Podcasts that I like

A High Performance Holiday

A High Performance Holiday?

A High Performance Holiday?

The title of one of my regular podcasts intrigued me. Here’s what I learnt from The High Performance Podcast.

I listen to lots of podcasts

One of my pastimes in Sri Lanka at GlenMyu Estate, in between visitors, is to listen to podcasts.

Some are educational, some are for my mental health and others are just for fun.

A recommendation from a guest

One of our guests and I were chatting about podcasts. He runs a successful business in Colombo and continues his business education with a mentor.
The mentor suggested that he listen to The High Performance Podcast.

This was a podcast that was not in my list of regular listening. The guest liked the podcast as there were lots of interviews with renowned and successful sportspeople, amongst others.
As the guest was interested in a range of sports there was a motivation to listen regularly to this podcast.

The High Performance Podcast

This podcast is hosted by Jake Humphrey and Professor Damian Hughes.

Jake is a former television presenter. He stepped away from presenting sports to concentrate on the High Performance Podcast.

Damian is a Professor of Psychology and Change. He has written several books and is a keynote speaker.  

They aim to “turn the lived experiences of the planet’s highest performers into your life lessons”.

A High Performance Holiday

A High Performance Holiday.

This is a catchy and intriguing title is important to capture ones interest and it worked with me. 

The shocking statistics around the British holidaying public

A British Airways Survey for YouGov revealed that “survey reveals 50% of UK working adults do not take their full annual leave allocation”.

Amazingly ” a third of working Brits (36%) who did not take their full annual leave said it was because they ‘just didn’t get around to it”.

And “42% confessed that they have felt stressed about work whilst on holiday”.

Do you check your work emails when you are on holiday?

Yes lots of people do!

The survey revealed that “48% have checked work emails whilst away and more than a third (39%) have gone one step further and responded“.

Taking your leave is good for you

A 40-year study by the European Society of Cardiology revealed that taking a holiday could help people live longer.

At the ESC Congress in Munich, Germany (28 Aug 2018), Professor Strandberg said: “The harm caused by the intensive lifestyle regime was concentrated in a subgroup of men with shorter yearly vacation time. In our study, men with shorter vacations worked more and slept less than those who took longer vacations. This stressful lifestyle may have overruled any benefit of the intervention. We think the intervention itself may also have had an adverse psychological effect on these men by adding stress to their lives.”

The dangers of presenteeism

Feeling that you always have to be present at work, always connected and available is dangerous in the form of stress and burnout. 

Whoop (the Health Monitor Band company) employees are rewarded for getting adequate sleep and rest. What a great idea.

Always working on holiday?

They realise that fully shutting off from work is not always possible. Sometimes a compromise is required. Jake has an agreement with his wife that his work phone is locked in a safe all day and in the evening he is allowed 10 -15 minutes to pick up work calls and e-mails. 

Joe Wicks has a technique where he takes time out as “mini retirements” where he takes on less work and is present with his family and friends.  This was a result of hearing a phrase “don’t wait until you are older to retire, have mini retirements every year”.

The main elements required for a High Performance Holiday

A second phone

Dr Peter Atia gave Damian and idea to have a sequin phone so that he could turn off.

What a great idea! (apart from the potential landfill question when phones are at the end of their lives).

Having a phone that is only used for personal and family matters can allow you to switch off from the office. If it does not have WhatsApp, Email and job related accessibility, it can just be used for family photos and family calls. 

The value of getting new ideas and energy

Alex Scott loves to travel. She gets her education and learning about life from travelling around the world, learning about different cultures and meeting people.

She says that it gives her so much energy and makes her fell alive.

Prioritising going on holiday.

Getting the team to take full responsibility when you are away.

It’s sometimes hard to delegate but it can be really good for your team. If you can get your team on board that when a colleague is on holiday they will not be contacted under any circumstances it will be good for both you and your workmates. 

Show me your calendar

Shane Pariss did an exercise with Jake where he asked him what are the most important things in his life?

Jake replied “his children, his wife and finding some time for himself”.

Shane then asked him to show him his diary and he would show Jake his priorities!

Tips on how to have a High Performance Holiday

Jake and Damian provide a few tips on how to have a High Performance Holiday.

Delete all, your work apps (or lock your phone up or get a non work phone).

Plan your holiday well in advance.

Create a boundary in the office where no-one is contacted whilst on holiday.

Keep away from tech when you are on holiday

Be where your feet are – make sure you are fully there and connected in the moment when you are away.

Have some downtime between activities – holidays should not be totally organised. 

Remember why you are going on holiday.

Can GlenMyu Estate provide elements of a High Performance Holiday?

There are elements that allow our guests to have a high performance holiday when they are at GlenMyu Estate.

Although we do provide free Wi Fi for our guests we find that it is not used very much when they are here on holiday. The environment appears be right for people to switch off and appreciate the environment and enjoy nature.

