Well, I do - love holidays. And I make a distinction between holidays and travelling. My book is about travelling. This week I'm on holiday. (Well, I'm not actually on holiday as I write this - but I'm drafting it at home so that I can spend my holiday doing, well holiday things. But if I can pretend I'm away, I'm sure you can.)
I'm in Devon. Which is not far, and not hugely different from Wiltshire - except Devon has the sea, and the moor, and cream teas. I've not come here for difference; rather to be away from my own washing up, the grass that needs cutting, remembering which week they collect the recycling. I need an interruption to those realities.
For the joy of holidays, for me, lies in its being just that - an interruption. When I'm at home my days have a rhythm. I live alone and so the rhythm is mine to control. I don't have to think about the shape of days. I can even get a little tetchy if there are major challenges to that rhythm. But comfortable rhythms can lead to complacency.
And so I come on holiday. To surprise myself by doing things differently. I might take a boat trip up the Dart. I might tramp across the moor and pretend to be a brigand. (I am alone; nobody will know.) I might eat a cream tea at coffee-time. I will eat unexpected food, at unexpected times. I will not listen to The Archers, nor organise my evenings to watch the News. I will ask myself new questions.
(Not so different from travelling, then? Yes - it is very different. Travelling is an expedition, and requires significantly more planning. It needs me to interact with my surroundings all the time if I am to keep myself safe, meet great people, catch the right bus. And it doesn't stop at the end of a week.)
But how much of an interruption will this week be to the writing? I can't imagine a day of writing nothing. Of keeping all those words locked away. So I'll write - I expect my journal to be the dumping ground for far more sentences than it handles at home. And I shall read, of course. So - you are saying - this holiday is no interruption to the writing. Surely it's like taking your work away with you? But writing doesn't feel like work. It feels like breathing. I can no more stop writing than I can will my heart not to pump. I am even ready for the holiday to throw up short story ideas, thoughts for this blog, or even snippets of inspiration that will ferment for a while until I find the right home for them.
Why do you go on holiday? What do you hope to find there? And does being away tilt your world at all?