Summer sucks if you’re not in school. You don’t have that nice three months off to enjoy the weather and take crazy vacations. Watching the sun shine through the windows at your work is painful.
As treatment for the building resentment that working through the summer can cause, we have ten ways to be adventurous this summer and make it memorable.
10 ways to have an adventurous summer:
1. Take a day trip.
Pick a spot at most two hours from where you live. This spot can be a city, a tourist trap, the closest major water, a mountain, or even just a small area you’ve never visited.
A day trip allows you to get a taste without dedicating too much time, which is perfect for a hike or wandering around a nearby town. The two-hour distance limit means that you can do your exploring but still come home and sleep in your own bed that night.
2. Be a tourist in your own town.
Many people live for years in the same place without fully seeing everything that their city has to offer. Check out sites like TripAdvisor or even just Google “things to do in (your city)” to see what others recommend.
[Related: The Ultimate Summer Guide to Having a Blast]
I’d recommend picking a theme as well, like independent bookstores or galleries. Having the mindset of a tourist rather than a local can also give you a new sense of wonder and curiosity that tends to dull when you drive by the same stores every day. You might even find a new favorite spot to hang out! This will also give you good ideas for when people visit you and want to see the sights.
3. Take a class for something you’ve never tried.
Have you ever wanted to learn how to make a perfect loaf of bread? Or how to defend yourself with kick boxing? Or what the hype behind pole dancing classes is all about? Use this summer to learn something new! May we suggest swing dancing or roller derby?
It can be something you’ve wanted to learn for a while or something completely out of left field. Check out your local community college for course offerings. Not a big fan of the classroom setting? Use the magic of the internet to get a YouTube education.
There are also lots of online class options through sites like Coursera. Do something this summer to expand your mind and your abilities.
4. Find a new walking path.
I was first diagnosed with anxiety and depression, one of my doctor’s recommendations was to get out and walk outside for at least 30 minutes a day. While that doesn’t always happen, I have found that when I do walk, it’s highly beneficial in giving my brain time to rest and gets my blood pumping. Walking my dog at the same time keeps me distracted enough that I don’t have my face buried in my phone.
Mental or physical health benefits aside, the best way to enjoy the summer weather (provided the temperature behaves) is to walk in it rather than staring at it longingly out your window at work. So whether you are new to walking or are a sidewalk master, try to find a new place to walk, even if it’s just around your neighborhood. It’s a good way to explore different pockets of town and figure out what’s around you.
5. Devote a week to trying all new recipes.
All of my cookbooks have little tabs sticking out of them of things that I’m “going to make some day.” Usually though, when I’m not making the same five things I always do, I just end up scouring the internet for how to make something I have in mind, rather than reaching for the recipes I already have flagged.
[Related: 3 Ways to Make Cooking at Home Fun]
I challenge you to crack those spines again and plan your week around them. Embrace the opportunity to learn a new cooking technique, try new flavors, and fail miserably, because that happens.
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6. Join a community group.
Feeling the need to expand your social group? Want to hang out with people with similar interests? Join a community group!
These can be charity based, interest based (wine club, anyone?), or career based. Having those around you who you have things in common with can help boost your feelings of support and like you have people in your life that you can related to.
7. Try wearing a new color, or a new shade of lipstick, or cut your hair — change up how you look.
Summer is a great time for experimenting with how you look. This can be something as simple as wearing a color you don’t usually wear (I know I definitely need to consciously change up my black and navy wardrobe), to wearing a new shade of lipstick, to even getting a whole new haircut.
The nice thing about each of these is that they’re not permanent. Even with a new haircut, that hair will grow back. Changing up your looks can be a confidence booster and can be an easy way to kick off a new season.
8. Join a cause.
Now more than ever is the time to stand up and put a voice behind the causes you support. Charities and organizations are always looking for volunteers to help, even if it’s just to be hands to stuff envelopes.
Look at the sites of the causes you’re passionate about and sign up to receive their newsletter so you know when they need hands on deck. Be vocal about the things you care about and help enact the change you want to see.
9. Cross something off your bucket list.
What’s on your bucket list? This summer is the time to cross something off that list, or at least plan for it. Climb that mountain, try that crazy food, or start planning that trip to Africa that you’ve been thinking about. Create a once in a lifetime experience this summer that you’ve always wanted to.
[Related: The Summer Bucket List]
10. Find a new hobby.
In the movie The Brothers Bloom, they meet a woman who collects hobbies. She’s tried everything from tap dancing to juggling and fills her time perfecting them. Now, she had the money to support all these hobbies, but hopefully picking up one hobby won’t break the bank.
It doesn’t have to be anything crazy (unless that’s what you’re into) or even necessarily active. It can be as simple as treating yourself to a cup of tea and an hour of reading once a week. Add something to your routine that you’re guaranteed to enjoy and that you can look forward to doing.
Make this summer a summer of adventure and trying new things. Now is the time to seize the day and say “why not?” and other YOLO-type sayings. It’s the season for experimenting and now is your time to take advantage of it.
What are you most looking forward to this summer?
Giveaway: Enter to win $200 cash!
We’ve teamed up with an incredible group of bloggers to give away $200 cash via PayPal! Use the prize any way you want! How will you fuel your summer adventures?
(The giveaways begins today 6/26 and ends 7/6. The winner will be selected and notified by 7/9.)