Scenes to be Seen

I truly believe that a vacation, even if it's a mini “”staycation”” and you don't travel very far, is important for one's health (and for me, my sanity). I can only be a homebody, workaholic for so long until my inner Columbus desires to get away and explore some unseen territory. Even living in New York City where it's said one may be able to live for many years and still not have visited all of its hidden hot spots, one can fall into a comfortable rhythm–walking the same way to and from work, going to the same three places for lunch break, eating at the same Thai restaurant in my neighborhood because I swear there's no place better. What can I say, I tend to be a creature of habit.

At the same time, what breaks up the monotony and makes me happiest is when I leave my bubble of comfort and check out a new place (museum, hiking trail, bar, restaurant, boutique, etc.) where I unexpectedly have a great time or when I go on a vacation with friends or family. I recently read a post by a fellow blogger in her 20s, Grace Boyle, that made me realize that I neither need to stay in Manhattan nor travel hundreds of miles to the Caribbean in order to find something fun, exciting or relaxing to do. As traveling can be a bit difficult when one has a full-time job and limited vacation days, Boyle had me pondering three other options to mix things up a bit: taking a weekend trip, picking 10 places in my residing state to plan to visit, and hosting visitors.

I found a site that lists many fun things you can do/see in NYC that may be helpful if I ever have any problems brainstorming things for my visitors and I to do. The neat thing is that regardless where you're living and how much you've done in or

near that town or city, there is always more to be seen. That's what makes hosting a visitor fun for everyone–you both can experience new things together.

So while full-out, week-long vacations where I pack a bursting suitcase and jet set off to another country are still my favorite kind of vacations, I would definitely like to start making more regular plans to do some local exploring as well. What I think is important to remind ourselves is that life is crazy. We often say that our schedules are hectic and that we're too busy to do this or that, but when does life ever truly slow down?–when we're in our seventies and are complacent with a house and grown children when we actually will be too tired to do extensive traveling/exploring? I admit that I'm often guilty of using the excuse that I'm too busy or tired to meet up with friends. From here on out I'd like to vow that whenever an opportunity arises that sounds interesting, I'm not going to turn it down with the thought that I'll do it next time around. While health and rest and yadda yadda is important for one's well-being, I'm going to take a leap and assert that doing things out of routine from time to time may actually make us feel more alive.