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I’ve just spent the last few months wondering why we can’t feel inspired to feel excited about holidaying in our backyard. It just feels familiar. Then the lightbulb moment and thought about the emotion of holidays, the why we wanted to travel. And it came down to joy.

Here is the thought, holidays are about the joy of planning. Deciding where to go and the pleasure of choosing what to do. While you are trying very hard to conjure joy into the planning here’s a handy hint … borrow joy. Borrow joy from someone else. Their infectious happiness, their passion becomes our happy time and stimulates the senses. Someone in Aotearoa NZ must be happy.

HERE ARE FIVE BORROW JOY IDEAS…

1

To help our search for joy have you ever visited a birding sanctuary (Miranda Shore Birds) or Australian Zoo in Queensland. These guys are bona fide authentic, the real deal passionate for the cause. Who needs to get lost in Marrakech markets and return to tell the story when you have adversity on your doorstep. The challenge of funding, of fulfilling your dream of increasing the odds of survival for a really ugly bird, giant snail or an animal called the Tasmanian Devil is impressive. And to cap it off the adventurer is still smiling and joking about the successes they have achieved.

Thank you Steve Irwin for smiling, laughing as the crocodile almost twisted you into lunch. The display is now part of my borrowed holiday fun. Your passion is now my passion. And I might even be able to be quiet and still for half an hour, or even several hours waiting for the elusive Bitten (wetland bird) to stretch its beak into view for the one time magic photo moment.

2

You can borrow joy from eating, it’s a tried and true test. The passionate artisan food producer is guaranteed to bring a smile to your weekend away or the holiday in South Australia. Think of those luscious dark glowing chocolates handmade for you to splurge on, the glass of red wine at the ready. Cheeses with oodles of rich clotted cream as their base. The Eyre Peninsula bounty of seafood and the South Island, NZ Kaikoura crabs glistening as they emerge from their briney environment. Mouth watering food and feast is absolutely satisfying and brings a smile to the face. Most of all you can boast about the holiday’s credentials as fabulous. You’ve put on weight. Got an instagram photo moment of every mouth melt moment.

Every good holiday is a promised diet on the horizon.

PS: I am going to borrow joy watching the small things, the ordinary and eat chocolates in my backyard.

3

Borrow joy from the kid’s wonder at the slightly tacky next big thing. Swan Hill, NSW’s enormous Murray River cod or South Island, Gore’s stupendous trout. The kids want to climb it, jump up and down squealing with joy at the sheer size of the next big thing. Children’s response is joyful and we smile back in return. Happy moments on holiday become infectious and kids are a great medicine. Not got kids, don’t worry, laugh with other people’s families at moments, smile into the exuberance of childhood.

4

Lend a smile while on the nature walk. Smile at oncoming people and greet them as they pass. You might get impromptu tips about the walking track ahead or advise about what they have just viewed. It is very useful, it’s a holiday moment shared.

My favourite line is, ‘You could miss it, it’s great go down this … track”

PS Your writer knows it helps when you look like everyone’s Grandma. It’s my secret weapon in tracking down joy while on holiday.

5

Planning, those glorious full colour photographs, the sizzling Instagram photo and the luscious media visuals of boneless relaxation and the meditative calm of the people soaking in the open air hot tub. We know the open air hot tub is a bit passe and the model is usually a young woman with sweeps of thick wavy hair spilling artfully over the dam tub. Don’t let that spoil the image of getting away from it all. It is very appealing. We are sure you are smiling at the thought of a short break or perhaps even overnight. The planning is joy, it is a pleasure to think about the pleasure of something different. Your holiday bubble, bustle and fizz has started.

Aotearoa NZ and Australian backyards are not boring for we have borrowed joy.

The journey is worth it.

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