Passport, sunscreen, coaching session...?
Been on holiday in the last six months? Did you have a nice time? During the holiday did you ever stop and think: "I wish I'd thought of that before coming here"? Wwhen you got home what did you do after you'd unpacked and sorted your holiday snaps? Did you make a note of what you'd learned? Or did you just rush straight back to work?
Ever been on holiday and caught yourself thinking: 'Some pre-holiday coaching would have made my decisions here a lot easier!'?
I wonder if (like me) you're not the most confident decision maker, and get stressed when having to deal with lots of little things or when you need to make decisions on things you haven’t planned for in advance? Holidays to foreign countries can be stressful enough as it is without having to work out how to spend your time and keep your family happy too, when you get out there.
This all happened to me on a recent 10-day holiday to Madeira. Ironically I’d fallen into the trap of thinking before I went ‘It's only a holiday, what’s the point of having coaching for it?’
In hindsight coaching would have helped draw out key insights with potential to guide me to the answers I was struggling to find whilst there. A good coach would have helped me work out what was most important to me in taking the holiday i.e. my values, and how to honour them.
For example, I booked a hotel that meant I was spending most of my nights in the city while taking trips out to explore the rest of the island. Yet, a core value of mine is being close to nature, and as soon as I found a hostel in a quiet seaside village on the north of the island I realised that booking to stay so long in Funchall had been a mistake. I had also figured I’d just take buses rather than forking out for a hire car, but using buses made getting to and from many of the island's lovely walks impractical.
A coach would have challenged my tendency for thrift. And I forgot some important learning from a previous foreign trip – it can take several days to acclimatise to being somewhere new. A good coach could have drawn out that past learning too, I’m sure.
Four days in and feeling more at ease I was able to tune in to what my intuition told me I really needed from coming away. I changed my flight to a later one, hired a car for the rest of my stay, and told myself: ‘Hang the expense, invest in enjoying yourself, you deserve this'. So whilst I eventually gave myself the holiday I wanted, and returned home refreshed, it was only after putting myself through a period of stress and indecision, which cost me time and money.
It would be unrealistic not to expect to climb a learning curve when going on holiday, especially if it’s to a foreign country. But you can make that curve a lot less steep for yourself - and your holiday a lot more enjoyable – by investing in one or two pre-trip coaching sessions. This will help tease out why you’re going in the first place, and what you need to do to have the kind of holiday that you, and your family, will look back on with fond memories.
So the next time you plan a holiday avoid the kind of mistakes I made. Pack in a session with a life coach along with your passport and sunscreen before you travel, and give yourself the fab holiday which you, and your family, deserve.
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About Mark Wilkinson
Mark Wilkinson aka Wilkoach is a professional career, business and performance coach and freelance catalyst, or facilitator. He organised Bristol's first Our People's Coach flash mob speed coaching event in 2014, is passionate about coaching for public benefit, and loves the outdoors. He works with members of the public to charities.