I’m really just a gypsy masquerading as an American woman.
I can say that with confidence, because A) I’m half Czech, and the Romani people were highly concentrated in that region of Europe throughout history and B) I have nomadic tendencies I fight constantly, and occasionally I settle for travel.
This year I REALLY felt the travel bug after I suddenly lost my job in May. 2016 was the first time in many years Mr. H and I had solid plans to take an international trip.
I’m sure some of you are thinking: You got laid off and you started crying over travel?
You see, this is where the gypsy part of me can’t be subdued. Fortunately I was able to jump into freelancing right away to help cover bills and food. Crisis averted, but after that crazy change in my life, I wanted nothing more than to hop on a plane and get the hell out of dodge.
I wanted to be in a place I didn’t know, where nobody else knew me. I didn’t want to understand anything—the language, the culture, the street names—I wanted to get lost, wander, and find my way. Because these are the things I love about exploring new places, and that feeling is amplified when life throws me a curveball.
Without anywhere to go, and no money to spare, I renewed my passport. I prepared for the possibility of a great adventure without having one on the calendar.
Now I’m going to be cliché and bring up a line from the movie, Eat Pray Love. Some of you are rolling your eyes right now and others are smiling foolishly, but hear me out. It goes a little something like this…
“There’s a wonderful old Italian joke about a poor man who goes to church every day and prays before the statue of a great saint, begging, ‘Dear saint-please, please, please…give me the grace to win the lottery.’ This lament goes on for months. Finally the exasperated staTue comes to life, looks down at the begging man and says in weary disgust, ‘My son-please, please, please…buy a ticket.'”
So, I did. I bought two tickets actually. To Rome. (Permission to roll your eyes again, since that’s the first stop in Eat Pray Love.)
I’m seriously not going because of the movie. I chose a place that would heal me, that would remind me to slow down and enjoy. I chose a place that was undeniably beautiful with great food, so I could indulge my ass off.
Truthfully, I couldn’t afford the tickets and I threw them onto a credit card. But I knew if I planned the trip late enough in the summer, we could swing it with lots of freelancing. And a month ago, one of my clients ended up hiring me full-time (she breathes a sigh of relief) so it all worked out.
Because this was a big trip for us, that meant we were on lockdown with summer travel. That also meant we had to get creative with getaways on the cheap (or free) to appease my gypsy ways.
So, for those of you looking for ways to feel like you’re traveling without going anywhere, here’s a little inspiration for you.
Grab your sweetie, go for a hike, and take a sunshine shower.
Brave the cold water closest to you on a weeknight to beat the crowds and the heat.
Nerd out at a museum with a big ass plane in a small town, and do an overnight.
Trade in the patio beer for a ridiculously satisfying strawberry milkshake.
Get your fitness on and be sassier in your bathing suit.
Bonus points for doing your core workout with a cat weight.
(Hence, the hairy yoga pants in the previous image.)
Become a library regular and go to bed with a stack of books.
Choose a healthier happy hour option by hiking with one of your favorite people.
Befriend somebody with a houseboat, so you can crash their 4th of July party.
Take a walk after dinner and see as many sunsets as you can.
Save A/C energy with a collard fan, and support your farm community with a CSA.
No matter how hot it is, hug someone every chance you get.
The summer adventure montage is the perfect segue into my next bit of news that I will be taking a blogging break for the rest of the summer. (Come on, you knew it was coming!)
Don’t worry, I’ll be back with some Italy posts to make you all jealous. : )
Until then, I’ll be working on my fourth draft, a big freelance project, and enjoying some sunshine. I’ll be around a bit on social, but otherwise I will be totally vacationing away from the blogosphere.
If you’re not already, follow me on Instagram. Though I’m not a believer in the vacation play-by-play on social media, I imagine a few Italy pix will magically end up on my Instagram account.
Hope you lovely people all enjoy the rest of your summers away from screens! And tell me what free/cheap summer adventures you’ve been having.