Story by Jeanette Wages
Vacation time and travel can mean different things to everyone. Some want to run away to a beach, sit with a drink in their hand and not worry about anything in the world. Others want to go on adventures like white water rafting or climbing mountains. We also have the world travelers who want to see all the sights and experience as many cultures as possible. Most of us are a little bit of all these things depending on our mood. No matter what type of traveler you are, these moments and breaks from the everyday routine are vital for our energy and mental wellbeing. We need moments away from the work and chores of life to be able to reset and recharge, and sometimes expand our minds with new experiences. The question is how can one do this in a time when travel is not as easy as jumping online, booking a flight and going?
Many people this year won’t be going on their normal vacations either because travel is limited and hard, they’ve been out of work or they are just getting back to the “normal” grind of things. Working from home may have been a nice change of pace for some without the commute or pants but it is not the same as actually getting away. So what can we do to reset?
Become a local tourist.
If you don’t want to wear a mask for a long flight, risk having to self quarantine, or wonder if the location you get to will even have things open, you can do something local you’ve never done. Taking a day trip to a small town nearby and exploring some of the sights can give you that boost of new your mind is craving. This area is rich with outdoor sights, monuments and hiking trails to keep you safe while giving your mind the sense of getting away. Hitting a local beach may not be as glamorous as Bora Bora but if you go at an off time like during the week, maintaining social distance is easier while soaking in the salt air.
Create an oasis at your home.
Setting up a tent in the backyard was one of my favorite things to do as a kid, it felt like escaping the boredom of home without really going anywhere. I’m personally not a camper now, so I’m more likely to set up a pillow fort in my living room and retreat into Disney+ to mentally escape the pressure of adulthood. Turning off all the screens, playing soft ambient music like crashing waves while taking a bubble bath can also be a quick reset for your brain, throw in some calming essential oils in the tub or a diffuser can also help take your brain to another place when you haven’t even left your home.
Delve into a new culture.
For those who want the history and excitement of trying new cultures, pick a place you would have wanted to go, research the food and culture, look up sights you would have wanted to see and create that feeling at home. You can order carry-out from a local restaurant serving the cuisine of that region, or make some dishes at home. Turn on a Spotify channel related to that country or find a movie filmed there, Netflix has some great foreign films for you to absorb the language and culture of an area from your couch. Then just remind yourself that one day, hopefully soon, you will be there in real life.
Just remember, even though life isn’t what we are used to right now, doesn’t mean we have to neglect our need to reset, recharge and explore.