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Vacations are a bit like graduate theses. Our ideas start explosively huge, encompassing the entire world. We're going to see it all and do it all. Then reality comes knocking, and the plan gets smaller and smaller. Then we end up going to The Lake.
Nothing wrong with The Lake, of course. It's very pretty, and we know exactly where to stay for the best price. It's just that we've been there every summer for the last 20 years. So have all our friends from back home, we might add. It's always great to see people you know on vacation. Every year. They're always there.
You get our point. Vacation is nothing without variation. There are so many options today for more exciting choices than The Lake, and we've put together a list of suggestions that will get you thinking big again.
1. Stay a Little Longer: The Rise of the Work-cation
People and businesses are discovering that the traditional office is no longer always necessary. Your employer didn't need to pay extortionate rents on that building. It wasn't necessary for employees to spend thousands of dollars every year on gas, just to get to and from work.
It's time to make the most of that.
If you're able to work from your laptop, you should consider extended travel abroad. We tend to think about enjoying every minute of free time when we're away from home, but just living like normal in another place can be a far more immersive experience.
Places like Singapore's Parc Olympia are ideal for this purpose. You can spend months experiencing a different world while living and earning as usual. As Disney's Thomas O'Malley sang, ‘the world is my backyard.' It's time for you to live that dream.
2. Utilize the Off-Season
A friend of ours once spent an entire winter on a Greek island. Their rent was €250 per month including all bills (in 2021, that translates to just under $300). In summer, the rent on the same apartment was around €150 per day.
The downside? The weather wasn't what you'd typically expect on a summer island.
- The island was virtually deserted.
- There was a friendly donkey in their front yard.
- The tourist traps were boarded up.
- Every local they met offered them food.
- Their apartment was 20m from the Aegean Sea.
- They drank delicious wine grown on the mountain opposite their apartment and recommended by the locals.
- They didn't marry the girl who ran the local shop, but they nearly did and still wish that they had.
- They wrote an entire novel during their time there (we've read it, it's terrible. But it's still cool that they managed that).
It's not just where, it's when. Find out when places aren't popular, and you'll get a lot more of the local color.
3. Go Wild (Camping)
Domestic vacations don't have to involve whitewashed condos or hotel rooms with terrible minimalist 00s decor. Or garish 80s decor. We've seen our share.
Instead, they can involve bugs and twigs and canvas! We're kidding — well, no. Wild camping does involve all of those things. But there's something magical about having your base somewhere that isn't ‘approved’.
You can choose where you sleep, be it woodland, lakeside, or mountain. As Disney's Pumba said, ‘home is where your rump rests.' There are a lot of good lessons in Disney films if you look past how Disney it all is.
Wild camping is such an exciting way to get into nature and experience the world a little differently. We'd recommend it to anyone.
Conclusion: Follow Your Heart
Wherever you want to go, whatever you want to do, it's there if you're willing to commit. You'd be amazed how travel can change your life and your perspective.
Put yourself out there. Stop thinking in terms of the weekend getaway. Choose to go see the world, and it'll reward you a hundredfold in return.