It’s June, that time of year when everyone starts posting links to the resort they’re staying at, posting duck faced selfies of them self on the beach, and making humble brags about the reaching the peak of Mt. Awesome. It’s also the time of year where guys like me are thinking, man I wish I had the time and money to go on a vacation like that. Here you are tearing your hair out 6 days a week because it’s time to revamp the budget and your friends (or so you thought) are bragging about their trips.
There are 2 ways to react to this
1. You can live in envy, resenting your friends, and punching the clock every day “workin’ for the weekend.”
2. You can treat each day like a little mini-vacation and try to get enjoyment out of the things around you.
I of course recommend option number 2. As much as I enjoy raining on people’s vacations and looking forward to the weekend, I think 2 is a better option. I’m all in favor of vacations if you have the time and money for them in- fact I encourage them! But for some of us that’s just not an option (right now.) Wallowing doesn’t solve anything!
But that still leaves the problem of the daily grind and the need for a little bit of family time, R&R, and some good old fashioned mind clearing the sort that is usually attained by a weekend at the lake. How do you solve it?
Might I suggest Sunday Driving?
“Oh there he goes again harping on Sunday Drives.” Well what did you expect, this blog is called “Driving on Sunday.”
Seriously! Sunday Driving can provide you with just the sort of “mini-vacation” you need to clear your mind. It works a bit like this.
You’ve got 2 days every weekend. You need to get the most out of it. In order to get the most out of that amount of time open up your map. (I like this Delorme Atlas and Gazetteer) and find yourself a town you’ve never been to , a park you haven’t hiked at, a college you haven’t toured, or a museum you haven’t heard of. If you picked something close (like within 2 hours) and I definitely recommend you do, pack a picnic, strap the kids into their 5-point harnesses and leave as soon as everyone gets home from work. Or first thing the morning. Don’t even worry about finding a place to sleep.
I remember the first time that we did this. As you may have heard, Kezia and I spent our honeymoon in a cabin in the Ozarks. And during that time we went for a couple of great hikes, so logically when Clarence was born we wanted to take him on those hikes. We got the car all packed up with a picnic, extra diapers, a change of clothes, and our nifty Ergo baby carrier and hit the road by 5:00 AM so we could get a nice long hike in before the hottest part of the day. We hiked the whole Mina Sauk Falls trail and still had time to get in a short hike at Johnson Shut-ins, a relaxing picnic (and nap) by the river, and Ice Cream at the Arcadia Academy in Ironton. We got home before bedtime and still had time to watch a movie before bed. I don’t think you can pack more into one day, but when I went back to work on Monday, I was ready to go. No expensive cruise necessary.
If you went for the far away destination I have two recommendations for you.
1. Consider camping. Some of those parks you haven’t heard of don’t even charge for you to pitch a tent. Other’s will charge you a nominal fee. We invested in the Kingdom 6 Tent from REI because it’s so easy to set up I was able to do it by myself while chasing the boys around in only about 15 minutes.
2. Look for something on AirBnB. We did this for a last minute vacation to Tennessee last year. I call it last minute because that’s what it really was. As thanks for all the overtime I put in running a conference I was told I could take a couple of Comp Days but they had to be that week! So we got into planning mode, our original plan was to drive 20 hours straight and see just how far we could get. I wanted to see Mountains. Instead, we went with a much more modest 8 and split it up over two days and stayed at 2 very nice places. The first was a great bedroom in an old remodeled farmhouse owned by one of the friendliest couples we’d ever met. The sun had gone down, we weren’t sure what time-zone we were in and Clarence needed to go down, so we ended up crashing about like 8:15 PM. When we woke up the next morning, they had a hot breakfast ready for us and we all laughed about how early we went to sleep the night before. This was practically our dream house, and we got to vacation in it for $40. The next place we stayed was a 100 year old log cabin in the woods of Western Tennessee. It was owned by a descendant of the guy who built it with his hands. I’m sure 100 years ago it was pretty rugged but now it has an up to date kitchen, 2 full baths (the master bath even had a whirlpool tub) and enough clean warm beds to sleep 8 plus more if you count the couches and floor space. That was $80 a night and was better than any hotel we could have found.
Stay Near Go Far
Go somewhere unique. Some place your friend’s travel agent would never think to send them. Do it on the cheap, and look for those crazy, tucked away, or forgotten places and see what you can learn about them. I guarantee, when you come back from that short little trip, you’ll be refreshed and relaxed and all it took was a Sunday Drive.
Not sure where to go? Ask us in the comments. I’ll give you some ideas!
Until next time, thanks for Liking, commenting, and subscribing and above all, thanks for driving with us!