11 holidays to solve a mid-life crisis
Ditch boring holidays - here are a host of adventures that remind you you're still alive
Try some deep breathing. Counting sheep actually works. Or maybe get up and get some milk. Then grab a pen and scribble down a few resolutions, so you can forget all about it and get back to sleep. In the morning, you can revisit your late-night To Do list and get started. Number one: "Get new life."
The life crisis. Some people believe it's a fictitious creation of our neurotic modern era; others point out that, for example, the Mongols only started tearing chunks off Asia when Genghis Khan was a bored, restless fortysomething who’d felt the spark go out of his marriages. One thing’s for certain: concoction or reality, there's a lot of it about.
The classic panic used to take place in male midlife - at the point when men realised they were never going to beat Bjorn Borg or sleep with Felicity Kendal, and responded by buying an E-type Jag, flirting with the typing pool and making prats of themselves to Staying Alive.
Nowadays, everybody's at it - female immunity seems to have broken down, and the quarter-life crisis (twentysome-things realising their careers have started with a breakneck sprint in entirely the wrong direction) can feel little less than epidemic.
Then there are those empty-nesters catching a whiff of mortality and plunging into a frenzied bid to tick off every item in those silly books with titles such as A Million Things You Have to Do Before You Die! Forever!
Everybody calm down. The answer almost certainly doesn’t involve leaving your clothes in a carefully folded pile on the beach. Your best crisis-busting bet might well be to start planning, and saving, for one almighty, life-affirming, grind-justifying, grin-guaranteeing holiday – something big enough to stick in the calendar months in advance, and think about it every day till it arrives.
So, here they are, then: trips so spectacular that when you get back, that rut won’t feel anything like as deep as before.
CYCLE THE WORLD'S HIGHEST ROAD
A lot of people work through their life crises in Lycra - here-s how to do it in style. Setting off from the lush, alpine valleys of Himachal Pradesh and ending on the parched plateau of Ladakh, this is a lung-busting, nine-day, 270-mile epic ride across the rooftop of India.
There's nothing technical here (only 35% off-road, the rest on hard-packed gravel), but, as you’ll be crossing the two highest road passes in the world, you’ll want to work off some of that middle-age spread before you take to your pedals. Following a spectacular rollercoaster of a road - clear of snow for only four months a year - the trip crosses five main passes, including the Taglang La (17,324ft), camping in remote, uninhabited valleys normally visited only by yak herders. Once in Leh, it’s back on the bike for the 26-mile, 6,880ft ascent to Khardung La (18,380ft).