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I’m Taking A Break

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The last time I set foot in an airport or an aircraft was over 7 months ago and, by quite a margin, this has been the longest period of time in which I haven’t traveled in almost 20 years. With the world in the state that it’s in right now, I’m still not ready to travel abroad for fun or for the blog, but I definitely need a break from work and my daily routine so it’s time for a staycation of sorts.

Between my “proper” job and the blog, it has been a tiring few months and as anyone else who works for themselves will probably tell you, there’s never really such a thing as a day off. Often, if you’re self-employed, when you’re not working you’re also not getting paid so the concept of a weekend during which I don’t work, do research or admin for the blog, or attend to any number of other responsibilities is an alien one to me – I even got into trouble with Joanna for working during our one-night stay at the Conrad London St James’s and during our short break in August.

Normally, this really isn’t an issue. Working for myself is a lifestyle choice I made (nobody forced it on me) and it’s a lifestyle that I (usually) enjoy. This year, however, has been far from normal (yes, I realize that’s stating the blindingly obvious!) and the combination of not being able to travel (something which is normally a great release valve for me), spending a large part of this year “locked down”, and the general stresses that I’m sure everyone has faced courtesy of Covid-19 have worn me down a little. I’m not getting any younger, I’m tired (more mentally than physically), the standard of my work isn’t as good as it should be, and my already short temper is unacceptably short right now. It’s time to reset.

Joanna needs a break too. She’s been working incredibly hard throughout this crisis so it will do us both a lot of good to get away from home for a few days. A nice hotel, a few nice meals out, someone else doing the chores, and exploring a city we both love is just what we need (and we’re very fortunate to be able to do all of that).

The center of London is just a short train ride from where we are right now and there don’t appear to be too many Covidiots in town so, a couple of weeks ago, we decided to book a multi-night stay at a property that I have been wanting to visit for years (yes, I will be posting a review when we get back). It’s well-regarded and very well located so we’re looking forward to seeing what it has to offer and to using it as a base from which to explore areas of London that we don’t know so well (and a few areas that we think we know but that our amazing guide books make us realize that we don’t!)

The past few days have seen London and some of the surrounding areas, put under stricter Covid restrictions than we’ve been accustomed to since the summer, so there’s a chance that our plans may change if we get into town and discover that everything is closed. As things stand I think that’s unlikely to happen, but I’ve taken the precaution of making sure that our reservation (an award booking) can be cancelled mid-stay and that the points from any unused nights will be refunded if we decide to head home early (the property in question has been fantastic about this).

a large white building with a dome with St Paul's Cathedral in the background
St Paul’s Cathedral London

Our trip starts next week, so TFM will go dark unless some amazing news breaks (e.g. if someone spots an American Airlines transpacific Business Class saver award or if the US3 reject any more government cash because it constitutes state aid 🙂 ) but posts will start appearing again from 26 October.

Have a great weekend, stay safe, stay well, and TFM will be back in a little over a week’s time.


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  1. Ziggy – So happy you are taking a much deserved break with Joanna. I finally travelled late August and mid-September to visit friends and it was such a refreshing break and made me realize how much I needed that on so many levels. And the traveling itself much smoother due to fewer people and choosing the right airlines that block middle seats.

    I’ve done some 1 or 2N staycation and these mini breaks help me keep my sanity and appreciate so much what we might have taken for granted before.

    Wishing you a FANTABULOUS time in London…I was there in January right before the pandemic started and discovered the cute area of Maida Vale and the lovely walks along the canals 🙂 Looking forward to visiting London again. Cheers !

    • Thank you for the very kind words, they are genuinely hugely appreciated.

      As I type this, I’m enjoying a very good Malbec and an even better cigar so, right now, life is pretty good and I’m already feeling refreshed. London is an amazing place to explore and, as you obviously already know, London is a city that keeps on giving so the walks are amazing and the experiences keep getting better.

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