Summer thoughts: in search of your home-away-from-home wherever you are

It’s summer and it’s time for a holiday.  But with crowds everywhere especially at airports, have you considered taking a “vacation” but staying home?

Well, we at Madeleine’s have been seriously thinking about it!  Are you surprised for never having seriously considered how much fun it is to not to have to drag bags around, worry about flights, fiddling around with currencies and so on?

We wrote down what we’d do.  One of us thought about that Italian island holiday she had when she rented a wonderful villa with its own gardens.  And this list of 10 fun things to do were the same 10 things she did while on her Italian island getaway too; it has to be said that Sicilian sweet things and ice-cream are not going to be easily feasible at home except for the most talented, and it’s always wonderful to be surrounded by people speaking other languages.  But we do look favourable upon the idea of having one’s own bathroom to play with and the whole of our respective summer wardrobes too.

Anyway, there’s more inspiration from fellow travelers:

Wander often, wonder always.

Travel is like love, mostly because
it’s a heighted state of awareness in which
we are mindful, receptive, undimmed by familiarity
and ready to be transformed.
That is why the best trips, like the best love affairs,
never really end.

Stay in,

And so, these were our 10 practical inspirations for a “home-away-from-home” “staycation”:

  1. Decide on this big “classic” you will read (without having to worry about its weight or having to read on a device). Reading, at its best, is an experience; what a luxury to be able to take it slowly, and to use a pencil to write on your copy.
  2. Sightsee in your own town.  It’s easy to neglect the top attractions in your hometown when you’ve lived there for a while – you figure you’ll get around to them sometime, right? Well, now is that time! Pretend you’re a tourist in town for only a few days and visit the top attractions in your own backyard.
  3. Camp in your own backyard.  Sleeping under the stars is for all ages! Get  the full camping experience by cooking over a fire (or portable barbecue), sleeping in a tent and only visiting the house for restroom breaks.
  4. Enjoy a picnic on the grass.  Get a cute basket and a checkered blanket, pack up some scrumptious food and find a lovely spot ideally on the grass at your local park or by the waters.  Bring a jigsaw puzzle, a Scrabble set, or a book of poetry you can recite to each other!  (Or combine this with #10 below, especially if you have an easy-to-carry type of board game!).
  5. Totally unplug.  Make a rule to stay device-free by vowing to only check your smartphone during short, pre-set times (or not at all, if you can!). In fact, try a week without the TV or devices.  It may be hard but you will feel energized and engaged (and human again)!
  6. Perfect the art of the nap.  Whether it’s on a hammock under the trees or on your screened-in porch, revisit the indulgent, forget-the-world experience of taking a long and lazy nap in the middle of the day.
  7. Create your own perfect spa.  Make your bathroom the spa you’ve always longed for with your favourite scents, oils, and treatments.  Find those beautiful candles you’ve been hiding away all those years, throw in some relaxing soundtrack and most important of all, give yourself the permission to while away the hours fussing around your new spa.  Let the worries of everyday life fall away.
  8. Take a scenic bike ride. Find a local bike trail, hop on your bike or rent one, and let the combination of fresh air, nature and exercise do its job.  You’ll feel invigorated and relaxed at the same time.
  9. Jump out of your bed to go for a walk early every morning. This is our favourite.  Take a morning walk (or swim or bike ride) every day.  Not only will you feel refreshed and energized, you’ll feel OK to laze around the whole day afterwards, whether to just read (#1) or do spa (#7) or cook or nap (#6)!  Getting out there early means also that you avoid too much heat.
  10. Get together for a Board Game contest! Who doesn’t enjoy games?  Maybe it is because it brings back childhood memories?  Whatever it is, we are game! 

Connect with yourself, connect with nature, connect with your loved ones, connect with your favourite hobbies.  Relax and laugh!  Your soul needs to be nourished.