This summer I am preparing for an international summer vacation – with my in-laws.
I love my in-laws, but when I travel with my husband’s family, my family, with work, or with friends, I am prone to becoming a participant in someone else’s adventure, rather than making the experience my own.
Quality time with other people and the ability to compromise are both very important. But if, I take the time and money to explore a new destination I also want the experience to feel personal.
Perhaps I was spoiled by years of traveling on my own? But my desire to pursue my own passions and interests, combined with my growing family and limited alone time, has caused me to come up with 8 short mini-adventures that I can incorporate into almost any vacation.
These fun-filled activities can usually take place after dinner (or when your father-in-law is napping); and the brief, random, acts of adventure can help a vacation become more memorable, personal, and FUN!
1. Find the best dessert in a 3-mile radius.
Ask at least three locals for a dessert recommendation, and then walk to the restaurant, bakery, or gelato shop on foot.
2. Buy a new outfit.
Make your trip souvenir practical and personal by buying one new outfit that you can wear at home and abroad.
3. Find time for your hobby.
Whether it is taking a run before breakfast, sketching a sunset from your balcony, or listening to street music in main square – make time to engage your body and senses in the activities that you love.
4. Make sure to play.
Play is a universal language. If you are near a park or recreation area it is easy to join in a pick-up game or simply sit down and soak up the laughter of young children on a playground.
5. Pick a spot and walk there.
Look out your window, or on a map, and pick a random destination. Then make it your goal to walk there. Take your camera and document all the things you see along the way.
6. Embrace the culture by trying something new.
You could taste local wines in France, take a Tai Chi class in Hong Kong, or learn how to spin wool in New Zealand. It is always educational and enjoyable to have a culturally authentic experience.
7. Make a new friend.
This can be far more challenging than it sounds, but new friendships often make the best and lightest souvenirs.
8. Create something with your hands.
A handcrafted keepsake will provide both an experience and a personal momento or a present for someone at home.
Remember, even though these adventures will help your trip feel more personal, that doesn’t mean you have to experience them on your own. Sometimes the best kept memories are not found in pictures or a journal, but in the heart of someone you love.