There’s nothing more frustrating than travel plans falling through. Researching, planning and getting really excited, only to find out a few days before departure, that your trip is just not going to happen. Ugh – I know! But instead of letting the disappointment get the best of you, you should make the best of the situation – by seeing the days, that you were supposed to spend traveling, as extra time. Time that appeared out of nowhere to finally do all those little someday-things, that simply cannot be done during busy work weeks. Here are 10 suggestions on what to do, to get that exciting happy holiday feeling, even though your trip got cancelled last minute.
- Invite a friend from abroad. Explore your surroundings by showing them to someone, who hasn’t been there before. You’ll experience the place in a completely different way, than when you’re just taking the same route to and from work every day. That way, even though your own trip didn’t happen, you become part of someone else’s travels and I ensure you, you’ll have just as many great memories and inside jokes from your homestay, as you would’ve had from going abroad.
- Be active and outdoorsy. Especially in the summertime, there are plenty of fun activities to try out and get into without having to travel far. For instance, if you live close to the sea or a lake, you could try stand up paddling, kayaking or renting a paddleboat. No waters in your area? No problem! Try slacklining and horseback riding or pack up your lunch and have a picnic in the park. With a little creativity, the options are endless.
- Try out new cafés and restaurants. Go to that new place around the corner with the huge breakfast buffet, have long lunches with your best friend and dinners that turn into midnight talks. Everyone’s on holiday or back at work already? Bring a book or a laptop with you and go anyway.
- Have cooking nights. Invite some friends over to try out challenging new recipes, followed by a (hopefully) nice dinner and some old fashion board games. The best thing about this: it can be done whether it’s beautiful summer weather or rainy and cold. If you’re lucky enough to enjoy a warm summer night though, try making bread on a stick over a bonfire in the garden. This snobrød is a lovely danish* summer tradition – don’t forget the acoustic guitar.
- Meet up with old friends. Sometimes we forget how important it is to nurture a friendship. Use your extra time to catch up with old friends and spend some quality time with the people you care about.
- Learn something new. We all have it, this one thing that we wish we could do, but can’t. We keep making excuses and never really get around to learn it. Well, now is the time to finally pick up the instrument and open the dictionary! Thanks to the internet, you can learn how to do amazing card tricks, play the ukulele or speak Spanish without even leaving the house or spending any money (provided that you have a ukulele or know someone that does).
- Go on day trips. Sometimes we don’t have to travel far to get to beautiful places. Try researching whether there are some nice parks and beaches or museums and exhibitions close by, that you can reach by train, car or bike. Alternatively you could just start walking and get hopelessly lost in your own city – you never know what interesting stories and places that might lead to. Just remember to wear comfortable shoes!
- Have a movie-marathon. Popcorn, candy, chocolate, chips and cookies! Oh, and wine. Do I have to say more? If you don’t feel like watching a movie at home, go to the cinema. There might even be an open-air or drive-in cinema close to you.
- Be productive. Work out and get stuff done! Go to the gym, jog, swim or exercise at home and then get ahead with your work load. Finish that draft that has been sitting on your desktop for ages and do the annoying paperwork that you just can’t be bothered to work through when you get home after a long day at the office. This way you’ll feel much more relaxed when you go back to work and you might even find time to continue doing some of the fun things you tried out during your homestay. And finally…
- Waste time. Stay out late, sleep in and waste time watching way too many episodes of your favourite show or flipping through magazines while eating ice cream. Because that is just one great feature of staying home.
* My research did not shed light on where stick bread actually comes from. But since I know it from my childhood in Denmark, I mention it as a danish tradition in this post.