So I am writing from my vacation in Mauritius. Two of my closest friends in Berlin are sisters from Mauritius and they invited me to visit Mauritius when they're there. I came here with no plans and no expectations and my idea was to just tag along with them where possible.
And turns out, it was a brilliant plan. Not because I don't need to plan anything, but because it left me A LOT of free time.
"free" time? 🆓
I am going to define it as a period longer than 4hrs where you have absolutely nothing planned. And nothing you must be doing. This is time you sit down and think, "what can I do to kill this time?". Un-allocated time where you sit down and decide to do something from your TODO list doesn't count. You genuinely sit down and wonder about what you can do.
I used to have a lot of this when I was a kid. Basically most of my summer holidays during school were free time. And I used to kill it in a myriad of ways: by reading, by throwing a ball against the wall and catching and doing it all over again, by going and annoying my mom and by watching TV when my mom finally had her fill of me.
I used to have a lot of free in time in college too. Basically a lot of my days in the first three years were free time. I never really attended classes and so I had a LOT of free time. But I mainly killed it by watching A LOT of TV series. I binge watched them all!
Time is 💰?
What was abundant before seems so hard to come by nowadays. And worse still, having free time is looked down upon. I fill all the time with something. "Oh, I have the Sunday free, let me see if I can motivate my friends to go the movies". "Oh I have a couple of hours free, let me schedule a German class". And honestly, I get it; I not a kid anymore. I'm an adult, which means I have to work, cook, clean, work out and socialise. All in 24 hours!
It's impossible for me to do all the above in a day, so I typically skip two or three of the items, but even then I have very little time left. And I've been taught that "time is money", and I try to fill the little time I have left with something productive. And honestly it makes sense. My German gets better, or I am learning to be a better cook. Basically if I utilise the time well, I will get better. And that is important as it will help me get ahead in life (or the rat-race). I kinda see the point of "time is money".
Being with myself 🤗
I don't like making decisions when I'm travelling. This makes me a great group traveller as I am up for literally anything and say yes to whatever ideas come up. But if you ask me to plan something, you'll find me staying at home. I am currently crashing with my friends from Berlin in their home in Mauritius. And they have about 50% of the time planned out for me. The rest I have to figure out myself and I am blissfully spending it alone in this beautiful house.
That is A LOT of free time that I don't know what to do with. Entire days sometimes. And I am loving it! I mean, if you step on to their terrace, this is the view:
There's the beautiful sounds of birds chirping around me as well:
I purposefully didn't fill the time on free days because I just wanted to get lost in my thoughts. Ofcourse I got bored, and ended up reading a book, or writing down my thoughts (like this post). But I was happy that I let myself get bored, by just doing nothing. By wondering what I can do to kill time. Again.
Being rich in time 🤑
It's nice. Letting your mind wander. Taking in the nature around you. Getting bored. The sad part is that I don't remember the last time I did this. During the COVID lockdown in 2020, I did a "staycation" in my Berlin studio where I biked early in the morning, came back, cooked and spent the rest of the day on the floor: thinking and when it got boring, listening to an audiobook. I remember that I loved it back then too! I wanted to do more of those, but somehow when things opened up again, time felt too precious to waste.
Well, Time is money, and time is precious, but you know what. I want to be rich in time. Infact, I want to be so rich, that I can afford to kill some time. I'm not there yet, because now that I think of it, weekends are when I get the bulk of my socialising done. I cannot fathom giving up an entire weekend per month, but maybe killing one day a month seems doable.
I would say that my current goal is to be rich enough to dedicate an entire weekend to do nothing each month. And hopefully I'll reach it sometime next year.
Forcing disconnection 🌳🦌🐏
This past weekend, we visited La Vieille Cheminee, an eco-lodge in Mauritius. We stayed in a lodge in the middle of the forest and a small pool on top of the hill. Even though there was WiFi, our environment forced us to disconnect. I spent several long hours doing absolutely nothing here but just soaking in the beauty around me.
It was beautiful and perfect. And I started looking into how I could get something similar while in Berlin with no car. And I found Raus.life which promises the same disconnection I was seeking. As I said, I am not as time-rich as I'd like to be, but I do want to spend a weekend at Raus sometime this year.
I also found other cabins on Airbnb which sound interesting, not as remote as Raus, but maybe good enough to do the trick! And I am excited to see more companies innovate in the space: help us disconnect while also being sustainable.
btw, La Vieille Cheminee also had an adventure park close by where I got my adrenaline fix. Was a nice bonus!