A Lighter Summer Holiday

Growing up in Australia, our long summer holiday was in December and January and included Christmas celebrations. We lived near the coast and the beach wasn’t far away. Although you would think from the amount of stuff we packed into the family wagon we were crossing the Nullarbor and travelling for six months, rather than driving an hour away. The daily routine focussed around going to the beach very early in the morning before the heat of the day and then a lot lazing around with the cricket (the sport not the animal) a constant background soundtrack. Once the day had cooled a little there would be a BBQ and backyard cricket.

Living in the UK, I have gradually got used to the different July-August summer rhythm. Holidays to “the sun” loom large in the planning schedule. For the months from about April to the end of August, the question “Where are you going for your summer holiday?” is a key staple of small talk. The planning usually occurs around February when SAD is at its worst.

Several years ago, my workmate, a very glamorous and gorgeous woman, was talking about her summer holiday wardrobe and the importance of having nice new things for “the summer holiday”. This was a lightbulb moment for me. Before that conversation I had just figured that my summer clothes were all pretty new anyway given that we only get to wear them about four weeks a year. That was the beginning of a new habit of buying new things especially for holidays.

However, since reading Zen Habits and especially these two radical posts by Leo and his wife Eva on travelling light I have endeavoured to pack much lighter. I don’t feel like I pack all that much lighter than I used to (I still bring more clothes than I wear, and let’s not even talk about the yarn and knitting stuff). But I must be a bit better, as I now have a lot of the girls clothes in my suitcase, and it doesn’t bulge nearly as much around the edges!

So holiday shopping is now limited to one or two special new things as a holiday treat. For this trip it was this Boden Stripy Maxi which has proven to be an invaluable capsule wardrobe item. Easy to dress up or down with a bit of bling. I’m thinking about a design for a knitted wrap to keep off the evening chill – perhaps in linen?

Boden striped dress

And it was perfect atire for a day trip to the beach town of Cavtat near Dubrovnik in Croatia, where a strong nautical theme prevails.

Cavtat Croatia

Cavtat Croatia Boat Dingy

There were some small, simple boats.

Cavtat Croatia Boat

And some big, fancy-schmancy boats.

Cavtat Croatia

These beautiful coloured fishing nets caught my eye.

Cavtat Croatia

My little daydreamer looking out to sea.

Cavtat Croatia

We had a swim in the harbour but it was a very stony shore.

Cavtat Croatia

Putting my feet up after a hard day hanging out by the water eating ice-cream with my lovely family. Contemplating buying the dress in the other colours! Ah, I see its on sale (yay!) but sadly out of stock in my size (boo). Just as well for my new (slightly more) minimalist lifestyle.

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