So you're riding the elevator with your colleague, maybe ending a conversation with a friend after yoga class, or making small-talk at BBQ and this inevitable question gets asked...
"So... Any fun summer plans?"
If you're like me, a travel enthusiast and an explorer at heart, you probably hope to have some exotic or far-off vacation planned. Maybe visions of a white sandy beach with a umbrella'd beverage fill your head, or the idea of wandering ancient streets in some grand European city makes your heart flutter?
"YES!" is my answer. I'll take ALL those options.
But what happens when that's just not the season of life you're in? When the kids are out of school and paying for multiple airfares is out of the question... Or life's just thrown you some costly curve balls.
How do you answer the question then?
So here's a list of some fun and exciting things to do that don't require a plane ticket or passport, but hopefully will satiate that wanderlust thats got you restless this summer.
If you ever do travel abroad and you ask a foreigner why they come to the USA and what they do there, you'll often get this answer: NATIONAL PARKS.
We may not have the Colosseum, The Eiffel Tower or grand cathedrals, but what can rival the spires of Bryce Canyon, the majesty of the Rockies or the grandeur of the Grand Canyon?
If you've never explored our National Parks what are you waiting for?!!! Most of them are really affordable and there's a reason these spaces have been protected for public use: they're exquisite!
But even if you don't have a National Park near you, get out and enjoy all the beauty our Earth has to offer, particularly in summertime. Go on a backpacking trip, or maybe just a day hike. Jump in the ocean, lake, river or pool to cool off and bring your umbrella'd drink with you - just maybe the "virgin" version...
Whatever Nature has to offer around you experience it, finding an outlet for that Summer Adventure.
TOURIST IN YOUR HOMETOWN
So maybe you're not a Nature person... odd sounds, bugs, things that slither and move has got your skin creeping & crawling. City lights and every kind of metropolitan diversion is your idea of a fun time... You do YOU!
Often times it takes family or friends coming into town for us to get out and explore our own cities. So this summer you be the out-of-town guest. Play tourist in your hometown!
Do all the things, see all the sights that you never let yourself do or see on your own... that are reserved for special guests.
Go to a museum, eat at your favorite restuarant, maybe take in a show.Or if you're at a loss Google search what your city is known for and make a list of sights and attractions to see.
Try to discover something new, surprising and special about your own backyard.
MAKE HOME YOUR HEAVEN
Maybe getting out is just a little unrealistic. Camping sounds fantastic and all, but loading up the car, finding that perfect spot and setting up the gear requires way more work and stress for a week or weekend getaway than you bargained for.
Why not set up camp in your own backyard? Bust out the tent, graham crackers and marshmallows and if it rains you can always run back inside.
If a spa experience is more to your taste, turn your phone on airplane mode, draw a bath & throw in some of those nice smelling salts, light a candle and soak away the worries of the week. Create your own oasis of peace and tranquility.
Or maybe there's a big home project you've been dying to tackle but time has always eluded you. Block off the time, tell friends you're taking a vacation and have at it, sans distractions.
ROAD TRIP IT!
So technically this doesn't fall under the category of "Stay"cation but it doesn't require a plane ticket or passport, just a car and a road map (but let's be honest... Google Maps has kind of replaced those.).
Maybe you decide to visit friends or family far away, maybe there's a place or part of your state you've never been. Or maybe you want to see some of these National Parks that are touted to be so amazing... Either way our country is so vast and beautiful you could spend a lifetime exploring it and never see it all.
Traveling by plane sure is faster but often times it's in the journey that we discover new things--about our world and ourselves--that surprise us, bless us and offer us untold and immeasurable treasures that the destination never could. Laughter, beauty, randomness, conversations, hot seats, rest stops, gas stations and oh-so many memories are just a few such gems that the road trip often gifts.
So I'll end this blog post with one question:
Any fun plans this summer?
Share them with us here at Organic Excellence on Facebook or Instagram - @organic.excellence. We'd love to hear how you're learning how to appreciate HOME, finding beauty and the "exotic" in your own backyard!
Cheers to you!
Jessika & all the Organic Excellence family