How To Cure Wanderlust When You’re Home For The Summer

For those of us that don’t have super exciting summer holiday plans like a fancy full-time paid internship in a foreign city or an all-inclusive tropical vacation somewhere warm, it’s easy to feel bored while it seems like your friends are up to cooler things than you. As a traveler who’s been to six countries in the past six months, the idea of settling in one place with no job and no plan seems like exile. But don’t fret, I’ve spent enough summers in my old stomping ground that I have learned a few tricks to get you to stop thinking about what everyone else is up to and start having a great time in your local area!

Go on a Social Media Hiatus.

First thing’s first, get off social media. Nothing makes me feel more restless than seeing other people’s travel photos that make me long to be elsewhere. The internet has sped up our lives so we always want to go from one thing to the next. Shutting off your data is a great way to bring yourself back to the present so you can stop and smell the roses.

Explore Your Area.

When I was in New Zealand, I realized that a lot of people who live there never went on road trips or had never been to any of the famous landmarks in their own country. They just got used to having so many things in their own backyard that it was easy to take them for granted.

With a summer full of free time, take advantage of your local areas. Try the local foods and drinks, go to neighborhood BBQs, listen to the live bands play music in your local park. Explore your town’s library to get some quick reads for free. Check out the local museum or gallery to get yourself cultured about the place you’re living.

No Friends, No Problem.

I don’t know about y’all, but it seems like every year, less people come home for the summer. At this point, only a few of my friends will be in the area and most of them are working full-time.

This is a great time to go on some solo adventures or take a leap and make some new friends. You don’t need to rely on others to have fun; and maybe there are things you’ve been wanting to do but no one wanted to do them with you. Go for a scenic drive, enroll in that new kickboxing class, or just take your time and snap that perfect photo that people would always rush you for.

Alternative Transportation.

Not everyone has a car to drive to the beach in, but the lovely weather of summer is a great time to take the scenic route. Biking, skateboarding and even walking are fun ways to get you around your town or city while also giving you a nice view. For further destinations, trains, buses, and subways are another great way to travel; just grab a book or pop in your headphones for a relaxing day trip.

Cool Off.

You don’t need to go on a trip to the tropics to get your toes wet. In the heat of summer, nothing is better than letting off some steam in the town’s local swimming hole, beach, pond, pool, or even just taking a cool shower. Making cold smoothies and homemade popsicles or ice blocks are another fun, refreshing and inexpensive way to savor the moment. You can handmake a cocktail for half the price of one you can buy in a restaurant.

Tackle Your To-Do List.

With nothing else to do, the holidays are a great time to get started on things you may have been putting off for a long time. Exercising and cleaning are two easy places to start. When you start working out consistently, you will notice your mood start to get better and you won’t be so restless when you have a new source of motivation. Alternatively, throwing out your old junk and starting with a fresh, new living space will give you a new perspective and is thrilling in its own way. From there, you can tackle even more ambitious plans like reading that book you’ve been pushing off or trying that new restaurant that just opened down the street or even fixing your car.

Enjoy Yourself.

Whatever you get up to during your break, make sure it makes you happy. Whether dedicating your summer to a part-time job to save money, going on day trips by yourself or watching Netflix all day, this is ultimately your time, so make the most of it! Don’t let the activities and actions of others make you restless — just do you. Have a great summer!

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Morgan is studying at the University of Auckland during the spring of 2017. Follow her adventures as she crosses oceans to spend five months in New Zealand!

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