It's June 2023 as I'm sat writing this, a time of uncertainty in the world & financial turmoil. And to be truthful, it feels unfair! Unfair because we've already been there with the previous years of pandemic & restrictions.
Unfair after surviving the Covid years.
Unfair as we struggled & worked hard to come out the other side.
But life isn't fair is it? It's not all rosey all of the time. Whether it's health or family/friends, work or money, there is always something for us to worry about.
Think back to the pandemic & the restrictions.... Life became more simple in a way. Working from home, furloughed if you were lucky enough to retain your job, messages to take daily exercise, meeting up with only a few who were in your "bubble".
Image: Eyam, Peak District
Ofcourse, this is my rosey view of it too! The reality was that my work dried up completely, I was worried for the future of my micro business & whether it would even survive post pandemic. I couldn't see my family, doing shopping for the olds & dropping it on their doorsteps, chatting to my son through the window & taking solitary dog walks. Friends contracting covid & nearly loosing them & family of friends who they did loose. I missed my people terribly.
So I kept busy dreaming & planning. For the future. So that eventually, when the time came, we could do all the things we took for granted & were used to doing. This is what my plan looked like:
Seeing family & friends freely without restriction
Embracing a slower life (ha, not quite nailed this one yet!)
The first one on the list, came easily & quickly. Once restrictions lifted, we gathered family & friends around the table regularly again. Ate, drank, supported, shared & listened. We took walks with our friends & their paws. It was simple stuff, but glorious. Stuff that we had missed so very much.
Image: Family time
Embracing a slower life is a life long work in progress! Because, as we all know, best intentions & reality do not really go hand it hand. Thankfully (& forever grateful to our fantastic guests) as soon as lockdowns lifted, we were at full speed, welcoming you all back to our little corner of the peakdistrict. It seemed that you all needed to escape, have a change of scenery, switch off from your stresses & ironically, slow down & take time out away from your "normal". For us, slowing down is still to happen, but if it's not on the list, it will never happen, and baby steps, grabbing moments when we are able, is enough for now. So our slowing down looks like quiet moments, watching flames in a woodburner or firepit, watching a favourite film ( Chocolat, Pulp Fiction, Kings Speach, Bourne, Skyfall, it's an eclectic mix!) & more importantly focusing on the next two categories on our list...
Covid stopped us all from travelling. When you aren't allowed to do something, it's human nature to crave it even more! I believe this is why we are super busy welcoming guests to our little green hut post pandemic. You all wanted to escape, getaway & remember life as it used to be. We didn't stop for months & it was perfect. There was life & noise & enjoyment around us again, just how we like it.
Image: Guests enjoying breakfast outside at the picnic bench
So our own travel plans took on a whole new turn when we decided it was time to fill a life long dream & get a campervan. We didn't think about it too much, we would have talked ourselves out of it if we had - not enough time to use it, too expensive & so on. But we took the plunge, and do you know what? It was the best thing we have done. It sits on the drive for a lot of the month, but what it has done, is give us reason to escape. To get away, even for a night, even on the doorstep. We pack up & hit the road & it feels like we are leaving all our worries behind, & our responsibilities & living in the moment. We haven't taken it abroad yet, although that is in the plan, but we have travelled the length & breadth of the country, just us & the paws. We've been to beaches in Cornwall & mountains in Scotland, we've enjoyed every bloomin' minute of it.
What it has given us, is an escape. Time. Peace & quiet & a sense of adventure that we knew we had, but didn't prioritise. We make sure now, that we coordinate our diaries, book a night out on the calendar & choose somewhere to go, where we aren't distracted with the TV, where there are beautiful walks & where there is a good pub/restaurant to go to so that we don't even have to cook if we don't want to. If we are able to light a fire, wrap ourselves in a blanket & fall asleep infront of the flames, that is, in our opinion, a 10/10 night away.
Image: Vanlife campfires
So, why share this with you? You're sick of thinking about covid times right? We've all moved on from that, but now, the next wave of worry is upon us, a financial crisis. Mortgage rates are increasing month on month & we are all feeling the pinch. (not a great time to invest in a holiday cottage like we have, but that's a long story for another day) The cost of living is going up & up, gas & electric are at a ridiculous peak & a grocery shop has almost doubled, oomph. Life is hard again & we don't want to feel like we are falling into another downward spiral of doom.
How do you stop that spiral? Planning & prioitising, that's how. You may have to think about the treats you give yourselves, some will be a quick fix - eat the chocolate & buy the lipsticks! But what about prioritising time? Time to escape, time to make memories, even when it feels so indulgent. Time together is about connecting & disconnecting. Tuning out to your everyday noise & tuning in together, to remind yourselves, that whatever life is currently throwing at you, you will get through it, if you just prioritise a little bit of "you". If you've followed along with us for a while, you will already know that this is what our Little Peak District Staycations are all about. We offer you a cosy, peaceful, romantic escape to spend as little as 24hours together to reconnect & recharge. So while it might feel extravagent, think about the reasons & the benefits rather than the financial cost. We guarantee, that escaping for a night in a quirky place, filled with treats & ideas for you to take home & reproduce, will enhance your difficult, hard to cope with, stressful world...............
Image: Hygge at thehuteyam
I hope we have convinced you, maybe we will see you here in our little green hut or little cottage very soon, I do hope so. Hutty hugs for now xx
All our own words & images