I need a vacation.
I’m only a few days back to the real world after my last vacation and already I’m craving another adventure.
That’s a good thing, though! I think that you should constantly have plans on the horizon to help you endure the daily grind. You need a light at the end of the tunnel. You need motivation to get you through the day, the week, the month – whatever amount of time you have standing between today’s monotony and tomorrow’s adventure.
I work extremely hard at my day job and when I’m working on my writing projects, so when I do tear myself away from that workaholic lifestyle and take some time off, the last thing I want to do is waste that precious time. I don’ t like to fritter away my vacation sitting like a slug on a beach for a week, but I don’t want to spread myself too thin. Rather, I want to spend quality time learning about the area I am visiting and enjoying both popular and unique attractions.
For me, travel is a way for me to not only learn about the history of the new and familiar places that I visit, but it also adds layers to my own personal history. Even though I may not be formally conducting research for an article, and I may be traveling beyond the scope of my usual historical region, I still like to absorb information so I can better myself intellectually. Who knows, I could end up with a neat historic topic to write about further on up the road!
Over the long Easter weekend, my boyfriend Dave and I visited Toronto and Niagara Falls in Ontario, Canada. We hoped that despite the holiday, we would avoid the large annoying crowds of tourists that would most likely flock to the Falls in warmer weather and fill up our four days away with fun, educational activities based on a general list of attractions and information rather than a completed scripted agenda. As I prepared for this trip, I started thinking about the best ways to plan things to do while away. In the succeeding posts I plan to share some of our experiences, but first I’d like to share the four general criteria that I feel add tremendous value to my travel.
Into the Great Wide Open
I think it’s essential to stay out of your lodgings as much as possible and enjoy the fresh air and scenery around you instead! However, this doesn’t mean that you must do something physically taxing. Simply walking around town to check out the shops and eateries, visiting a small local park or taking a guided tour of a historic site will keep you active and ensure that you sleep like a rock that night. My legs are still sore from the amount of walking I did this past weekend, but it’s a good hurt. I will walk my little legs off until I can’t go any further and then some.
Why go away on vacation and learn nothing about the new place you are visiting!? To me that’s an incredible waste of time. I want to come home from vacation feeling educated. I want to come home feeling like I actively participated in my vacation experience. Besides spending time outdoors I think learning about the building blocks of the place you are visiting is an absolutely worthwhile use of your time and so I love visiting historical sites, museums and historical districts. I’m a nerd, what can I say?
Sweet Soul Music
Whether it means checking out a local band at a bar, attending a concert or simply visiting musically important sites and venues around town, I love connecting with music while I’m traveling. Oh, and I love listening to music while driving around. One of the reasons why I like road trips so much is that they provide the perfect opportunity to drown my ears in my beloved satellite radio.
Spill the Wine
I am by no means an adventurous eater and tend to settle for my favorite tried-and-true fare at restaurants whenever I travel. To make up for my picky palate, I really make an effort to try the regional beer and wines offered in the area. I like comparing and contrasting what I try in order to determine what I like the best and what I like the least Oddly enough, this writer finds it difficult to accurately describe all of my sensory experiences when sampling a pint! I have fun scrambling for words and I think it’s also a good mental exercise for me. It’s a bonus when I can visit local wineries and microbreweries to learn more about how these beverages are created – it’s another means of imbibing local history. Pun intended!