Vacation. Sometimes the word conjures up images of dipping red-polished toes in crashing waves, lounging next to tote bags full of steamy novels (and sand), and coconut-scented breezes.
Sometimes “vacation” makes me think passports and language translation apps and days planned from a.m. to p.m. with sightseeing and shopping and eating.
But sometimes “vacation” can be a dirty word. Sometimes your vacation destinations are out of your hands. How can that be, you ask? Well, maybe you’re 15 and your parents are in charge of your vacation destiny (which could mean anything from a trip to Grandma’s house to a tour of historic Civil War battlefields to a quick day trip to an amusement park).
Or, like me, you could have an event that determines where you’ll be spending some of your precious summer vacation days. I had an out-of-town wedding to attend this summer, so while someone else may have decided the destination of my vacation, I was determined to plan some of my own fun.
Luckily, the wedding was in a beautiful seaside location, so that made my job a little bit easier. (Though I’m sure there’s still fun to be found if you find yourself somewhere less appealing. It just means you may have to get a little more creative.) The most important thing is your attitude. Even if you’re not psyched to be where you are, try to make the best of it. There’s a quote I’ve seen all over Pinterest that says “There is always, always something to be thankful for.” I love that. So when you’re sulking by the pool of the Holiday Inn, wishing you were at the beach (or in NYC or Europe or wherever), try to find something good to focus on. Maybe it’s just that cute boy a few pool chairs over, or maybe it’s a new restaurant for dinner. Just find something.
Next, if you can, try to do some research before you go. You might be surprised at the cool stuff that’s nearby. And your research could help you convince your parents to stop by that cool bookstore you found, or take a slight detour to see the world’s largest ball of string. During my wedding vacation weekend, I made sure to look at the schedule of planned events and then plan around that. I knew how much time I had to walk to a local beach, or to check out the downtown shops. Being prepared will help you maximize your possibilities for fun.
And, if all else fails, get creative. Bring a notebook to record how epically terrible everything is. The weather, the company, the boring stuff you got dragged to, the 500th souvenir shop your little sister insisted on going in…at least you can get a good story from it. If writing’s not your thing (I’ll pretend I didn’t say that), bring a camera (or use your phone) to practice taking interesting/hilarious/random snapshots.
How would you deal with a vacation destination you didn’t choose?
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