Passport - check. Visas - check. Money exchanged for local currency - check. Bags packed - check. Carry on bag carefully organised with a few essentials (just in case my main luggage goes missing) - check.
Remember when going on holidays often meant diligently saving for a trip to a far off destination, exploring different cultures, trying local culinary delicacies, seeing things you had only previously seen in books or online? ...and of course returning home almost as exhausted as when you left... with a near empty bank account.
How things have changed in 2020.
I had one of those overseas destination adventures cancelled in the middle of the Covid shutdown in May.
I have to admit that I was disappointed I wouldn't have the chance to relax poolside in Bali, and head into the countryside to enjoy the village culture... oh yeah, and do a spot of bargain shopping. It had been 30 years since my last visit to the popular Indonesian holiday destination and I was keen to see how things had changed..
I re-scheduled my leave request to August and a couple more weeks in October - I have a few accrued weeks up my sleeve as I had ultimately planned for a much longer European trip. I could be waiting a while.
However, after my time off in August and again in October - where home was my ultimate destination - I have truly begun to appreciate what I have in my own backyard...and I specifically mean my own back yard.
I have enjoyed doing a Marie Kondo-style Spring clean, some quality time spent with my adult children and other family and friends, a couple of overnight stays on the coast, the occasional hike, getting crafty with macrame and reading. But another holiday hit has been the chance to potter in the garden - even create a new garden. That's still a work in progress.
While I may not have sat poolside sipping cocktails or purchased exotic trinkets, I did help boost the local economy with some shopping, and the chance to enjoy a nice wine on the swing chair in my garden was a favourite afternoon activity during my holidays at home.
The old adage 'home is where the heart is' certainly rang true for me... and it's not a bad place for a holiday either. Consider this piece my holiday postcard highlighting the great time I've had at my latest destination. However, I will skip the holiday spam on social media.