Of all summers, the summer of 2022 understandably beckons us to travel, explore and leave our homes and the towns and cities we have been staying close to for nearly three years due to the pandemic. Perhaps even our homes want us to leave so it can have a breather from us!
However at the same time, with demand high, prices for travel fare are driven ever higher as well, so it may not be in the budget to travel during the summer season, or simply it just may not be of interest to travel as it indeed will be busy, at times chaotic and even stressful which negates the purpose that most of us align with traveling for a holiday.
With all of that said, if you have chosen to stay put this summer, just as I have, I wanted to share ideas for savoring this time of year at home and in your home town wherever that might be. After all, we spend the majority of our lives in our abodes and in the town where our home address is found, there is most definitely a reason we remain, and hopefully a reason founded in appreciation for where we have the good fortune to call home, so let’s explore how to make it even more special.
1.Permit yourself the luxuries during the summer season you discipline yourself from when working
If you are spending your vacation time at home, be intentional about permitting yourself to wake up when you are ready (put away the alarm clock), take a nap if it calls you to do so, make your favorite meal, say yes or no as you please to invitations and opportunities – only partaking if you truly want to. Create rituals that you love and enjoy them throughout your vacation at home.
2. Turn off your phone or limit who you let contact you
To immerse yourself in the mindset of being on holiday while staying home, remind yourself that part of getting away is to be less available. Set clear boundaries for a week or two, however long your holiday at home will be, as to whose calls you will take, what messages you will respond to and how often and when you will check your email. In other words, let yourself be free from being requested, needed, and required to do anything that does not let you wholly relax. Do not feel guilty about this. You need time to just be and do as you are drawn in order to reap the benefits of what a holiday is all about.
3. Tend to a garden and revel in the beauty that comes forth
As the temperatures rise, when you are home, you can easily ensure the garden is watered well and regularly, whether you have plants in the ground or in pots. And it is during the summer months that the work in the garden decreases and time spent outside luxuriating in the beauty that begins to share itself is a priceless, evanescent treat. Knowing such beauty only lasts for a short period of time makes it all the more special. Seeing the butterflies dance about from flower to flower, witnessing the cherries ripen into their ruby red splendor in a blink of an eye it seems as July arrives, and waking up to blackberries blossoms nearing their transformation into fruits to nibble on are moments that can only be savored in summer, making it all the more difficult to ever want to travel during these precious warm months.
With my schedule now my own as I work from home, no longer having to only have my summers off as was the case when I was teaching, I am looking at the calendar and considering when would the best time be for me to travel, and I must say, because I love to savor the garden that receives so much planning and preparation during winter and spring, it will be hard to travel during the summer months as the years unfold. The garden during the summer is less in need of attention, and is now more a space to relax and savor the hard work you have given to it. With each year’s passing, the garden matures and begins to present the vision you had in your mind, but it takes time, so most definitely, spending time in the garden is a highlight for me when I choose to stay home during the summer months.
4. Create an outdoor area to relax
While for half of the year in Bend, it is too cold to sit outside on the porch without a coat and other bundling accessories, the other half of the year is pure bliss outside, so I have intentionally created three (and hopefully in the future will add a fourth) outdoor areas that invite me or my guests to relax, slow down and just savor the natural beauty not only of the garden, but of the beautiful weather and long summer days.
Perhaps you have a porch where you can add a swing?, or is there a nook where you can add an Adirondack and foot rest to while away hours reading in the shade whilst the birdsong fills the air? Add a small bistro table and chairs to enjoy dining al fresco, or add a lounge chair or settee upholstered with outdoor fabric to withstand the sun and elements and relax in true comfort (and maybe close your eyes for a bit and take a nap).
5. Explore new recipes in your kitchen after visiting the local farmers’ market
With open-air markets in full swing, the fresh seasonal produce is abundant and invites us to try making a dish we may have never given a go in our own kitchen. Find a cookbook that shares recipes aligned with each season (I have shared a few below), and find a recipe for the produce you find at the market. Give yourself permission to invest in necessary ingredients to make the dish what it has the potential to be, and then have fun bringing it to your dinner table (or dine alfresco under the lights).
Seasonal Cookbooks I recommend:
6. Pick up the weekly or summer entertainment guide for your town/city
Here in Bend the summertime offerings have returned and the entertainment is aplenty and then some. From concerts in the amphitheater, events downtown, multiple farmers’ markets now open, trails to hike and high lakes and rivers to explore with the paddle or kayak. Whatever you most enjoy, let yourself do so. Take your low-back chair and find a spot at the concert of the performer who is coming to your hometown. Revel in the opportunities right at your doorstep and partake. Even if you have to go alone, which I often do to the concerts at the amphitheater here in Bend, you know your hometown, you will likely run into acquaintances or people you know and discover you have something else in common – the same preference in music!
