5 Ways to Spice Up Your Summer Vacation

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Synopsis

For many of us, the summer vacation is usually booked in advance, planned and designed to use every single minute. Which is great, but it doesn't really leave room for surprises or, dare I say, adventures. So today we are on a mission to bring back some surprises to our summer vacation. We are going to spice up our vacation with five simple things that will make us feel like children again, without giving up our grand plans for the summer. Ready? Let's hit the road!

If you ask me what is the one thing I remember from any of my summer vacations, it would be the anticipation. More than I remember the vacation itself, I remember the feeling of waiting for it. I could just feel the excitement as if something new and unknown was about to begin. For an external observer, most of the vacation days might have looked ordinary, or even boring. But for me, common as they might seem, they were a kind of an adventure. Anything could have happened. And some of it did.

I guess that what made the summer vacation so exciting was the sense of freedom. We had what seemed at the beginning of the vacation like unlimited time to explore, to discover, to imagine, and to create a world for ourselves. Isn’t that the purest kind of an adventure?

As grown-ups, it's a little bit different. Most of us work during most of the summer, and whatever time we have left for vacation is usually booked in advance, planned and designed to use every single minute. Which is great, but it doesn't really leave room for surprises or , dare I say, adventures.

So today we are on a mission to bring back some of these surprises to our summer vacation. We are going to spice up our vacation with five simple things that will make us feel like children again, without giving up our grand plans for the summer. Ready? Let's hit the road!

1. Plan an Expedition

I admit it: I love planning things ahead, and the summer vacation is no exception. I always feel like time is limited, and I'd like to make the most of it, so how can I not plan all the details in advance?

But this does not mean I can't leave some planned room for surprises. One example for making room for unexpected discoveries is planning an expedition.

When we plan a vacation, especially when we are traveling to an unfamiliar place, most of us tend to base our plans on other people's recommendations. We might use printed guides, websites, or just talk with friends who already visited the place before. In other words, we are playing it safe based on the experience of others.

Planning an expedition means setting up some free time with no concrete plan other than to explore some area you don't know. If you are traveling to a foreign place, that should be easy to do, as long as you are not tempted to use "the formal" recommendations. But even if you are spending your vacation in a place you know well, you can always take some time to wander aimlessly with the intention of finding some hidden spot you didn't realize existed.

A freestyle exploration, without a specific destination or a planned route, is a real adventure. Add an expedition activity to your vacation plans and let the world do the rest.

2. Sideways

So, the plan is in place, and you are hitting the road. What can be more trivial than taking the shortest or quickest path to your destination? Well, if you wish to spice up your vacation, don't stick only to the highway.

Taking a small (or big) detour via some side roads is an excellent opportunity to be surprised and discover new things. And by that, I don't just mean to see a different scenery. When you take the smaller roads, you are bound to come across different trees, animals, houses, and even people. You have a chance to stop in random locations and get a closer look. You will hear different things. You will smell new things. It will be nothing like taking the highway.

Sure, it will take more time to get to your destination, but instead of the travel time being "dead time", it will be part of the journey. Why start your vacation when you get to your destination when you can start it the minute you leave home?

3. Standing in Line

Another type of "dead time", and one of my personal "favorites", is standing in line. Whether you are waiting for a flight, standing in line to buy tickets to some attraction, or just stuck in traffic, there's a good chance you don't think of this time as the highlight of your vacation. You probably consider it a necessary evil.

Well, it's time to do something about it and turn this dead time into fun time! And the way to do that is by using this time for looking around you mindfully.

Imagine standing in line, and instead of getting frustrated about the time you are losing, using this time to observe, let's say, the people standing in line with you. Each of them has a story. Each of them interacts differently with the other people. And each of them will probably change their expression and behavior as the line advances or as time passes.

And it is not only people you can explore when waiting in line. The buildings around you, the sky above you, maybe even some treasures on the sidewalk: there're so many things to see, and each of them has some story to tell. All you have to do is listen.

4. Stand Still

When was the last time you stood still, not just physically but also mentally? When was the last time you were just present in one place, without thinking of anything concrete, not on your way to anywhere or from somewhere? When was the last time you tried to be part of wherever it is you are?

The summer vacation can be a great opportunity to take some time to do just that. Choose a spot you can spend some time in. It can be a quiet little café, a bench in the park, the beach -- any place will do. Go there and don't take with you any music, any book, or even your phone, and just spend as much time as you want in that location. Look around you. Listen. Smell. Feel. Try to be aware of whatever happens around, but don't analyze it or overthink it. Just be part of it.

Standing still is not just an exercise in being mindful. It is an experience. Apart from the obvious benefit of slowing down and clearing your head, you will notice that you become aware of so much more than usual.

And if you happen to try standing still in a place you don't know, you will discover that you connect to that place and learn about it in a way simply not possible when just going where all the other tourists go.

5. Look Back

Sooner or later vacation will be over, but we can always take something with us for the future.

The following might seem trivial since we are in the midst of the most recorded era in history: during your vacation, record and capture the wonderful things you see in your expeditions, when taking the side roads, when standing in line, and when standing still.

I know, everyone is taking hundreds of photos, uploading them to wherever, just to forget about them a few minutes later. When we are on vacation, we are all recording the monuments, the historical sites, the scenery, and of course ourselves and our family and friends. However, we seldom record the little things -- the little treasures we find along the way. These little things are what make our memories and experience unique.

So on your upcoming vacation, let's try something different. Record what you see, listen and feel wherever you go. Don't settle just for the ordinary pictures you can find in any gift shop. Record the little things only you notice. You can use a camera, or just write what you experience in a small a notebook. You can settle for an "objective" recording, or you can add something personal to accompany it.

By the end of your vacation, you will have a unique album of private moments, associations, stories, and treasures you've collected. Nobody else in the world has a collection similar to the one you will create. With this memories book, you will be able to relive your vacation over and over again in your mind.


Do you want to spice up your vacation even more? With seempli you can pick a random Seed wherever you go, to observe and discover even more amazing things. You can even try using several Seeds in each location to get different perspectives on the same spot.


 

Lidor Wyssocky (@LidorWyssocky) is a fine-art photographer and the creator of seempli - a revolutionary game for igniting creativity and learning to see the world differently.

Lidor’s visual artworks, which are focused on the things hundreds and thousands of people pass by in the street every day, led him to create seempli to inspire people to practice creative observation on a daily basis.

Using seempli Lidor works with people, teams, and organizations seeking to develop and enhance their creativity. 

Tags: creativity, family, imagination, lidor wyssocky, mindfulness, summer, vacation

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