The Creative Traveler

No matter what the circumstances, if you were born to travel, nothing will keep you tied to your home for very long.  Seriously, how much gardening and baking can one do!  Gene Jochen, our COO here at Hibiscus International has some great suggestions for creating memorable experiences outside your neighborhood this Fall.

Gene says we could all take a lesson from the Swedish culture “mindset”, and embrace a stronger connection with nature, taking time to recharge our souls before winter approaches. Around 20% of Swedes own a cottage or cabin while more than 50% have access to one through family or friends.

Now is the time to rent a cottage or cabin for a getaway.  Thinking of finishing your novel, or perhaps you want to write one …. then why not unplug for a weekend, a week or a month! No outside distractions, just the sound of nature all around you, inspiring your creativity to flow.

Feeling a bit more adventurous, then pick up your paddle and try a more rustic camping experience …. Or as my colleague Anne would do, go “glamping”… still camping but with a lot more creature comforts and amenities.  Even Foodies can try their skills at gourmet cooking over a campfire.  It’s all in the imagination. 

If you have limited time to getaway, then here are a few suggestions to take advantage of local sites for a day trip:

  1. Is there a park, a neighborhood, or a village nearby you’ve always wanted to explore? Get out the map, perhaps tune up your bicycle and plan your route. Maybe pack a lunch to enjoy along the way. When was the last time you had a family picnic!
  2. Now that Fall Harvest is upon us, some local farms are offering activities which can be pre-booked so families and small groups can enjoy the fun without the crowds.
  3. If you have time constraints, then source out a local Outdoor Market. They are a great place to buy fresh, sustainably grown produce, and locally made products which support your community.
  4. Take up a new hobby that gets you outdoors such as Geocaching: using GPS navigational techniques to find hidden cashes at specific locations marked by coordinates all over the world.  There are probably several located near you. It’s fun to do when travelling and something the whole family can enjoy.  

Whether you decide to take a family camping trip, go hiking at a provincial/state park, site-see locally, stay at a boutique hotel or have a once in a lifetime adventure, staycations or mini-vacations can be integrated into your lifestyle. Making new memories will re-energize your soul and have you thinking more positively.

Here are a few more tips to having a fun and relaxing mini-vacation:

  • Planning is key, as in any vacation. Set a date and budget. Why not get the family involved in the planning? It’s a great teaching opportunity for children – bonus!
  • Leave time for some spontaneous exploring.  Take into account everyone’s interests and make a list of “fun things to do”.  Brainstorm some free things to do as well.
  • As with any vacation, you need to pace yourself so you are relaxed when you return home.  And don’t forget to shut off or silence your electronic devices … yes, including mobile phones.  Ignore emails just like you would if you were at an “off the grid” destination resort. Be in the moment! Be present!
  • Act like a good tourist, even if you’re in your hometown. What sights and activities would you recommend to an out of town guest? Explore those with open eyes and attitudes of a tourist.
  • Add adventure to your mini-vacation and try something new.  Rock climbing, sailing, cycling, hiking, kayaking. Psychologists say those who use their vacation to test their limits and try new things come back more energized.
  • Take pictures – yes you can turn your phone on, but don’t experience your whole vacation through a lens.  Stay in the present moment and you will more fully “experience” true living … making memories to last a lifetime.

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  1. What a great newsletter! I love being a tourist in my own town, or in a neighbouring town. Looking forward to your next one.

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