Chinese New Year celebrations in Bourke Street (credit Tatyana Leonov)
Chinese New Year celebrations in Bourke Street (credit Tatyana Leonov)

Holidays with schedules, bookings and timetables have a place and time, but sometimes you need a break from that kind of a break. A do-nothing break.

It's that holiday where you don't plan a thing (except maybe your accommodation and flights) and just go somewhere with no expectations and see where it takes you.

I spent this weekend in Melbourne with my husband doing absolutely nothing and loved it. We went there because I won flights on One Cent Flights (a website where you bid to win). The flights have a three-month expiration period, so it was now or never.

Apart from booking one night at the magnificent The Hotel Windsor (a seriously swish and charming stay), we didn't plan what we would do, whom we would see or where we would eat (something I usually do). We debated whether or not to dine at a hatted restaurant (again me feeling we should since we were in Melbourne) but instead choose Africa Taste in Seddon. What a find! The genfo fufu (similar to gnocchi), made out of toasted barley flour came smothered in a rich yoghurt-based sauce, the marinated lamb tibes were tender and tangy. To get the tasty morsels from plate to mouth we used injera (African flat bread) instead of cutlery. When in Africa, or Seddon as it were, you use your hands and bread, not a knife and fork!

The majestic Hotel Windsor (credit Hotel Windsor)

During the weekend we found artsy markets without the aid of Google maps, I bought a stunning necklace and pretty multihued scarf without searching “best places to shop in Melbourne”. We lost each other amongst dragons, snakes and deafening drums in the frenetic Chinese New Year celebrations, and found each other again just by looking around (no phones used).

On Sunday afternoon we snagged some seats in the sun at Ludlow Bar on the Yarra riverfront where a DJ was spinning soulful house tunes and watched the world go by; kids attempting to ride bikes, barefoot dads dancing with their pink-clad daughters to the sound of buskers singing, teens whizzing past on skateboards trying to outperform each other. We just watched and took it all in while we drank cider and nibbled on mouthwatering crumbed eggplant chips and jerk-seasoned chicken skewers.

Amazing crumbed and fried eggplant chips at Ludlow Bar (credit Tatyana Leonov)

With nothing to do and nowhere to be we were able to spend time enjoying the city for the sights that aren't advertised on billboards. A do-nothing break doesn’t have to be at an all-inclusive beach resort or a ridiculously-priced mountain top villa. It can just be a night away camping under the stars, or a quick weekender in the busiest of cities. It's not about where you take a break – it's about how you do it.

City view across the Yarra River (credit Tatyana Leonov)

Savvy Globe Trotter's top tips on how to have a do-nothing holiday

1) Turn off the phone, stop checking emails, get unplugged. Yes you may need to make a call here or there but just leave technology access to the bare minimum.
2) If you wear a watch – don't. Eat when you're hungry, stroll when you want to, lay in the sun when it comes out from behind a cloud.
3) Take a break from high-heels and suits and dress comfy.
4) Sleep in for as long as you like, even if that means turning off the alarm and missing the buffet breakfast. You never know what's around the corner –
you might even discover a hip new brunch hangout.
5) When doing nothing, anything goes, just as long as you're relaxed.

About the Savvy Globe Trotter

Tatyana Leonov is a writer, editor, avid traveller and determined dreamer. She's mastered (beginners') yoga in Goa, partied with Russia's elite in a Moscow club, sampled local delicacies all around the world (including a camel burger in Morocco and guinea pig in Peru), trekked to Nepal's Annapurna Base Camp in Havaianas and had a short-lived career as a Bollywood star.

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