In these late summer days, I find myself dreaming of summers past sitting on patios with friends and going away for long weekends by the lake. Although this summer has been different from what we all expected due to COVID-19, there are still many activities and adventures that will to make this summer as memorable as ones in the past. This blog is chock-full of ideas to finish your 2020 summer strong, even in the midst of this crazy year!
1: Lean into nature
Now is the time to soak up as much outdoors time as you can. Research has shown that being outside can have a positive effect on mood disorders such as anxiety, depression, and stress – something many of us have been feeling in the past few months. Leaning into nature right now is a great coping mechanism and is also just a fun and inexpensive way to enjoy summer! Get to know the area around you and fall back in love with the outdoors. Do a quick google search to see if there are any cool hiking trails around you and plan an afternoon devoted to exploring. If you’re having trouble finding hiking spots, check out AllTrails – an app that provides you with a curated trail map based on your location.
If hiking isn’t your thing, why not stay closer to home and try your hand at gardening. Studies have found a correlation between a person’s stress level and their proximity to green spaces. It has actually been proven that growing a garden provides positive mental health benefits.
Edible gardens are also a great project to take on this summer. Try your hand at building your very own veggie patch! Let me tell you, making a delicious cucumber and tomato salad never tastes as good as it does when I grow it from my garden. The same goes for growing your own fresh basil, parsley, and rosemary.
If you’re looking to bask in a rainbow of flowers, your best bet is to look at which perennials or annuals are in season for July and August. Some of my favorite are Shasta daisies, oriental Lilly’s and Echinacea! Trust me when I say that the hard work you put into your garden will pay off when you’re relaxing by your flower bed with a cold drink in hand.
To ensure your gardening leaves the soil in the same shape (or better) as you found it, make sure you’re using natural organic composts and topsoils. Bonus – learn about creating your own compost fertilizer with our friend Ethically Kate!
2: Get your jam on
One of my favorite memories as a child was laying out a blanket in my backyard and blasting my baby blue Walkman. Music is a great energy booster, and a fun way to set your mood for the day. Wishing you were somewhere else? Why not create your own tropical playlist, make a delicious pina-colada, and pretend you are on a tropical getaway. If you need some great tunes to put on your own playlist, check out the TAMGA playlists on Spotify.
Tip 3: Go camping
If you’re wanting to get away this summer but are a little hesitant to stay at a hotel, take a look at your camping options! Good old fashion camping is such a fun bonding experience and a great way to get away on a budget. My favorite part of camping has to be sitting by the campfire munching on delicious s’mores. Ever tried making s’mores with Oreos? Trust me, its life-changing!
There are many types of camping options depending on what you’re comfortable with, just do a quick google search and check out some beautiful camping spots in your area!
If you’re not into roughing it, but like the idea of camping, check out glamping spots! Glamping provides you with the best of both worlds, you can soak in all the nature around you while still being able to access the comforts of a hotel.
Here are some links on Glamping:
To make sure your camping trip is a sustainable one, be sure to follow these guidelines:
- Leave no trace: this means whatever food products, or wrappers, water bottles, really any waste that you bring gets taken with you when you leave. In order to avoid the hassle, just pack plastic free!
- Use biodegradable soap and toothpaste, this can be found at MEC or SAIL
- Pack your trash, composting, and recycling and bring it to a disposal site. Most campsites provide you with a garbage bag and a place to drop off your waste
- Pack your own DIY snacks and meals in order to cut down on packaging waste
- Ensure you keep the water clean: watch out for which bug spray, sunscreen, make-up, and other products you use before jumping into the lake for a swim. Some products are made out of agents that are toxic to aquatic life - do your research before picking each product.
4: Have a staycation!
Looking at having a vacation with zero travel time? Then a staycation is right for you! The first step is to make a plan - start by writing down a list of fun things you’ve always wanted to try in your area (but never had time for). When planning a staycation, you need to be wary of staying away from dreary housework, or that nagging email you want to check. Try to push all non-vacation thoughts out of your mind!
Check out this list to plan the perfect staycation:
- Clean your house and do the laundry before your staycation
- Buy some fresh flowers for your room
- Check out a few amazing local restaurants you’ve been dying to try
- Take your time getting out of bed, enjoy your coffee and breakfast in your PJs for once
- Watch a foreign film
- Learn a new recipe
- Tour around your community and check out stores you’ve never been in
Although you may be bummed about staying put this summer, just remember that staying close to home has led to a massive drop in global air pollution. The coronavirus could actually teach us something about how traveling less could save the planet. In fact, long haul flights are known to generate more carbon emissions than an average person does all year! Even short flights like flying from London to Rome carries a carbon footprint of 234kg of CO2 per passenger. In 2019 almost 40 million flights were expected to depart from airports worldwide, that’s more than 100,000 trips per day!
While you’re enjoying your staycation you can also feel good about how staying local is helping the environment!
5: Fall back in love with nature
The best thing you can do in the summer is to embrace nature and fall back in love with the outdoors. Research outdoor spaces that are accessible to you and plan a day to check them out! There are so many nature trails, hiking, running, and biking spots to see! Getting your heart pumping and those endorphins kicking in is another great way to boost your mood and make the most out of your day!
If you’re starting trail running, check out these apps:
- All Trails
- Salmon City Trail
- Roots Rated
For the novice or experienced bikers check out these apps:
- Map My Ride
If you’re looking for cool nature apps check out iNaturalist.
6: Be a tourist in your own hometown
Finally, why not take the time to be a tourist in your own hometown! Now is a great time to show your support for sustainable and ethical businesses in your town. Your support will be essential in ensuring their survival during this hard time. Here are our top tips:
- Take a bike or drive and see where you end up, you might be amazed at how many small shops, garden centers or restaurants you’ll pass by.
- Bring a camera – you never know when an amazing photo op will happen!
- If your city has a visitor center, check it out and borrow a guidebook! Take it with you on your day out and try to check off all the spots they have listed.
- Finally, check out Instagram and see if there are any popular spots in your area that people are tagging - this is a great way to find cool hangout spots!