It’s graduation season which means for those of you who are graduating, this is your last summer before the definition of that word changes forever. Sure, some will tell you that part of your youth is dying and that soon enough you’ll be just another cog in the nationwide workforce of mindless drones; but I’d rather not focus on that. Instead, I want to help you have the best (last) summer possible.
(Don’t worry if you’re not graduating, this is applicable to anyone…including you mindless drones out there.)
WHAT TO DO
I’ve never been the type of person to tell someone what they should or shouldn’t do; to me, enjoyment is all relative. However, if there is one thing I will tell you it’s this: no matter what you do, do it for you. Don’t do something because you think it’ll make you look cooler, or it’ll give you a certain amount of social currency. Do something because it’s what you want to do. Don’t sit around on the couch for six weeks forging a “groove” and bingeing Netflix. You’ll look back and regret it.
We don’t get that many chances to spend our time however we want for prolonged periods of time. Grab this opportunity and don’t let go.
DON’T BE LAZY
As a species, we struggle with short-sightedness. More often than not, we make decisions based on what is going to be better for us now, while completely ignoring what may be better for us later. It’s the reason a lot of us don’t go to the gym consistently: it’s so much easier to not go to the gym than it is to go to the gym. Don’t fall into this trap.
If you have decided to channel your inner globe-trotter for a few weeks, don’t let distance stand between you and a once-in-a-lifetime experience. I mean, you’ve already travelled to another country, maybe even another continent, and you’re going to let a few hours on a bus stop you from seeing one of the seven natural wonders of the world? Give me a break. Suck it up, buy the ticket, and grab a seat. I promise you won’t regret it.
TAKE ADVANTAGE OF WHERE YOU ARE
I don’t know where you’re going but no matter the destination, take the time to experience it. Sure, it’s awesome to take a long trip through Europe and to see all the sights, but it’s super-duper awesome to take a month long trip through Europe and live amongst the locals and learn about the native culture. You’re in a different country, for crying out loud, go out to some local bars and chat with the non-tourists. Learn about what it’s like to live there, about what recreation looks like in that country, about what their experience is. Go to Europe and experience the lives of Europeans the same age as you. See things from a different perspective. It can be as easy as taking the bus.
There is no better way to learn about an area, and meet people, than through food. Not only is it delicious, but if you do it the right way - you know, with the locals - you are guaranteed to learn about the culture with a level of intimacy not available through other means.
This goes for both international travel and sticking around your home town. You don’t have to travel far to have mind-blowing experiences, you just have to open yourself up the idea that mind-blowing experiences can pop up anywhere, even in your back yard.
Don’t get trapped in trying to make your last summer look perfect. Focus on making it perfect. This may be your last best chance, don’t let it slip.
Until next time – happy travels