Ahh, it’s finally time to relax, let go of all your work, home, and other obligations because you’re on vacation. You’ve been dreaming, planning and counting the days until now. How often do you get the opportunity to let go of all the messy, stress-y stuff you experience in life every day? Once a year, or less?
And, if you do take a vacation with the family, how often does it not turn out the way you planned and imagined it would be? We once drove from Texas to the Grand Canyon with three children under age 12. An amazing experience was planned. The first sign that things were not going according to plan was when the fun car games were exhausted after only three hours, and promptly
replaced with a chorus of, “are we there yet?” The crowning achievement was when we arrived at the South Rim of the Grand Canyon, and within 10 minutes they were all ready to leave. No interest in exploring or hiking or even taking it all in. So much for the ultimate vacation. Sigh.
Sound familiar? What if you could take a vacation any time you wanted, and not have to worry about the enjoyment of others at the same time? You can, if you don’t mind using a bit of imagination.
There are limitless ways for you to get away, if only in your mind, for a mini-vacation, but here we’ll talk about four quick and easy ones. One or more should be available to you almost anywhere, anytime.
1. Go Outside. Sounds easy, and you may wonder how this could be a vacation; you did, after all come in from outside at some point today. Well, this journey out-of-doors will have a different purpose. Your mindset on this short trip will be to look around you at whatever flora, fauna, and interesting views may be found. If you have time to walk to a park or more natural area, great! Regardless, find a place to sit, or lean and just look around. Take in the sights, smells, and the feel of the temperature, sun or breeze on your skin. Just pay attention, and let go of everything you just walked away from. Notice what may be blooming or fading. Are there any critters around? Watch the birds or squirrels, and you may find yourself laughing at their antics. In other words, take a few minutes-or more- and smell the roses. When you feel ready to go back to your life before your mini-break, go ahead, but bring the feeling of being connected to nature with you. And, if you can’t actually go outside, find a window where you can do the same things. Imagine the scents and the feel of the wind. Be creative.
2. Visualize Your Favorite Destination. If you have favorite places you’ve been, sit back, close your eyes and take yourself back there and relive it, if even for a few minutes. Try to make your pictures in your mind as vivid as possible. Put yourself in the place and see yourself feeling great, having fun. If you can’t visualize very easily, find a few photos from your trip and look at them, and then get into the feelings you experienced while there. If you do this regularly, it will be easier to get away in your mind. Stay as long as you need to feel like you did on vacation.
3. Read a Travel Book. Maybe you’ve always wanted to go to Australia, but don’t have a plan to make it happen. Buy a book on your dream destination and take a few minutes to look at the beautiful photos and highlights of must see places once you get there. Imagine what it will be like. The bonus here, is that the more real your vacation seems to you, the likelier you are to make it happen!
4. Write a Travel Journal. On paper or your computer, take a few minutes as often as possible to write down where you have been and loved, or places you are longing to visit.Call it your Travel Bucket List. Have fun picking all your most interested spots, and write about what you want to do/experience at each. Pretend you are there, and write an account of what you are experiencing. Use your imagination. Again, the more you want it and the more you feel motivated to make it happen, chances skyrocket that you’ll find yourself in that very spot someday.
Just a few quick ways to take you out of your present here, and travel to a place where you can be calmer, less-stressed and perhaps happier. Try to carve a few minutes out of every day, and you’ll find yourself better able to handle the rest of the day. Until your next mini-vacation. It’s waiting for you. Go.