DH and I have not been able to take a vacation for several years because of financial restraints and doing our share of caring for elderly relatives. I feel that this is having an effect on me. I don't think creatively and I make mistakes. Does anyone have any ideas of how to refresh the brain cells at home? When I think of traveling (which I used to love) I want to cry.
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We are in the same position.
I would look into day trips to refresh your creativity. What sights can you see on one tank of gas? Is there a nearby town you can visit? Just a change of scenery can be energizing.
You can get ideas from a regional newspaper, pamphlets from the Chamber of Commerce, local websites, or guidebooks at your public library.
The day trips is an excellent idea. I've known people that just went to the local Holiday Inn overnight....and that felt like a mini vacation to them. Rent a movie....order pizza (or whatever) and treat yourself. Do some theme based dinners....Mexican, Hawaiian, Chinese.....etc. Another thought, Julia, is to be thankful for the memories of the trips you have taken :) There are so many people in this world that have never taken a trip. You sound like a wonderful person for helping to take care of elderly relatives. God bless you, sweet lady!!!!
My husband and I live in Florida and what we did was first buy an above ground pool because I can't really swim and we had lots of pool parties and barbeques. Now, since he is from the UK, I know a pool is an impossibility for you, but the idea isn't. Take a portion of your yard in the summer, or your home in the winter, and decorate it as a theme of where you would like to be. We have since put in an inground pool with a large patio and the whole thing is screened in. I have themed it all tropical like we are in the islands. My plates have light houses on them (you could use paper plates) my glases are stem (plastic) with a fish on each stem, my buffet table is decorated in theme too. I bought childrens large boats (those cheap plastic things) took the top off the boat so that it is just the bottom boat shape and put my tossed salad and potato salads in them, in childrens pails (sand for the beach pails) I put things like cole slaw etc. and we use the shovels to the pails as serving spoons. We barbeque a lot, but you can make one item (say, the meat item) in your home and invite each guest to bring one thing that will go with the theme of your get-to-gether. If outside, hang lights, or put tiki lights in the ground. You can even make your own lights hanging from trees by using jars with a candle glued to the bottom and wire wrapped around the top and then looped to hang on the tree. It doesn't have to be expensive to do. Just use what you have and some ingenuity. Your guests will be helping you with the cost by each bringing a dish. Make sure there are plenty of munchies, games and seating for just plain talking. You will have fun and you will have your get-away right there at home. We hardly ever have money for vacations either any more, but our home is one constant vacation because of the weather and our friends and the pool in the summer. In the winter that area is still used for entertaining. We have music (Hawaiian, Beach Boys etc), games, talk, play cards, whatever we feel like. You should see a bunch of old farts trying to do the limbo. It's hillarious. You could even ask your friends if they would like to take turns "theming" a party at your house and they may have things to make a different theme each time. The party doesn't have to be wild. Just a small group of friends who enjoy each others company and get your mind off your problems and make you feel like you have "gotten away from it all" for a night. I'm a diabetic, so we don't drink, but I still have a bar area with a small refrigerator hidden by a palm tree and you can see a large bamboo fountain on the side. This is just one part of the area on our deck. People will help make their own fun.
Dear Julia-- I understand that long distance travel may be out of the picture for now. But, what about a "mystery tour"? My parents loved these when we lived in the UK. Especially the ones that ended up in a pub a few towns away! Try to take day trips as time permits, or just allow yourself a couple of hours to walk around the shops, have a cuppa and people watch. Getting out amongst others may help you feel more cheerful. Do you have a pet you can walk to the park? January in the UK can be quite dreary. Make sure to keep your house well-light and warm. Take care, Donna
With four children, we've been where you are more times than not. We are fortunate that we have dear friends who live only a couple of hours away who invite us to stay with them on occasion. We go out, see a movie, window shop, and then spend the night. But the best time we had on the cheap was when I cleaned the house from top to bottom, put clean linens and a new comforter on the bed and had a simple dinner, just the two of us. You would be surprised how re-energizing it can be.
I understand because I have the same problem for different reasons.. I suggest reading because when you read your mind can be anywhere. You can be transported anywhere in the world without actually leaving home..
Carol in PA
I agree with the days trips...once every 4-6 weeks, or overnight. I just loved traveling in the UK. Your country is full of history and great people. If you are like most people who have traveled, you may not have enjoyed the things that are local to you. Become a resident tourist, but think globally. This should boost your spirits and get you out learning more about what's right there at home.
get travel vidoes of places you like to go and watch then at home and just dream you are their
Beauty is in your own backyard. It is how you reflect on it. Set up one of your favorite scenes and have a picnic (winter or summer). Dress for the occasion of course. Invite others to join you and just hang out. Enjoy the beauty God has created. Have fun. Alice
Have a " picture party"- Bring out any pictures or souveniers from your trip or get a book on the places you "want to go". Use the public library if you can - find that great picture book, get a CD with the music of that area /country, buy a small aroma candle that would remind you of that environment, cook an ethnic recipe from that area, dress in the clothes you would wear on vacation there. If you have friends/ relatives that would also like to go on your"memory trip" invite them and ask them to dress for the trip and also bring a cultural recipe. Do a song or dance on your trip- either dance or play a game that is associated with that area - have fun!!! Write or email the visitor center for that area or country and have them send Free literature for places to go, and things to see. Peruse the info and use pictures for decorations
Think of somewhere you would like to go and check out books, videos and cookbooks about the location. Learn about it and plan a meal with foods you could get there. You could do like others have suggested and have a small dinner party, or a larger party and share what you have learned. You could even have it as a "theme party" and have each guest find out a few facts about the destination and bring a dish to share that would be found there. Your elderly relatives may enjoy "traveling" with you this way, also.
Another great suggestion was to find out what is available locally. There are always interesting places to discover right near where we live that we always think, "Oh, I have plenty of time to do that later." Sometimes they only take a few hours to do but are still an enjoyable escape.
Thank you for your help everyone. Things have improved for us now and I have been able to go on vacation again this summer.
I could not join in the talk at work when I never went anywhere. People talk so much about their vacations. Now, I will always be aware that if others don't talk about what they have been doing, it is because they have not had the money to do anything. It is not because they are miserable negative thinkers.
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