Summer is always a busy time with personal and family vacations. School is out, the pool is open, and we are ready to get out into the world and play. It feels good to say adios to familiar routines and landscapes for a while, but vacations further afield may not always be financially or logistically feasible. When planning vacations, rarely do we consider the beauty of staying put. In fact, it is entirely possible to create a rejuvenating getaway experience without leaving the comfort of your own home.
In "regular" life we are always planning, striving, doing, going (which is why we need a vacation!) Driving long distances, schlepping to the airport, packing up the car and a sightseeing to-do list can feel like the antithesis of relaxation. I am a firm believer that travel keeps the winds of inspiration in our sails. This season, though, I invite you to include in your vacation planning a chunk of time to stay right where you are.
How to make the most of your staycation? The common ingredient of any vacation, regardless of locale, is to BE with oneself and loved ones without the usual distractions. Mornings are the perfect starting point. Imagine the decadence of taking a week off work to sleep late, read in bed, pad around the house in pajamas (and maybe never take them off!). Maybe it includes making a hearty breakfast that you actually sit down to eat, or pancakes with the family. (A weekend on a weekday? Amazing.) For me, stretching out the morning is like sitting on a beach. Time becomes fluid. There is nowhere to go, no where to be, but here.
This means clearing your agenda of obligations. Vacations are a time to float, drift, and meander, so fill your time with silence, contemplation, and loose plans. Write down all the things pressing on you and tuck them away, knowing you can pick them up when you "return". Immerse yourself in a creative project that involves your hands. Find a place in your community that transports you to another time and place, like gardens, architectural wonders or back roads. Explore somewhere new. Change up your evening routine, too. Get some friends together for an al fresco meal, take the kids to a movie and supersize the popcorn. Do things a bit differently.
Staycations require that we let go of the conventional wisdom that we must be somewhere else to relax and unwind. Staying home is just one more destination on the menu of "great places to see".