personality holiday, cambrils SpainSo this year for the first time in many years I decided to take an actual holiday. Two weeks of sunshine, where it was too hot to do much else other than sit by the pool and complain about the heat.

The one thing Ryanair will let you carry on board without charging you for it, is your personality. It did offend me however that they charged me more for my suitcase than my seat.

This was going to be a bit different from our usual summer extravaganzas, which are more like adventures into the unknown. This year it was a very simple scenario – an apartment in a complex, about twenty minutes from the beach.

This environment was going to have to delight and entertain me, my wife Julie and our 15 year old teenager Ruaridh.

In terms of personality, we are all very different from each other. So before we even begin, this is going to be a tall order.

Martin’s experience

I really wanted a quiet, sit by the pool, lost in a book holiday. This is something I usually struggle with, however I have been overdoing it lately and some exhaustion helped me achieve this quite easily.

My personality often works against me when it comes to holidays. With space and time to think, I get ideas, which soon turn into work. So I was very vigilant to avoid as much thinking as possible. I did manage to come up with some very clever ideas for Ryanair, or any other airline that would like to enjoy a competitive advantage, that costs absolutely nothing to implement. A simple idea that would revolutionize air travel.

Julie’s experience

Julie was keen to enjoy the poolside. However a strange environment brings its challenges to Julie. Her personality type is organised and therefore by its nature isn’t comfortable with the unknown. For almost a week we were living in the unknown. Strange noises at night. No obvious sense of direction – where are we in location to what?

After a few days, the noises became familiar. We discovered where we were in location to the beach, the shops and the cafes. Within a week the rhythm of this new environment was our rhythm and Julie started to really enjoy her holiday.

Ruaridh’s experience

Ruaridh was going to struggle the most. Not only is he a teenager but his personality type thrives on interaction with friends and he hadn’t managed to sneak any of them in his case.

Being very Scottish, he burns like a vampire and can’t cope with the heat. Being a teenager he is quickly bored. In short there was nothing about this holiday that was going to work for Ruaridh.

And yest he managed extremely well. He prepared well and set his expectations. He managed himself as best he could to cope. He did a ton of reading and a lot of writing, usually with the air conditioning on. His socialising was restricted to our evenings out to dinner and our walk in in the town. These were meager rations for Ruaridh but he made do with them. He adapted extremely well and made the best of it.

New Environments Are Challenging

As we sat at the pool I watched some of the other families who were having their own struggles. A strange environment, even one with palm trees and as pretty as Cambrils, is challenging. And just because you are a family, doesn’t mean you you all have the same needs from your holiday.

Our personality is at play even on holiday. Our personality affects everything we say, think and do. Our personality affects our holiday experience.

The challenge is to have the holiday we need. I fear many people try and have someone else’s holiday. The danger is that we try and have the holiday we feel is expected of us.

Changing environment brings about its own challenges, so be wise to it. The new environment will affect everyone differently, according to their personality. The trick is to understand your personality and know in advance how you deal with a change in environment and how it is likely to respond to the new holiday environment specifically.  I think on this trip Ruaridh was the best prepared of all of us.


Further Reading

You may also enjoy reading about how we made a Personality Test  that is easy to use.



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