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Anyone else back at work but still feel like they’re on holiday? I do. 

I guess it’s partly the glorious weather. 

But a big part of it is also the intoxicating nature of life in Queenstown where the last vestiges of the holiday season just won’t let go. 

Then of course there are those people you meet who are quickly passing through – they’re on holiday, or extended travel, and don’t have many immediate cares past deciding which adventure thrill to sample, where to go for a cold drink and what their next destination is. 

It’s fun to be around and kind of rubs off. And sometimes you have to pinch yourself to realise how lucky you are to be in this part of the world and around this sort of energy. 

While the residents in the Syrian city of Homs are being bombed by their own security forces, a cold snap kills hundreds in Europe, and Americans have to live with the seemingly never-ending nightmare that is the race for the Republican nomination, in Queenstown our chief concerns are whether lucrative night flights will get the nod ahead of this winter – or if we’ve got too many bars. 

It’s always interesting how what you’re surrounded by affects your outlook, ambition and general attitude. In some ways, the Queenstown vibe can be a double-edged sword. 

Being in constant contact with people who are on holiday, spending money like there’s no tomorrow and going out for dinner and drinks at every turn, can kind of mess with your psyche. It’s not normal day-to-day existence, not the real world, so to speak. 

And it’s easy to get caught up in it. 

On the other hand, it’s a total frickin’ blast. 

But as TS Eliot once wrote, between the idea and the reality, falls the shadow. You have to be careful – don’t over-indulge or you’ll burn out. I’ve seen it happen. 

I remember a mate who moved down from Auckland a few years back and blew his circuits within about six months. One night, he remarked to me that he just had to get out of here, and go back to Auckland to chill out and recalibrate. 

Imagine that – needing to leave the village of Queenstown and retreat to the big smoke to get your health and nerves back in order. Sounds ludicrous, doesn’t it. 

Balance is key. Sure, go out, kick up your heels and have a good time – but you don’t have to do it every night. It’s pretty hard to work, play sport, party and keep up with family and friends. Something’s gotta give. 

So if you’re in this bind … some advice. And this will seem counter-intuitive but believe me, it works. If you’re looking for something that’ll help remove the clutter and simplify your life, there are options. 

A couple of fantastic Winter Festival events that really are by the locals and for the locals – the Ladies Fashion Challenge and amateur boxing quest Thriller in the Chiller. Both involve at least 12 weeks of hardcore commitment. 

Speaking from experience, nothing focuses the mind like the thought of stepping into a boxing ring against someone who wants to knock your block off in front of 1500 people. 

You’ll also have a blast. Really. It might not feel like it at times – particularly when you’re gagging for air and trainer Richie Heap is asking for another suicide sprint – but in the end, it’ll be well worth it. 

For me, the four-month lead-up to Thriller was one of the most disciplined periods of my life – no booze, no caffeine, bed by 9.30pm when possible. Everything became very clear – up at 5am to train, work during the day, home to eat, then pass out. Repeat about 100 times. 

Simple. Go on – give it a nudge.