Do You Ever Feel the Urge to Just Pack Up and Go?
10 New Things to Try this Summer when You Want to Pack up and Go
We all feel it sometimes; the urge to pack up and go somewhere new. Whether it be for a weekend trip, an extended vacation or the move of a lifetime, studies show that shaking things up and having new experiences is good for you! There are many benefits to trying new things, including learning to face your fears, getting to know yourself better, meeting interesting people and expanding your creativity.
In college, I stuffed a backpack with the basics I needed for three months and embarked on a life-changing journey through Peru with my Archaeology and Eco-Tourism classmates. Before this eye opening study abroad trip, I was stuck pretty deep in my comfort zone. The thought of leaving the country for three months with only what I could carry on my back was stressful to say the least. I wasn’t (and am still not) the type to pack light and while I wouldn’t say I’m high maintenance, I’m definitely not low maintenance either. I agonized over what clothes to take and how to maintain my beauty routine with half the products I was accustomed to using. That being said, I was facing some fears going into this trip but the desire to pack up and go experience another country for the first time overshadowed any reluctance I was experiencing.
Fast forward three months to when I returned home with twenty new best friends and priceless stories about how we slept under the brightest stars I’ve ever seen in the Amazon Rainforest, visited with native tribes, studied at Machu Picchu, flew over the Nazca Lines and whitewater rafted the Urubamba River.. and thinking about how stressed I was about what to put in my back pack three months ago seemed so silly! Not only did this epic trip help me get to know myself better, it changed how I viewed the world forever. Now instead of being comfortable living in my own corner of it, the world is huge and accessible and waiting to be explored.
I later went on to travel the US extensively as an archaeologist and took a high energy three week trip through the United Kingdom with that same backpack I took to Peru (but was much easier to pack this time). Now, I am co-owner of a Surprise Travel company that aims to give others once-in-a-lifetime custom experiences of their own! The decision to pack my bag and get out of my comfort zone so many years ago started a chain reaction that led me to where I am today.
This summer, I challenge you to get out of your comfort zone and try something or go somewhere new. You don’t have to travel far or spend a ton of money to fulfill that urge to pack up and go! Here are a few ideas to get you started:
1. Go to the new local restaurant you’ve been meaning to check out
2. Be a tourist in your own city – check out that local museum you’ve never actually visited
3. Get lost, literally – see if you can intentionally get lost and find your way back, being sure to explore new places along the way
4. Draw a radius around your city on a map, throw a dart and go where it lands for a spontaneous weekend getaway
5. Go camping or backpacking somewhere inspiring – think Ohiopyle or Yellowstone National Park
6. Try zip-lining, paragliding, skydiving or bungee jumping – talk about getting out of your comfort zone!
7. Participate in a 5K Mud Run – bonus if you make a weekend of it and pick a race somewhere cool
8. Learn to cook a new dish and have a picnic somewhere you’ve never been with your family and friends
9. Write your Summer Bucket List and start checking it off
10. Be extra spontaneous and let Don’t Forget The List plan you a customized Surprise Trip of a lifetime (highly recommended)
Whatever your summer brings, I hope you have the chance to get out and experience something new! What’s on your Summer Bucket List?