I have always loved to travel.
In one of my very first counselling sessions, the one where you are asked to prepare the list of things that make you happy - yep that session.
You know the one, where you can't think of anything and it takes about 3 weeks to put together a list of 3 things. That list.
Well travel was on mine.
From when I was a teenager laying on the floor in the lounge room at home reading the Sunday papers and completely hogging the travel section, travel has always been a thing for me.
I love to learn new things, to see new places, to hear new languages, to try new food.
I think a reason that I still love travel so much is that I can leave my concerns and stresses behind and just be in the moment. I am happier, healthier (mentally) and just generally a nicer person to be with when I am on holiday. More time for my husband, my kids and to enjoy things I like to do.
Sometimes however travel is not always possible.
Timing, work, finances (or lack of finances, yes there will be a blog on that soon) can often prevent us from taking a break, but what if we treat our local area as a holiday destination? Think about all the things that you love most about being on holiday and bring that to your home environment.
It was a trick that really helped me a lot to recognise that I could bring that holiday vibe I love, into more of my real life. Life goes on, we have to live in it, but we can bring some of what lifts us up into our real life to feel better.
We live in such a beautiful country, that you would be hard pressed to not be able to find something good to do in your area of the hood. And - as Australia is a land of coffee snobs, you will always be able to find a good coffee!
So on the face of it, there are NO EXCUSES.
So here are my 7 tips for going on holiday at home (or within a 2 hour drive radius!)
1. Go to your local visitors centre and get the run down on all the local things that there are to actually see. Then play tourist at home.
Start with all the free ones first. I know that many times financial stress can prevent us from enjoying anything, so let's find things that do not add to that. I have been to more Henry Lawson festivals than I care to remember, but they always bring a smile, they always bring a surprise and they help us connect to other people. Here are some other ideas, farm machinery museums(?!?), bottle houses, local historical society, local galleries, music performances, farmers markets, a nice drive in the country,
2. Walks and Bike Rides
Find your local National Parks and Wildlife centre, get the maps and do the walks in your area. There is always a national park somewhere near you, when was the last time you walked in one? They are unique, they are beautiful and they are free.
Get our your bike, buy a bike or hire a bike. If you were on holidays chances are if one of the things to do is a bike ride along a bike track, then you would hire a bike and do it. So have you done that locally? Do you even still have a bike? Get one, they are great mood lifters, all that freedom on the bike, fresh air - clear head. Remember being a kid, be that again.
3. Have brunch on Sunday.
Find the best coffee shop and go there and enjoy a lazy brunch. On holiday, this is one of life's great things to enjoy, so do more of this at home. If you can't face the general population, I suggest getting a cup of tea and some toast and sitting in a nice spot at home outside. Pretend you are away. Even if only for a short time.
4. Go to your local, where all the cool kids go and have a midweek drink.
Nothing says holiday more than a few quiet ones, somewhere nice.
I love when on holidays, finding a cool bar, restaurant or pub and just sitting, having a glass of wine or mojito and soaking up the atmosphere. So in your part of the world, go somewhere you never go, go someone cool looking and go on a weeknight.
5. List all the restaurants in town and try them out
Who likes cooking on holiday? No one!
When you are on holiday, most of us prefer to eat out when we can. When was the last time you did that at home for no reason? Make of list of all restaurants that you would like to try and then plan to try them. Again, if finances are the cause of your stresses - ignore this one and replace with "parks to picnic in"
6. Picnic in the park
Grab some hot chips and a blanket and go and sit in a nice park and soak up the good vibes of being outside.
7. Create a reading space at home
I have called it a reading space, but I actually just mean a space that looks relaxed and inviting and just for you. It might be a favourite chair. It could be a sun lounge. It might be your patch of the garden. Think about what you might like to put in this space to help create the right kind of relaxation for you.
You might want to spoil yourself a little here as I think it is really important to create a space for you and your busy mind to centre itself and just focus on the being and less on the doing . It will be a way for you to invite some happiness into your life at home, without always feeling like you need to run away on holiday (or to the circus!) and escape from it all.
I know how crap that feeling is.
Have you ever been on holiday at home? What are your ideas for bringing that holiday vibe into your real life.