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March 17, 2020 Tuesday 11:17:12 AM IST

Vacations - Time to Reboot

Rajagiri Round Table

The dreary drill of daily life, wares down everyone, regardless of what gender or age they are. The young and old crave that ultimate break from the mechanical monotony, and get a chance to replenish and re-energize their spirits. Everyone likes a good vacation. There is a popular phrase, “all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy”. Children are looking forward to a two month vacations after months of continuous study. Parents also plan their annual vacations to get over the stress of their work life.

Appropriately enough, the 57th Rajagiri Round Table Conference held at Chavara Cultural Centre, Kochi on 12th February, 2020 discussed the topic, Vacations-Time to Reboot. There are various options before the family- going for a trip within the country or abroad, outdoor and indoor activities for children, visit to ancestral homes and even social service, farm visits can be thought of as well. Vacations are also expected to improve productivity at work and academics.

The Conference brought together parents, teachers, thinkers, experts from the tourism industry and students to discuss what was their ideal vacation and how important it was for them to take a break from  the routines. The session was moderated by Sreekumar Raghavan, Editor of Pallikkutam magazine. The following issues were discussed:

1.       Why is it important to take vacations? Is there any positive impact it creates on the family members?


2.       Should children keep away from studies completely or can experiential learning become part of vacation activities?

3.       What are the new trends emerging in travel and tourism industry to provide various adventure and experiential learning for children?

4.       Are there better ways of spending vacation and leisure time?

Thomas Mathai, Riya Tours and Travels


In today’s time and era, when we are completely on a digital platform, unless you get yourself exposed, you will not be able to get yourself enlightened. You have to know what is out there, you have to get the touch and feel of it. We have many academically qualified people, but they are not able to apply their learning in a timely and appropriate manner.  They don't know what the world requires because they are not exposed. Therefore, vacations are a must, they should be compulsory. You need to get yourself out of your comfort zone and experience what is out there in the world.

Thomas George, Corporate Trainer/Computrain

A lot of companies now give away paid wellness leaves to their employees. They realise that the two weeks that the employees are away from the office, they come back to work a lot more productive. The importance of disconnecting from the connected world is very important.

Aaziya Shafi, Founder- Women of Kochi


A vacation is important as it helps us to reconnect with ourselves. I recently went on a solo trip to Pondicherry, and it was a great experience.  There are many options available these days for going on trips and travelling. Today, depression and other mental health issues have become quite common among the youth. They are clueless about what they want to do with their life, they are just caught up in the world of making money. I see how hard my colleagues are working and how badly they crave for a vacation. Yes, a break from stressful careers to connect with our true selves is absolutely necessary.

Dr. Varghese Panthalookaran, Professor at RSET

A break after doing continuous hard work is a necessity. There is a theory about creative thinking. If you want to be a creative thinker or have a creative mind, one should take a break and do something totally different. The theory suggests that the brain can reorganize and think of something new, when given a break. Otherwise the creativity will be lost. That is why a vacation is important in this time and age when we are stressed. A complete break so that one can generate completely new thought processes.

Dr P.R.Poduval, Former Director of School of Management Studies, CUSAT


We have to redefine what vacation is. We cannot link vacations with the boredom we feel in our jobs. There are other ways to tackle boredom in a workplace like job enrichment programmes, job rotation, job enlargement. Vacations have to be a time specifically meant for spending with your families.

Aravind Hari, Chavara Institute of Management studies

What I feel is that, even if our parents come home from work, work follows them home. They don’t talk about anything with us apart from regarding their works or our studies. There is no close bond between us.  Vacations can play an important role in rebuilding that bond between us and our parents. We are not able to spend time with our parents.

Rosemary Joy, Assisi Vidyaniketan Public School


What I have seen is that children today are forced to remain indoors, mainly because there is a lack of space outside for them to play, parents are too busy.  Children have so much energy, we should not expect them to sit still in a 45-minute class. Most kids do not have sensory issues, they just need a space to utilize that energy. Vacations are a perfect time for children to get their dose of outdoor play and physical activity. The Summer Express (a summer vacation camp), in our school, provides a combination of activities for the benefit of children. There is a blend of different creative activities like art and craft, dance, sports, swimming which the children can try out. We also have special swimming sessions for children with autism. This year we will have a summer camp for children with special needs as well.

Zachariah Samuel, Computrain

Universities have developed brilliant ideas, they are inviting students from 8th and 9th standard on tour programmes where they are introduced to intelligent subjects like Robotics.  We also have developed a school leadership training, where the students are not made to sit and learn, they are instead taken for short day programmes, wherein the evening they enjoy a campfire in remote areas. We hire good tourism agencies to arrange things, children then are free to take walks. I have seen children go through change and they de-stress.

Amarish S, Chavara Institute of Management Studies


There are different forms of tourism like experiential tourism, community tourism, farm tourism, agri tourism, sports and responsible tourism. This experiential tourism is a concept developed quite recently, where the traveller just wants to get immersed in the culture of the destination he is visiting. To support this a lot of research is going on about experiential tourism and in India also, this concept is gaining a lot of popularity these days. The people from the corporate world see vacation time as a chance to come together with family and spend time. The tourism industry is concerned with promoting authentic experiences. Rather than spending time just visiting places, tourists would rather enjoy original experiences.

Recommendations

●      New schemes have to be introduced into work spaces to let employees enjoy a break from the tediousness of work. It will encourage the employees to be more creative.

●      Getting off from work has to be made simple for parents, as they are the ones who are responsible for making sure their children can make the most of the vacation time. They are the future generation of course.


●      Children can be made to concentrate on creative activities, and take a break from academics. It will refresh their minds and make them more open to learning once they go back to school.

●      The concept of responsible tourism needs to spread more widely across the world. There are studies which prove how tourism hotspots have suffered environmental damage and depletion.

●      European countries have trails dedicated to poets and authors. These trails cover the areas that were a part of the poets or authors lives. Such trails can be started worldwide.

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Reporting by Supriya Deepak & Photos by Ajeesh Cherian

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