Hello all! I’m Mia, a student/writer/gamer/general geek, and I’ll be writing here about shopping, movies, books, food, and all the other things that make life fun and interesting. Talk about multidisciplinary.
For today, I’ll be talking about the short and quick version of vacations, which I’ve termed “micro-vacations” or “mini-breaks.” Hey, since we’re miniaturizing everything — from cellphones to computers to media players — all in the name of convenience, can vacations be that far behind? After all, if there’s one thing we’re always short on, it’s time.
Enter the micro-vacation: very short breaks you can take without leaving the city, or without even going too far from the comfort of your home. That way, not only will you have a little time away from your stressful workload, you’ll also return to work re-energized. Here are a few micro-vacation ideas to get you started.
Luxuriate at a hotel or inn, or spend a day at the spa. If you have the means, it helps to get away from home every once in a while. But you can’t go on an out-of-town trip, and the only time you have work off is the weekend, so what do you do? You can spend the weekend at a hotel or inn of your choice, where you’ll be in a new (but hopefully more relaxing) environment. Caveat: Though this micro-vacation is very effective in terms of rest and relaxation, you may not want to do this too often (or at all) if the resulting bill will make you even more stressed.
Escape to the world of books. If you love reading and find few pleasures greater than snuggling up with a good book, then go visit a bookstore and buy the one book you’ve always wanted to read. Be it the latest bestseller or an obscure 17th-century tome, spend the day enjoying it, preferably with a cup of good coffee (or beverage of your choice) on the side. You may be surprised by just how many new ideas you can generate after that day.
On a somewhat related note, you can spend the day immersing yourself in culture and art. Take a visit to your nearest museum or art exhibit and spend the day broadening your horizons. Forget the school-sanctioned field trips and the idea that “if it’s educational, it must be boring” — the nice thing about art is that first and foremost, it’s meant to be enjoyed. The curators or gallery staff will most likely be only too pleased to show you around.
You can also let loose at an amusement park. Hey, if you’re not the academic type, why force it, right? Contradictory as it may seem, you’ll be surprised by just how relaxed you feel after an adrenaline-charged day of fast-paced rides. It also helps to forget, once in a while, that you’re an adult with responsibilities; try enjoying life as if you were a kid again, and see how much it rejuvenates you. Or you could…
Turn your day into a mini-sportsfest. One of the best de-stressers, my guy friends claim, is a nice long game of basketball. Swimming is also said to be good for your body, plus it just feels wonderful to soak oneself in a pool and let the water clear one’s mind. If you live close to a park or in an area where you can be close to nature, you can go running or hiking, then have a picnic somewhere when you want a break.
The point of these suggestions is to get you to break out of your daily routine and do something that you’ve been wanting to do for quite some time. I didn’t include shopping — much as some people might like it — because it’s too close to the urban, fast-paced, commercialized atmosphere so many of us find stressful. In any case, feel free to experiment. Feeling free is the point of vacations, after all.