunity to be a tourist at home and to rest in my own surroundings, but most of all I love sheer simplicity of it all, not to mention the cheapness!
Plus, it has to be said, it’s not exactly a disappointment taking a staycation in Guernsey, it makes for a rather scenic and restful holiday.
There are beaches galore in Guernsey and we chose to visit one of our very favourites – Portelet. Not many locals seem to go here actually, maybe that is why we like it, it’s unspoilt. It has a picturesque working harbour, a small stretch of sandy beach, plenty of rock pools to explore and a pier that is begging to be jumped off! (But, not with a baby in your arms!)
The bay also benefits from the views of Fort Grey (also known as the Cup and Saucer, for it’s resemblance to a teacup) and in the distance, Lihou island and the Martello Tower at L’Eree that was erected by enemy forces during the island’s occupation in World War Two.
If like us you don’t tire of walking and love to soak in the scenery and get close to nature, then a staycation (or vacation) in Guernsey is a good choice. We walked the coastal paths at Port Soif, the country lanes of St Martins, journeyed to the fairy ring at Pleinmont, explored the historic Old Quarter of town and ambled our way through Sausmarez Park.
In the park we embraced Guernsey through the eyes of tourists and discovered the Victorian Walled Garden that was honestly the grandest and most inspiring veggie patch I have ever seen!
Here, I turned my thoughts towards the future and dreamed of a time when I may have my own little veggie patch, a chance to embrace simple and green living in my own back yard. Add in a few chooks and maybe even some bees and the picture is coming together rather nicely.
This is one of the things I love most about a staycation. The chance to slow down from the normal hectic pace of life, relax into a familiar environment and allow yourself to simply breathe, letting your dreams unfold in the process.
Personally, I think this is why autumn is the perfect time for a staycation. The buzz of summer has passed and life begins to slow down as the nights draw in. The leaves falling off the trees signify a time of change is amongst us and the new school year turns our minds towards a fresh start.
A staycation (particularly in autumn), like New Year, can allow you the chance to start afresh. You are then ready to the endure the harsher winter months, with raised spirits and a sense of excitement, all thanks to a well timed staycation.
(It has absolutely nothing to do with autumn being my most beloved of seasons. But, come on, just look at those pumpkins! Definitely going back here to select one and make a suitable pie with it’s delectable innards!)
Staycations are also a perfect time for family togetherness and the strengthening of bonds. It was also the perfect time to pass on a treasured family tradition to my daughter.
Autumn will forever hold special memories for me. Precious memories of my dear Grandpa, who although no longer with us, lives in my memory all the more clearly once autumn arrives. It was a joy for him to take his grandchildren out each autumn to hunt for conkers and it is this memory that my brother, cousins and I hold onto the tightest.
What a joy it was for me to take my little girl, not quite 5 months old, to search for conkers – she found a really big one, too – and what an honour it was to unfold our family heritage through the generations.
All in all, our staycation was a great success. It involved plenty more things than were captured on camera…
We dedicated time to each other, drove just for the fun of it, drank take-away hot chocolate as we looked out over our sister islands, read magazines, ate the most scrumptious toffee muffins you have ever tasted, searched through trinkets in the the antique shops, worked on some to-do list projects, watched cheesy daytime TV, napped in the afternoon, walked, walked and walked some more and best of all, played and laughed with Libby who is at a delightfully ticklish stage.
Alas, the Husby is now sadly back at work and Mummy and Libby have settled back into our normal routine. We do have another staycation planned for mid-November though, so something to look forward to – more quality family time!
After this I think we may be ready to go further afield for a mini adventure, we may even camp and hike and show Libby a mountain!
I do hope you will consider booking in some time for a staycation. I absolutely love traveling away to explore new places, but embracing a vacation at home not only gives you a new found appreciation for your hometown, it allows you time to delight in your family and rest in the comfort of your own home.
A staycation is truly one of my favourite things.
How will you spend your next staycation?
Please share your thoughts in the comments.
© Jessica Girard and The Open Home, 2013.
- Guernsey, Herm, Sark, Alderney: Discover what life’s about (visitguernsey.com)