April 24, 2019 by Jeff Frisk, Product Training Coordinator
Spring has finally arrived in the Midwest, and as winter (hopefully) breathes its last gasps, many of us are looking forward to warmer weather and summer activities. For some, this also brings one of the most challenging and important decisions of the year; where to spend summer vacation. Ah yes, summer vacation! That time of year where, for a week or two, you can leave reality behind, forget the stress of the daily grind, relax and recharge your batteries, and make your friends and coworkers jealous with an abundance of social media posts.
Somewhere in the midst of the daydreams of sandy beaches, quiet sunsets, and hours of relaxation, other thoughts come creeping in. The late-night debates on where to go, the searching for accommodations, the planning and packing, and most important, how many hours will we be on the road? It is doubtful there is anyone who has taken a family vacation who has not uttered the words, “Are we there yet?” or, “Don’t make me stop this car!” Research has shown, the traditional summer vacation can come with nearly as much stress as relaxation. What to do? The answer may literally be right around the corner. All it takes is a little spontaneity and an openness to adventure.
Across the country, thousands of small towns and villages dot the map between major cities and popular tourist destinations. There’s a good chance several dozen of these destinations are within a hundred miles of your front door. There’s an even better chance that each one of these small towns has something that makes it special. The adventure is in finding it. You might start with a walk down Main Street. Or it could be a conversation with the patrons in the local diner. Perhaps the proprietor of one of the local shops could help guide your search. There’s no telling what you’ll discover; history, local shops, a concert in the park, scenic landscapes, or “the best gosh darn apple pie this side of the Mississippi.”
And here’s the bonus; these mini-vacations can be taken in a day or a weekend. The opportunity for adventure lasts well beyond the traditional one or two weeks a year. Go ahead, escape reality, leave your stress behind, meet new people, make new friends, share pictures of all your adventures, and the next time you hear “Are we there yet?” you can happily respond, “Yes, yes we are!”