For most of us, travelling is something we dream about and see as one of the goals to which we aspire. We work hard to earn enough money for our vacations, and getting away from home – however happy we are there – is one of the highlights of the year. But for most of the time we aren’t away; we’re at home, working and leading our busy, complicated lives. The good news is that even if you are only able to take week-long vacations once or twice a year, that doesn’t mean you can’t get that holiday feel when you’re still at home.
It’s surprising how far you can go in one day. Our country is a vast and beautiful land and there are bound to be some very special places within a commutable distance of where you live. Whether it’s a night playing the tables in Atlantic City or a stroll along the beach at Ogunquit, there’s bound to be something near you that takes you out of your normal surroundings. The idea of a day trip is to get a change of scenery and time to enjoy yourself, not to try and cram in as much to your eight hours as you can. Have a look at a map and see where you could comfortably drive or get the bus to, and do some Internet research to see what appeals to you within your travel radius. Go for something simple and relaxing, like a picnic in the country, or something that you will find diverting, like a game of golf on a course you’ve never played. Treat yourself by making the most of the facilities available to you, try the food and talk to the locals, all of which will help you experience some genuine feelings of being away. If you want to splash the dollars, see how far you could get by plane or train.
The day-trip version of the staycation – find something new to do or somewhere you’ve never visited before in your own area. Even if you’ve lived somewhere a long time, there will be parts of your city, or hiking trails and fishing lakes, you have never seen. It’s often said that we know far less about our immediate locality than some of the places we’ve vacationed in, and it can be quite a surprise to find there are hidden gems on your doorstep. Even if you do know your area well, you can still have new experiences and try different things. Spa days are a classic activity for de-stressing, and for good reason – being massaged and pampered in luxurious surroundings with no pressures is an ideal restorative for those with stressful day jobs. You might prefer something more active like horseback riding, mountain biking or having a go on a treetop activity course. If you live near the ocean you could try snorkelling, surfing or jet skiing. Whatever you do, make it something that will relax you and take you away from your normal life.
Stay in the house days
Maybe you are out in all weathers and your idea of a great vacation is to stay indoors. There’s no reason not to have adventures from the comfort of your own living room! TV, web-surfing and playing online games are all ways of relaxing at home, and can be a great way of diverting your mind from the frustrations of work. You could try spicing things up a bit by having a day where you try all new things – watch a new drama, try a new game, make yourself something for dinner that you’ve never eaten before. It’s a modest way of making a day to remember, but there are some other interesting things you could try from home. Many of us enjoy a good murder mystery, and you can get access to online services that supply clues to help you solve an ingenious crime via a Dispatch Subscription. The clues could lead to real-world or web-based lines of enquiry, with a new box of clues arriving each month to lead you further down the detecting path. You could play it alone if you prefer solitude, or get together with family and friends to form a team of detectives. Pursuing criminals could be an ideal way to transport yourself from the everyday, putting your mind to work on an engaging and rewarding diversion that’s way outside your normal activities.
Organising your own parties can be exhausting and possibly not a great way to relax, even if you do have a great time. What you could do is invite your friends over for a themed party, for example you could have a Caribbean themed night where everyone brings contributions of Caribbean style food and drink, so you don’t have to do all the work. Put some reggae on the sound system and make your own holiday island paradise. Or have a barbecue and games night, where instead of just a burger and some chat, all the guests help cook something out of the ordinary, followed by a fun game that everyone can participate in. Poker for pennies can be a lot of fun, or adult hide and seek, which can be very entertaining.
We all have different ways of relaxing, and for many of us this means binge watching Game of Thrones or having a day in bed with a good book. There’s nothing wrong with this kind of me time, but adding variety to your life will have a positive effect on your well-being and makes memories that enrich your life. The key to enjoying this time is to break away from whatever you normally do and live an adventure for a day. Whether you want to swing from the trees like an orangutan or pretend you are Sherlock Holmes, do something different and exciting and don’t save all the special experiences for your annual vacation. Make the most of any time you have off, do something you’ve always wanted to try, and feel happier and healthier in the process.