The summer vacation is coming towards its end. The first federal states in Germany will already be writing their first class papers of the new school year and the perfect summer seems to be a long, long way away. Other states still have another two, three or four weeks of vacation left, and for them, it means: On your marks! Get set! Time for adventure!
Sometimes, our heads are so full of seeking out grand adventures, coming up with fantastically challenging escapades or finding the craziest madcap ideas, we quickly lose sight of the little things, the silence and the special things in life. It doesn’t matter whether you’re a family looking for the best possible summer experience or a childless couple on the lookout for that perfect getaway once you’ve finally cleared your schedule. So busy do we get in planning the best summer of all time that the many small, little everyday adventures just get ignored.
Hello again Groundhog Day
The longing to break out from the humdrum drabness of everyday life naturally spurs us on. Constantly being subjected to the same stresses and strains every day is tiring and frustrating. The thought of how differently we’ll do things on holiday, however, is truly uplifting.
And sometimes it all just comes crashing down because body and mind aren’t ready, the soul capitulates. We have to go on vacation NOW, IMMEDIATELY. Relaxation at the push of a button. Come what may. There has to be tons of excitement and special exploits, so we have fodder to tell our colleagues in the office later.
Big and special things – that’s the point. For the children, sometimes, too... Being bored is really hard for them to put up with and for someone to point out that this fosters creativity and learning is not always a refreshing thought for parents during the summer vacation. That’s why creating a small bucket list beforehand is always a great help, as this makes the summer colorful, wild and yes, carefree for everyone. We came up with a few wild ideas for little ones at the beginning of this summer, you can find them here.
The small, quiet adventure
But sometimes what happens is a stressful compulsion to head off in search of the perfect big summer adventure. The gentle tapping of the small moment is overheard and the yearned-for rest stays away.
Ultimately, it’s all about pausing for reflection. Experience quietude on vacation. On evenings when the children are sleeping soundly, tucked inside the tent with dirty feet, silently clamber outside again and stand beneath the broad expanse of sky. Maybe the night is starry, maybe not. Now is your chance to listen. First, to the gentle breathing of the children, then to the screeching owl at the beginning of the night and the rustling of wild animals hidden beneath the cover of darkness. Observe and sense the beating of your heart. Wholly be yourself. Be free.
It’s all about this sense of freedom and with it, you banish the obligation to be immediately recovered. Because sometimes, it is simply loud, especially in families. Sometimes, squabbles can’t be so easily resolved, certainly not on vacation. Some things must be accepted as imperfectly as they appear.
Ways to slow down on vacation
Simple ideas and rituals help you find your way (back) to yourself again and free you from the pressure of shoehorning a vacation to fit a certain ideal.
Take the first or last ten minutes of the day as a special gift and look deep within yourself. How do my toes feel? How does the skin stretch across the face and wrists? ... By the way, this works in your day-to-day life as well as on vacation.
Writing, drawing and pasting things into a diary can be useful activities to help you deal with the experiences you have encountered. Finding ways back to yourself can be as simple as recording your forays through the woods, or even touching the tail feather of a large bird hanging from a branch, treasuring it as a souvenir to take back home.
Sometimes, it’s enough to write down a single thought a day for a certain length of time. Holding on to and returning to these moments after your vacation can help you to become mindful of what drives your heart.
What kind of a bucket list could you actually create for the first four weeks in the daily chaos of family life or a busy office day?
On your marks! Get set! Listen up...
Often, a soft voice whispers deep inside the heart exactly what it needs to calm it, to appreciate things and to receive the gift of a moment. Suddenly, the adventure appears and amazement fills the place where previously so much longing existed.
What is your wild heart whispering to you?
Run wild! Anna, Ran and the Wildlings