This week I traveled to Kansas City for the umpteenth time this year. After visiting the same city several times, it’s way too easy to lose your sense of adventure and feel like you have seen all that a place has to offer (I know that’s how I feel at times!). After unpacking and settling in, I drove down a familiar route to the lake to spark my wanderlust yet again! The last time I was in Kansas City, the trees were just beginning to bud, so their branches were still bare. However, as soon as I drove into the park entrance, trees lining the water in full bloom were there to welcome me.
Before I even made it to my favourite water spot I was already feeling swept up by the beauty surrounding me. I continued winding through the park until I found my familiar spot, and hiked down to the water. Once I climbed down a hill to get closer to the lake, I happened to look behind me and see my favorite spot in a way I had never seen it before. The trees made a window in front of the rocky ledge where I like to sit, and the sun was shining through highlighting this perfectly peaceful spot. Suddenly, it was like I was seeing my favorite lake spot for the first time again, all because I was able to view it at a different angle.
What a great impact that a change of perspective can have on the way we experience a place! As the summer season approaches, it is only natural for us to want to plan our holiday vacations and map out new destinations to scratch our travel itch. But sadly some, myself included, have busy schedules and even budgets that don’t allow for an extended summer getaway! This is where changing your perspective of the place you are in comes into play. I have found that vacation can simply be a state of mind. By choosing to view the place you are in as a vacation destination you will find that you are actually able to travel more than you think, even if you’ve only gone a short distance from your own backyard.
This definitely takes some practice, so here are some practical tips I have found helpful in my own shift from viewing places I’m often in from the “everyday” to a “destination”:
1) LEARN SOMETHING NEW
When traveling to new places, it is common for museum visits or taking a class to be on your vacation itinerary. There’s something about learning new things that connects you to the location you are visiting. Luckily, you can learn something new wherever you are. I decided to use the app Duo Lingo to learn Spanish (a free app for daily language lessons). Another way to turn wherever you are into a learning opportunity is to download an educational podcast! No matter what your interest is, there is most likely a podcast out there that will take you on a deeper dive into that interest.
2) MAKE A PLAYLIST
Making a playlist is a great way to curate music that fits with the vacation vibes you are wanting to create. Have your music accompany you on a sunset drive, hike, or while lounging on your back porch. Maybe there’s a song that recalls memories from one of your favorite trips, or a genre that inspires you to wander. There is nothing quite like the power of music to trigger a laid back vacation state of mind.
3) TRY COOKING A NEW RECIPE
One of the best parts of exploring a new place is sampling the local cuisine that the area is known for. If there is a destination you have always wanted to travel to but haven’t had the chance, consider researching a dish that they’re known for and recreating it in your own kitchen. Bake the perfect French croissant, learn to make sushi, or perfect Neapolitan style pizza. You’ll find that you can visit the world through your very own kitchen!
4) FING A SPOT NEAR WATER
Many great vacation memories are made near the water. Whether it’s a camping by a river, a beach vacation, visits to the lake, or lazy pool days, there is something about a body of water that ushers us into a state of relaxation. Try making a picnic, packing a book and heading to a local water spot. And, if you’re looking for a more adventurous trip, round up your friends and rent kayaks for a day of floating on the lake or down the river!
5) SHOP LOCAL ON VACATION
Another way to add an element of wanderlust to your current location is to peruse local boutiques and farmers’ markets. Many local markets and shops provide more of a creative ambiance than the chain grocery stores and malls. Allow yourself to linger through the market, and maybe even splurge on freshly cut flowers. Shopping local also gives you the chance to get to know local vendors you may not have been aware of before, and open you up to experiencing an area in a new way.
Most important? Stay curious! By staying curious you will find that adventure tends to follow. And aren’t all memorable vacations usually coloured with an adventure of some sort? There is so much to discover in every location. Even if you have visited several times, you will be amazed at how much you continue to discover when you challenge yourself to stay curious and seek out new experiences – so go on, and explore!
If you have any additional tips for our readers or questions please leave these in the comments below!
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