I started this post several weeks ago, and then got all swept up in my summer road trip planning (and now doing.) We’ve been gone for 12 days now (on the road for 7) – and all I can say is: So. Darn. Happy. I. Did. This.
Summer is meant for adventure, for spontaneity, for playfulness. And so, from the coziness of my hotel room in Kansas City, I offer you these ideas (nudges, dares, whatever you want to call them) for an awesome end-of-summer.
1. Get high. Literally, I mean. As in: find the highest peak or hilltop around you and climb up to the top. Breathe in the air. Feel how expansive the world around you really is. Take in this perspective as you consider whatever challenge or dilemma or unknown you might be facing. A little distance – and taking in the meta-view – can be extraordinarily helpful.
2. Swim ‘til you prune. Remember when you were young, and you’d swim in the water for hours, until your feet and hands got all pale and pruned? When you lost track of time while you just floated and somersaulted and played in the water? No to-do lists or projects-to-be-completed or important-messages-to-return taking priority? Yes, that. Somersaults and all.
3. Give up all social media on your vacation. Take a break. Un-plug. Leave your phone at home (really.) Let yourself be totally and completely there. Not checking in to see who-liked-or-said-what-on-Facebook, or engaging with your cyber-world, but rather savoring the moment for yourself. Untether yourself – even if for a few days – from the social-media-instant-gratification-(yet-presence-stealing)-world.
4. Tackle a few books on your I’d-love-to-read-that-someday list. Go for books that are compelling and intriguing and worthy of your time. If you start a book and aren’t into it, put it down – and pick up another. Life is too short to suffer through a book just because you started it. Instead, choose those that take you where you’ve never been before. Or otherwise feeds your soul – and mind.
5. Take on a creative project. Choose one thing – whether it’s refinishing a piece of furniture or learning to sketch or trying your hand at decoupage. Do something that calls forth your inner, creative spirit and gives you a sense of DIY accomplishment. Get your hands dirty – and enjoy the creative process.
6. Watch the sunrise. Wake early one day, grab a picnic blanket, and go find a peaceful spot to watch the day’s awakening. Bask in the quietude – and let yourself by awed by the beauty. (Of course, catching a beautiful sunset definitely does the soul good, too.)
7. Do a tasting crawl. Find a stretch of really good restaurants that you’d love to try (again, perhaps.) And try them all – in one night. Start with a drink and appetizer at one place -and then move onto another for another delicious tasting experience. Sit, linger, indulge, and see where the night (or day) takes you before your belly (or wallet) slows you down.
8. Frolic in the middle of a rainstorm – Because when was the last time that you did that? Turn your face to the sky and let the water wash over you. Splash. Stomp. Dance. Come alive. (Yes, really.)
9. Camp out. There is something magical about sleeping beneath the stars and waking to the sound of the birds. And if you’re not sure you’re into the whole roughing-it thing, there’s always glamping. Hey, whatever it takes.
10. Seek culture. Find an outdoor music concert, summer festival, outdoor theater, or state fair that is within reasonable distance (or, heck, go unreasonably far for the sake of living-it-up.) Why not?
11. Go on a roadie. Yes, I’m biased at the moment. But even with three young kids in the car, there’s nothing quite like rolling down those windows, playing some tunes, and having no place in particular to be, except on the road – heading towards some new adventure.