What is that well-known saying? Nothing is certain except change. The local economy is undergoing all kinds of change, and new ideas of living are springing up around us. The changing situations are making spending choices much more conscious than in the past, when families could count on a predictable level of income from the usual sources. That’s all interesting, and now it has spawned a new word: “staycation” which means to have a break from the routine without spending money to go away from home. At least that’s what I think it means; it’s not in my dictionary!
Who doesn’t look forward to a vacation? The promise of a break from the daily routine, and lack of the usual daily responsibilities is the essence of a vacation. Ideally, the return to ordinary life will be with more energy. Anticipating the possibility of new experiences, landscapes, food, and languages makes planning a holiday very exciting.
So, if we choose a “staycation”, are we missing out? No, in fact, I believe that there are more lasting benefits available to those who are able to approach their staycation with an open mind. You don’t need to change your surroundings to change your thinking, and that’s exactly what I am proposing. Try putting those daily chores on hold, and with a friend, family member, or companion ,visit our great Tourist Bureau. Get some information about any outdoor activities you might enjoy, making sure that you investigate something you have never before considered. Look at the vast number of possible activities you can choose from, and make a plan to participate. And while you’re there, drop into the Art Gallery. If this is your first time, you will be amazed at the quality of the exhibits and professional approach.
Have you ever said, “I never have time to………”? Now, you have the time. I invite you to leave your comfort zone. What things in our community have you never thought of doing, or perhaps had a resistance to doing? Now is the time to go for a hike in Strathcona Park, visit the mountain bike trails at Mt. Washington, try kayaking for a day, or even longer, explore Quadra or Cortes Islands. Maybe you’ve been meaning to go to a new restaurant, check out our wonderful museum or take a wildlife boat tour. Doing all these things is possible, and you’ll be in your own bed at night. If you pick only a few of these experiences, I believe that you will come away with a greater idea of your own community.
When we focus on our daily routines, our surroundings become background. It is possible to drive on the coastal route, and not see the beauty, when we are thinking of the next task, or the last one. I invite you to use a staycation to renew your sense of appreciation and gratitude for the natural environment, and the vast possibilities to participate in the local culture. Your thought patterns will change, your perceptions will be altered; you now will look at the familiar with a different eye. You will never look at your local surroundings in the same way, and your thinking will have been changed to accommodate a greater appreciation. And that’s the real benefit from a staycation.