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The Holiday: Slowly getting a Feel for the Mystery of Life

A story told by Nhlanhla Nkwanyana South Africa, Kwazulu Natal

Nhlanhla Nkwanyana lives in South Africa and studies at the University of KwaZulu-Natal.

A story told by Ingeborg Reinders The Netherlands, Breda

Ingeborg Reinders lives in the Netherlands and is a student at the Breda NHTV University of Applied Sciences.

Holidays are important for people, humanity and the world. Holidays expand your identity, strengthen your solidarity with others and fortify you. These insights were shared with us by Nhlanhla from South Africa and Ingeborg from the Netherlands. How do two young people raised in very different worlds see holidays? What do they see as the essence of the holiday experience? And how important is it to guarantee everyone the right to a holiday?


Nhlanhla Nkwanyana and Ingeborg Reinders, together with fellow Leisure and Tourism students, were part of an international study group which came together to work on a recreational project in Durban during the World Leisure Conference 2016.

Though the worlds they live in are vastly different, Nhlanhla and Ingeborg are well on the way to becoming best friends. This is what happens when you travel, meet other people, spend time together and are open to learning from others.


What do holidays do for us as people?

‘Holidays are about slowly getting a feel for the mystery of life, experiencing nature. Gradually opening yourself up to amazement, to what might happen, to what you might discover about yourself and who you are.’


Tolerance and holidays

'When more of us are given the opportunity to discover a part of the world and visit places and people outside our everyday environment, we grow closer together as people. By entering other peoples’ worlds, we become more tolerant of each other. We get better at coping with differences. That’s important, because it is of tremendous value for people to grow closer together, for us to learn to cope with differences. The world really needs this, especially nowadays.’

People have the right to choose to go on holiday

Several articles of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights point to the concept that free time is a human right. Is that also true for holidays? Ingeborg and Nhlanhla: ‘Yes, it could be said that going on holiday is a universal human right. Going on holiday isn’t a ‘must’, but it must be possible. Thus, the human right is not so much the holiday, but rather having the option of going on holiday. We have to guarantee this freedom of choice for every human being.’


Authored by Griet Bouwen Bilzen