Add a touch of mindfulness to your holiday

You spend months looking forward to your holiday, but when you’ve put your bags down and opened the veranda doors of your villa to let in the salty sea air, it can take a while to clear your mind and relax.
In the wise words of Pooh, A.A. Milne’s endearing Bear of Little Brain:

“What day is it?” asked Pooh.
“It’s today,” squeaked Piglet.
“My favourite day,” said Pooh.

As Pooh shows us, one of the best ways of emptying your mind is by focusing on the present moment. Studies show that practicing present moment awareness can help you relax, pay attention and feel happier.

Jon Kabat-Zinn (the ‘father’ of secular mindfulness) says, “Mindfulness means paying attention in a particular way: on purpose, in the present moment, and non-judgmentally.”

5 Top Tips for creating a mindful holiday:

1. Come to your senses. Take the time to taste that first sip of tea, to feel the crisp bedsheets, to breathe in the sea air and watch the sea gulls soaring in the sky, and listen to the waves breaking on the shore.
2. Use your breath to slow down and focus. Long, deep breaths in and out will help reduce stress and draw you back into your body.
3. Create unstructured time. Let go of your long list of holiday activities and any residual FOMO. Enjoy where you are right now.
4. Be creative. Write in your journal, work on that painting, try out a new craft.
5. Disconnect to reconnect. Put your phone on silent. Hold your partner’s hand while you watch the kids build sandcastles. Haul out those board games that remind you of your childhood.

Breathing in deeply and soaking in your surroundings will fill you with a deep sense of wellbeing.

And that is what holidays are all about.

‘Let’s Go Fly a Kite’

You know you’ve reached the village of Kommetjie when you catch sight of colourful kites arching above you. Octopuses and fish of all sizes flutter in the sea breeze and a smile breaks across your face. You take a deep breath of the salty air. You’re on holiday.

Sip your morning coffee on the veranda of your beach villa and watch the surfers with their long boards heading out to catch the swells. The only thought in your head, as the cormorants dry their wings on the rocks and the oyster catchers forage for mussels is whether you’re going to get freshly made noodles from Komin Noodle or pizza from Kommetjie Pizzeria delivered for lunch.

Far Out Kites

Take a walk up to the village centre in the late afternoon sun and swing past Far Out Kites, to have a chat with Phil Hattingh, our local kite runner, who has been making kites for the past 35 years. Phil looks around at the green, blues and reds of the kites flying outside like colourful bunting and his rugged face breaks into a smile:

‘I love Kommetjie. I’ve been living here since my son started school. Now he’s doing his second degree in Melbourne. Kommetjie is a lovely place to be, really quiet. Actually, I really shouldn’t be here; it’s not good for business.’

Phil has recently returned from China, the birthplace of the kite, where he was invited as a guest for the 2019 International Kite Festival in Weifang. Phil was amazed at how so much revolved around the kite: streetlamps designed in the shape of kites and public spaces filled with sculptures of kite makers and their kites. Much to Phil’s surprise, the kite arch he brought with him turned out to be the longest in the world.

Select your own kite from the wide array then make a detour to see the Skilpadsvlei Bird Hide tucked away in the lush greenery along the little path between age-old Milkwood trees.

French picnic in the Cape

Before you head to the beach to fly your kite (because all kite runners need fortification in the form of good food!) head up the road to Just Foods Deli. Stock up on freshly baked bread (made with love and stone-ground flour just around the mountain in Scarborough), goats’ cheese (made with happy goats nearby in Imhoff’s Farm) and a good bottle of Cape wine from Kommetjie Liquors.

Stroll down to the beach and voilá, your kite-flying picnic á la française in the Cape is complete!

Come and share Our World!