I love it when I see guests sitting on the sofas in our lounge reading a book or just watching the clouds.

Walking around the estate or spending time at the swimming pool is a good form of exercise bot physically and mentally. The opportunity to listen to the bird song, watch our ducks in the stream or pet our dogs are simple things in life away from all the tech back home.

We find that our guests really do switch off

Although lots of our guests do explore the wonderful sights in the hill country, many change their plans and just spend time on the estate to relax.

Watching guests pick up a pencil and start drawing on a notepad, playing badminton as a family or swimming in our pool is a good use of their downtime.

Stay at GlenMyu Estate to explore the Sri Lankan Hill Country and switch off

A stay at GlenMyu Estate as you explore the Sri Lankan Hill Country and see sights like Horton Plains National Park is a unique experience.

We only have three bedrooms and you will need to book early during the peak holiday season.

The estate is usually within an hours drive of the major sightseeing locations such as Nine Arch Bridge, Ella Town, Upper Diyaluma Waterfall, Lipton’s Seat, Bambarakanda Waterfall and many more,

GlenMyu Estate is listed on and Airbnb.
Contact us by the WhatsApp button on our website for direct booking rates.

We find that our guests really do switch off.

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The 6 best reasons to wake up early

The 6 best reasons to wake up early in Sri Lanka

The 6 best reasons to wake up early in Sri Lanka.
There are many reasons to wake up early in Sri Lanka. Here are our 6 best reasons to wake up early whilst on holiday. 

Some will be unwanted, however, most of the time it is really worth it.

But it’s my holiday!

I know, I know!

You are on holiday and you were really looking forward to a lie in.

What I would recommend is for you to plan your itinerary around the Island which will provide you with enough time for rest day. Sri Lanka can be quite exhausting to travel around taking in new, sounds, colours, smells and information.

The 6 main reasons why you need to wake up early in Sri Lanka (in no particular order!)

Reason 1 - Seeing the Sunrise

We have spectacular sunrises in Sri Lanka which are worth getting up early for.

This a picture I took at the beach in Arugam Bay. It was a really special moment for my wife and I which we always will remember. 

You don’t get a second chance and every sunrise if unique so it really is worth getting up early for.

Reason 2 - Avoid the crowds - especially at the weekend

Okay, maybe I’m just not a sociable animal!

Really though, it’s great to have experiences during your holiday in Sri Lanka where there are less crowds. Spending time, hand in hand with your partner walking on the pristine sand covering the beach is more memorable if you are alone. The image of a crowded beach doesn’t create that that same kind of romantic special moment

If you are fighting to get to the spot to take that selfie that will be a special reminder of your holiday it’s not great when there are lots of people trying to do the same thing.

Most people see a holiday as a time where they can wake up late and go out later in the day to explore. As crowds grow during the day the opportunities just are not as special. 

We recently had guests visit Upper Diyaluma Waterfall early in the morning and return to GlenMyu Estate for a late breakfast. They were delighted as initially they had the place to themselves and the crowds staying in Ella arrived as they had finished. It was a really special experience for this young couple.

GlenMyu Estate is on and Airbnb.

Reason 3 - Wake up early for the best photographs

Don’t miss “Golden Hour”.
The golden hour period is approximately between one half hour before sunrise, and one hour after sunrise. Golden hour is so named because early morning light is soft, and of course, golden!
The sun is low in the sky, shadows are softer, and the angles and length are more flattering.

According to website improvephotography the best time to take a portrait is with a couple of hours after sunrise and within a couple of hours before sunset.

Light changes quickly during this period and therefore it is important to get to the spot you want to photograph early to capture a range of photos. This will enable you to pick the ones where you like the light the best.

Reason 4 - It may get quite hot later on

One of the main reasons as a tourist in Sri Lanka to get up early is to avoid the heat later in the day.

It’s much more of a pleasure visiting tourist sites before it gets uncomfortably hot. Most visitors are not used to the temperatures (and sometimes humidity) and it can really sap you energy and enjoyment of the experience.

There is a song and a saying about “Mad Dogs and Englishmen go out in the midday sun”.
It’s a comical song but has a very salient point.

If you are not from a tropical country then seeing the wonderful sights in Sri Lanka such as climbing Sigiria Rock Fortress, Hiking Horton Plains National Park, visiting the temples in ancient Polunaruwa or seeing the view at Lipton’s Seat it can be quite exhausting. You will also need to carry plenty of water to keep yourself hydrated.

Reason 5 - Wake up early and you can relax in the afternoon

“The early bird catches the worm”
Get an advantage on your day so that you can fully relax after seeing a fabulous site or having an experience early.

