Summer of 2021 is shaping up to be a season of emergence – from restrictions necessitated by the COVID-19 pandemic, from our personal decisions about staying safe, from isolation of various types. Caution is still important; the pandemic is not over. But higher and higher rates of vaccinations are allowing us to make some plans. Planning for summer – what a concept! Last year we couldn’t really make plans!
One tool to use is mind mapping – I wrote about that last year at about this time. http://carolbrusegar.com/creatively-planning-with-many-unknowns/ That post includes additional general mind mapping resources.
Another approach is creating a vision board for the upcoming season. I wrote about that here: https://carolbrusegar.com/create-a-spring-and-summer-vision-board/
Perhaps you are planning a vacation far from home. Even then, there are weeks of summer during which you can enjoy staycations, day trips, mini-vacations and fun outings of all kinds. Put on your thinking cap and think of yourself as a local tourist. Use the same approach as when you are going to an unfamiliar location and spend some time to discover things to enjoy. Make a list and do some planning – get some dates on your calendar.
Here are 5 categories of things to explore.
Find The Water
When it’s hot outside, there’s nothing better than dipping into a cool pool or lake or going for a swim in the ocean. Take a look at what options you have in your area. Go explore local lakes, rivers, and creeks that you can swim, wade, boat or fish in. If you’re living close enough to the beach, take a daytrip to go swimming or get in a boat.
Finding local pools is another great option. Many cities have public pools that are surprisingly fun and underused. Of course neighborhood pools are another fun option. If you don’t have one yourself, meet up with a friend who’s lucky enough to live in a neighborhood with a pool.
And don’t forget about having fun with water at home. Get a kiddie pool, water toys, or turn on the sprinklers and cool off. Note: these are not restricted to children!
Dive Into History
How much do you know about the local history in your area? Make it a point to read up on it this summer and explore local historic places and museums. It’s fun for adults, but also a great educational experience for the kids. Encourage them to read up, explore, and maybe even create a project around some aspect of history that interests them.
Many cities and areas with a rich history offer various different tours that you may not be aware of. It’s worth contacting your local visitor or tourist office to find out what you’ve been missing. You can start close by and expand your exploration to a wider circle of possibilities.
Use Calendars of Nearby Events
Take a look at your local calendars of events. There are usually citywide listings available from visitors bureaus and through media outlets. Look also for more localized listings through neighborhoods or larger sections of your city or town. There are often classes, concerts, movie showings, and even festivals you may not be aware of.
Between events your city or county puts on and various other events hosted by cultural centers, museums, and churches for example, you’ll be sure to find quite a few things you may want to attend this summer.
Fun In The Back Yard
In addition to water fun in the back yard, what else can you do? How about dining al fresco – at a table or on blankets for a picnic – or having a campfire/fire pit for roasting hot dogs and marshmallows, making S’Mores or even sleeping under the stars? Treat your home like a vacation spot, get everyone outside and have some fun.
What outdoor games fit into your yard? Badminton, frisbees, and croquet are a starting point. Plan for occasional outdoor game nights during the summer months.
Explore A New Culture
We sometimes think of traveling far from home to explore another culture, but most likely there are multiple opportunities right in your own city, town, or area. What cultural groups beyond your own are represented close by?
Identify one or more and research what is available. Restaurants, summer cultural events, sections of town and classes are possibilities. Find some books, movies and music of that culture. You might even learn a little of the language.
By simply putting some planning and effort into a staycation you can have amazing experiences this summer that will cost a fraction of a regular trip.
To help all of us in this process, I have created two items which are available on Amazon:
Planner & Journal for Day Trips: Getaways and Mini-Vacations This includes five sections: 1) Research: Finding Possibilities; 2) Day Trips for Us (specific trips or destinations you are interested in); 3) Day Trip Preparation; 4) Our Day Trips (a page for each trip you are planning, plus journal pages and blank pages for journaling and drawing; and 5) Your Day Trip Log (a list of the day trips you have taken
3-Part Bucket List and Journal With this 3-Part Bucket List, you will divide your desires into three main categories: 1) things I want to learn about, 2) things I want to learn to do, and 3) things I want to do. In addition there are goal setting/planning sheets, journaling pages and doodling/sketching/mind mapping pages.
Happy planning for summer!!