(The following ‘quote’ is an anthology of a catch-up discussion on my birthday between my friend Jon and I whilst socialising, but being the philosophical one, when I say ”discussion” I really mean me talking at him for several hours about my opinions. I have ‘done my best’ to fuse all the key points into one intelligible idea about leisure.)
‘’As I have reached the age of 31, I don’t worry about much anymore. But the one issue that still necessarily concerns me to this day, is that I doubt that I have always enjoyed myself as much as I potentially could have. Take the concept of the 18-30 holiday for example. With all the best intentions, I never fully enjoyed the quintessential lads’ holiday abroad.
What we understand as a cliché young person’s holiday is potentially a low-brow period of leisure with all due respect to those of us who enjoy it. As I accumulated years of life experience with each trip and therein utilized it to my advantage i.e. greater self-determination, as social as I am I became more and more disconnected from my peers. Meeting new people can be positive, but it is the simple-minded, thick-skinned, outgoing types who benefit more from passive activities in which it can happen and you feel somewhat excluded from the apparent fun and games, especially when you are expected, particularly by the aforementioned folk, ultimately to get laid on holiday. But I sound harsher than I mean to. The break in Ibiza in 2006 in particular was enjoyable, but insofar as two of my cousins, our friend and myself were young and innocent enough to derive pleasure from excessive drunkenness and not suffer a hangover.
But I always found the best night out on a holiday abroad was the one in which we usually arrived at the destination i.e. normally a Saturday, and after that those of the rest of the week fall short. Not only is it quieter on week days, you and your crew waking up from an alcohol-induced slumber in the middle of the day, hanging around the pool or beach somewhat worse for wear until sunset and then getting ready for another night out usually gets old by the Tuesday which is why I think the scheduled boat trips are probably the highlight of this kind of vacation because you know when the boat sets off and is due to arrive at its destination.
In England, my Friday nights out drinking after work is a way of marking the transition between the working week and the weekend, a kind of rebirth. But simultaneously if by Saturday you then have 24-48 hours of continuous free time, how do you decide when to do an activity and then when to discontinue doing it if it does not necessarily matter? In a situation like this, how can you invest in this time with enthusiasm or be sure that you are doing the right thing? I’m put in mind of a theory by a philosopher named Deleuze about alcoholics. He asserted that each alcoholic beverage an alcoholic drinks is in order to arrive at their penultimate drink meaning the one they can ultimately tolerate before the final one knocks them unconscious–until they come back round ready to start drinking all over again. (I think if an alcoholic became truly aware of this motive for his drinking their alcoholism would then take on a different impact.)
Spontaneity is supposedly desirable, but it does not necessarily derive from a feeling of need in ones free time. Idleness is something we don’t really need to do.’’