By expending energy in the morning after, say, a hike around Horton Plains National Park or climbing the Lion Rock then your body will be ready for a relaxing afternoon.
The temperature is more likely to be warmer and the world is telling you to slow down and take it easy. Your body will tell you that it is ready to slow down and recover from the rigorous morning experience it has been through.

There are some fabulous, hotels, guest houses, homestays and beach huts around Sri Lanka and I would recommend that you allocate some time to enjoy them.
At GlenMyu Estate, Ru will usually do a garden tour showing the spices, fruits and vegetables that we grow on the estate. Sometimes this will incorporate picking some of the fresh ingredients required for the evening meal such as salad leaves, vegetables and fruits.

We always suggest that guests build in a little bit of downtime during their holiday in Sri Lanka. After all, you are on holiday! If you end up missing visiting a sight there is no guilt as you can always come back to Sri Lanka again.

Reason 6 - You are more likely to see the animals on a safari

Getting up early means that you will be more likely to see a wider range of animals on Safari. In Sri Lanka there are morning and afternoon safaris. If you do a morning safari you always have the opportunity to also do an afternoon safari to compare how many and what types of animal you see.

We would choose a morning safari as animals typically search for water sources early in the morning after a safe nights sleep. Most nocturnal animals are become active at dusk and remain active for a few hours after sunset.

Some animals are mostly active during sunrise and therefore you have the best chance to see them in the morning. They prefer the cooler parts of the day: early morning or early evening.

Getting up early at GlenMyu Estate

What we find at GlenMyu Estate is that by time our guests have arrived here they need some downtime.

Most travellers arrive after topping up the tan or surfing at the coast on on the 6 hour train ride from Kandy.

There are lots to see within reach of GlenMyu Estate which are best or essential to see early in the morning. So there will be times where you will need to wake up early here as well.

Are there any better time than those personal moments in the early mornings?

Some of the views from the Balcony early in the morning at GlenMyu Estate.

Another reason to get up early at GlenMyu Estate is to enjoy some healthy Kola Kanda. 

We pick the healthy leaves from the garden.

An early morning swim or enjoy a balcony view.

From GlenMyu Estate you can reach some fabulous spots that worth getting up early for:

Horton Plains National Park – a UNESCO Heritage Site
We normally send our guests off at 6.30 am so that they reach the park shortly after it opens.
Ru gets up early and provides a sumptuous breakfast so that our guests have a great start to an early day.
The main reason for reaching Horton Plains National Park early is to have a chance to see the awesome views at Lesser World’s End and Greater World’s End.
If you leave it too late the clouds in the Montane Cloud forest may already be obscuring the view meaning you won’t get that Instagram picture or video!
The 11 kilometre hike takes between 3 – 4 hours depending on how often you stop.

Getting there early means that there will be less crowds for you to share this wonderful natural landscape with. Many of our guests have commented on the number of local Sri Lankans who arrive when they are finishing. I doubt that many see the World’s End views.

Read about our experience of our hike at Horton Plains National Park at our BlogPost.

It will also mean that you will get back to GlenMyu Estate in plenty of time to enjoy a swim in the refreshing Natural Spring Fed Infinity Swimming Pool.

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Upper Diyaluma Waterfall
The second highest Waterfall in Sri Lanka is a favourite spot for us and many of our guests and worth getting up early to experience.

Upper Diyaluma Waterfall is around 1,400 metres high so you really need to get there early so that you don’t experience the full force of the sun. We do recommend our guests to put sun tan lotion on in order to avoid getting sunburn. As the elevation of this and many other tourist sights in the area are quite high it is worth taking the precaution.

A guest who left GlenMyu Estate to get to Upper Diyaluma Waterfall for sunrise at 5.30 am suggested that it was still 30 minutes too late and she should have left at 5 am.
She had a wonderful time and was able to make it back to GlenMyu to have a late breakfast.

Read more about or trip to Upper Diyaluma Waterfall in our BlogPost.

Lipton’s Seat and Dambetenne Tea Factory

This is the viewpoint from where Scottish tea baron, Sir Thomas Lipton, used to survey his vast tea empire.

Lipton’s Seat is at an elevation of 1,970 metres.

It has a panoramic view over the hills and you can see Uda Walawe Tank (reservoir), Handapanagala Lake, the Wedihitikanda Mountains, Chandrika Lake and Hambanthota Port which is located on the southern coast.
You can see five provinces from the viewpoint including Uva, Sabaragamuwa, Central and Eastern Provinces.

Here as some beautiful photos taken by our guests at Lipton’s Seat in April 2023.

It had rained quite heavily on the previous evening which led to the clear skies in the morning. They left GlenMyu Estate at 5 a.m. however they said that they could have left 15 minutes earlier to capture the sunrise fully.

Find out more about GlenMyu Estate by visiting our website or contact us by WhatsApp.

Contact GlenMyu Estate to book your stay by visiting our website
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