7. Watch a movie outdoors in your garden or lawn
Perhaps inspired a bit by Home Again starring Reese Witherspoon, but it really is as simple as draping a light-colored sheet over a line strung from two parallel points, purchase a simple projector to connect to your laptop or tablet and enjoy sprawled on the grass or in your lounge furniture, sipping a glass of wine, and nibbling on something scrumptious and fresh. Just remember to be mindful of the sound/volume and your neighbors.
Outdoor portable projectors:
8. Enjoy breakfast and/or dinner al fresco regularly
9. Explore the many parks and walking areas in your town/city
10. Give yourself permission to slow down and take time to just be, regularly
Especially when it is hot outside, let yourself relax somewhere cool without feeling the need to be doing something. If you take a nap, let it happen, and let yourself rest.
11. Host a garden party, small and intimate or large
Whether for aperitif or a full meal complete with courses, invite friends and/or neighbors to enjoy an evening in your garden and outdoor spaces.
12. Find the water and enjoy it how you want
Depending upon where you live, the type of water you have access to will vary. Here in Bend, we are fortunate to have rivers, lakes, swimming recreational centers and even a white water surfing park. As many readers of TSLL blog know, Norman and I like to stand-up paddle, so during the summer, we try to do so at least once a week at a variety of locations either in town or just out of town on the road toward Mt. Bachelor.
Being close to, in, or on top of water is soothing. If you live near the ocean, take walks, sit on the sand, take a book to read, whatever nurtures you, do so and savor being near water. However, the access to water need not be vast bodies of water. Consider adding a bird bath or a small DIY water feature with a solar generated fountain (find one here for fewer than $20). Simply being near water can be incredibly soothing and calming which again is the essence of going on holiday, to bring a feeling of calm into our lives.
13. Read, read, read to your heart’s delight
Often summer gives us more time to read what we want, rather than work materials that while we may enjoy them, are still required reading. While in the summer months what I read doesn’t change, it is how much time I have to read that lengthens, and I savor this time, gobbling up more books, which leads to more books, and new authors and titles to explore.
14. Schedule outings to be pampered
If you don’t already have regular facials scheduled in your calendar or a regular massage, any self-care pampering that is out of budget to enjoy on a regular basis, schedule your favorites during your holiday at home. This will not only give yourself something to look forward to, but the pampering itself will feel as though you are on vacation.
15. Hire someone to clean your house/car/mow the lawn/etc.
In other words, any have-to chores you don’t enjoy, spend the money you may have had to use for travel to have someone tend to your chores so you can fully relax around your home and in your daily routine. I personally look forward to someday hiring lawn-care (mowing and edging) as the noise and jarring to my hands is uncomfortable. Such chores, whatever they are for you, look to delegate them and look at it as buying yourself time to do as you want rather than as you have to.
16. Invest and complete a project in your home to create an even more beckoning sanctuary
The project need not be something you hire a contractor for which would likely take more than the three months during the summer. But whether the project in your home décor is something you can do yourself – painting or wallpapering or swapping out new light fixtures, or giving yourself the bathroom you had always dreamt about, why not explore creating a space in your sanctuary that elevates the comfort you feel when you step into it.
Just this past week, the curtains for my living and dining room were installed. This detail of adding window treatments to the open-plan living spaces immediately transformed the space in my eyes – providing warmth, separation of designated areas and sophistication – softening the light, as well as letting more light in, providing privacy, but also creating more welcome. The image at the top of today’s post offers a petite glimpse at the curtains in my dining room, and I look forward to sharing a full video tour in this coming August’s A Cuppa Moments video chat with TOP Tier Members as well as sharing a detailed post on the blog for TOP Tier Members in August to source as well as share tips for customizing your own curtains, an investment that for me will be with this home for the lifetime of my residence here at Le Papillon.
Finishing a project that changes the space in your home, creating a different mood from what you felt at the beginning of the summer is a reminder that the advantage of taking time off and staying home during such time that we give ourselves can yield powerful benefits to our daily lives the rest of the year.
17. Add a sartorial detail of preference to your summer capsule wardrobe
When we are planning for a typical holiday getaway, we will often access our wardrobe to see what we need for a comfortable and enjoyable trip. Why not do the similar assessment for your summer holiday at home? What do you need to enjoy spending more time in your garden, wandering the markets, visiting your hometown haunts? Whether it is one item or a handful, doing so will again set the tone that staying home is a choice and doing so whilst feeling good in what you are wearing does make a difference.
Staying home during the summer holiday season can be thoroughly enjoyable. It begins with a mind-shift to keeping an open mind to explore all of the possibilities and then asks you to shift your habits and approaches to everyday living: doing more of what brings you pleasure and delight and being determined to step away from guilt society or ways you were raised or nurtured drilled into you as wrong. There is nothing wrong with taking care of your well-being; in fact, quite the opposite, and if it begins by just taking a week or two in the summer to permit yourself, perhaps you will notice the benefits it brings into your life and explore ways to integrate what works best for you throughout the entire year.
Wishing you a wonderful holiday. Bon Voyage!