I’m getting to the age now where I can afford to travel on my own, or with my friends. For a long time, I have wanted to travel to every single country – exploring cultures, foods, and different ways of living. In recent years, however, it has come to my attention that all of this would be extremely harmful for the Earth. It is, of course, wonderful to go on holiday every once in a while, but we NEED to be mindful about how frequently we travel, how far we travel, aware of the environmental consequences, and focus on what we can do to become more sustainable tourists – you can see Sustainability in Summer for more information on sustainable travel. But, what about not travelling at all? This year especially, I have been invested in the idea of holidaying at home. My family and I usually go somewhere during the summer, like most people, but the change in circumstances this year has given us the chance to reflect on our habits and question whether we really need to go away for the summer.
Now, holidaying at home can sound like the most boring of suggestions for some people. And I agree, it would be nice to have a change of scenery for a couple of weeks because what exactly does one do when they ‘holiday at home’? The same as every weekend? I struggled with the idea of being stuck at home over the summer too, but after some brainstorming, I was able to come up with some ideas for everyone to enjoy.
Here is my list of Holiday at Home activities:
Plant a garden
Garden’s don’t have to be at all large for you to start planting. Starting a garden could mean planting flowers, or succulents, or herbs and vegetables. Whatever space you have, spending time caring for your plants can be a great way to spend the summer.
I must say that I am not the most experienced gardener in the world and have learnt most of what I know from my parents and grandparents. What I can say, however, is that if you’re new to gardening then it’s best to start small. If garden centers are open in your area, then I recommend hopping on down and seeing what’s there. If you’re interested in growing your own food, it’s good to start with something simple like herbs e.g. basil, chives, parsley, mint, rosemary, and thyme. Most herbs grow to fit their space, so you don’t have to plant them into bigger pots of you don’t want to. The same goes for succulents and cacti – these are a great way to start a little feature in your home and most of them aren’t too picky about how often you look after them (but it’s best to check how much care they need before purchase!). Both herbs and cacti can fit on the windowsill, helping you to add a little garden to the interior of your home. If you do however, have an outside garden, then what’s stopping you from starting your own allotment? One of the easiest things to grow are salad vegetables such as lettuce and radishes. If you’re not much of a salad person, and you have enough space, then potatoes are also really easy to look after (although they are best planted in the later months of spring rather than August).
Once again, I am no expert when it comes to gardening, and if you wish to learn more about how to start your own garden, then I recommend researching official gardening websites – the purpose of these ideas is to spark some inspiration, rather than provide specific guidance.
Cinemas might be opening soon, but as with most announcements recently, everything is still uncertain. Since it’s summer, I find it’s nice to make the most of the good weather and spend more time outside anyway. So, get comfy on the lawn and spread out some blankets and cushions. Hang an old bedsheet from the fence, or the side of the house (or even a tree),borrow your dad’s old projector, and put on your favourite movie. There are a lot of different small and portable projectors available online nowadays that are affordable and very easy to use alongside devices such as your phone.
However, if this isn’t an option for you, then setting up a little den inside with some blankets and cushions and watching your favourite movie the traditional way is also great fun. Treat yourself to a bit of popcorn or an ice cream and settle down for some good old-fashioned movie nights. Adults can have blanket forts too.
Something that we used to do a lot as a family was go camping for the summer holidays. Again, we are uncertain whether campsites are going to be open this summer. But that can’t stop us completely. If you have a tent, why not pitch it up in your back yard? Get all the old camping stuff out of the cupboard and put it to good use. There’s something really special to me about waking up with the sun, getting out of the tent and making a tin mug of hot coffee. Another great alternative to camping outside is to set up a den inside and sleep somewhere other than your bed? It would be like having a sleepover, but with your family or your pet or favourite stuffed animal toy. It can be a great way to simply mix up the scenery a little bit and help you to feel like you’re staying somewhere a little bit different from the comfort of your own home.
Outdoor cooking and BBQ
We aren’t usually the type of family that throws big BBQ parties during the summer, but we do love cooking and eating outside. Enjoying the warm air of the summer evening and the lasting light. A sneaky way of feeling like you’re on holiday is to:
- Think of a country that you’d like to visit.
- Research recipes that are popular in that particular country.
- Get cooking!
For example, if you were planning on travelling to Italy this summer, but are now unable to, why not try your hand at handmaking some pasta? I find this is a great way to pass the time if you’re bored and to have a little fun trying something new in the kitchen whilst you’re at it. Experimenting with new food and different cuisines is a really great way of spending your summer.
Get outdoors and explore
Whether you live in the city, or the countryside, it can be great to get some air and stretch your legs. Taking a walk around your own town, pretending to be a tourist, really helps you to discover things that you might not previously have noticed. I grew up in the most average town in Britain (really, I’m not kidding, it was classified as ‘the most normal town’ in the country in 2018) but, a few minutes’ walk out of town takes you to wheat fields and winding country lanes that I might not have explored before. Just getting some time outside can be a really good way of clearing the head, sparking some inspiration, and just getting a little bit of exercise. Try paying really close attention to what’s around you and see what you find.
If you’re able to, then day hiking is also a great way to spend the summer. In my area, social-distance walks are now allowed amongst friends, and so it’s a great way for me to catch up with some of my favourite people as well as getting some exercise. Hiking is one of my favourite things. My family always tries to get a few in on every holiday that we go on, and it can be real fun to venture along pathways that not many people walk (I like pretending I’m an expeditioner or on an adventure to add a little more excitement to the walk sometimes).
Resort to books
If none of the previous activities are your cup of tea, then simply resorting to the world of books is a really fun way of spending the summer. You can pitch up under a tree in the park with your favourite novel or get comfy on your sofa reading something completely new. I’m an avid book worm myself, and I love starting off my day with a book. Escaping to a different universe for a few hours is sometimes the greatest relief of the day. My favourite book currently is The Binding by Bridget Collins which I will be reading repeatedly throughout the summer.
The holiday time can be spent at home, and that doesn’t mean that it has to be boring. I hope you found these ideas inspirational and helpful! Let us know what you’re getting up to for you holiday at home by tagging us on Instagram @rhythmandgreen
We look forward to hearing from you and all about how your spending your summer!