Holy moly, summer is awesome. We know this because, no matter what you’re into - food, music, far-flung fitness trips, board games - everything is waaaaayy better in summer. It’s that time of year when your nostrils are forever filled with the scent of coconut suncream and freshly cut grass, barbecues start sizzling in every garden, you have to start carrying deodorant in your backpack (thanks a bunch, uncontrollable sweating) and, best of all, you start feeling oh-so-wanderlusty.
Basically, it’s time to start doing all those things that make the "summer you" as happy as a clam.
But instead of doing all the usual things, like local beach town trips, trying to get on an arcade leaderboard, doing picnics in the park and riding bikes along the river, now is the time to use these extra long summer days and start spicing up your summer fun with things that will make your colleagues wish they were as adventurous as you come Monday morning.
That’s why we’ve been busy coming up with epic ways to swap out your “so-so” summer activities for spiced-up alternatives - the kind that will fill your Insta-stories with fire emojis.
So-so activity: Picnic in the park
Spiced-up alternative: Hike somewhere wow
We love that feeling when someone on our favourite WhatsApp group suggests a spontaneous park picnic, and suggesting there’s anything better than filling one of our new fruity towels with finger food feels kind of wrong. But if you find yourself twiddling your thumbs at your desk on a Wednesday afternoon, why not Google “best hikes near me” and then tell your buddies to pop on their favourite hiking boots because, this Saturday, you’ll be watching the sunset over your city with a glass of rosé and a selection of deli nibbles (and not waving flies away from your roughly made sandwiches).
So-so activity: Rowing across the lake
Spiced-up alternative: Paddleboarding
Sat in an oddly small rowing boat with your BFFs is great fun, but the only thing that even slightly raises your pulse is worrying you might run aground and your frozen cocktails will spill. Apart from that, it’s just sunbathing on a mass of water while you gossip. Cue stand-up paddleboarding. Not only will you add a bit of physical exercise and adventure to your gossiping and sunbathing, you’ll get to see wherever you are - from your home city to your favourite beach - in a whole new way. You could even get really into and take up paddleboard yoga or paddleboard trekking.
So-so activity: Brunch
Spiced-up alternative: Gourmet foraging
Waiting outside a semi-popular eatery for a table on the pavement is cool and all, but why not step into Mother Nature’s pantry and learn how to identify what’s edible before cooking them to tongue-pleasing perfection? There are places popping up all over the place that help you get your Bear Grylls on and start feeding yourself from the land. Trust us: you’ll be the first name on everyone’s camping trip from this day forward (and you’ll have a new skill to pop on your resumé).
So-so activity: Al fresco concert
Spiced-up alternative: Weekend camping at a music festival
When the weather forecast starts showing sun, sun and a lot more sun, outdoor music concerts become more irresistible than adding sprinkles on your ice cream. But why not take this summertime must up a notch by dragging your tent out of the attic, rummage through your parents’ wardrobe for some retro treasures and then hit a multi-day music festival? It doesn’t matter where you live or what music you’re into, it’s 2019: you’re bound to find a smorgasbord of epic festivals just a short road trip away. It’s like going to a concert and not leaving for half a week. (Keep an eye on our blog for a list of festivals you need to do).
So-so activity: An afternoon fishing
Spiced-up alternative: Go on a fishing vacay
If you’re into fishing, you’ve probably worn a you-shaped perch into the shore of your favourite spot. You might have also named that ever-evasive bass something like Big Bertha. But instead of casting off there and nowhere else all summer, it’s time to get your fellow fish-loving friends and take off for a proper fishing vacation. One where you need tents... and a couple of one-pot recipes... and a few of our towels. Fly-fishing on the Colorado River. Catch salmon in Alaska. Go deep sea fishing in Key West -- anywhere you need to set up camp and tie the line to your tow while your sleep.
So-so activity: Checking out an aquarium
Spiced-up alternative: Snorkelling-slash-scuba diving
Aquariums might be steeped in mystery - like how did they manage to build tanks that big... and fill them with sharks... and put walkways beneath them - but the real underwater world is utterly bewitching. And all you need is a body of water, some fins and a pair of goggles. Voila. The ocean is now open for all your diving needs. Praia do Martinhal in Portugal. Ningaloo Reef, Australia. Point Lobos in California, Belize. Prussia Cove in Cornwall. Wherever there’s a coast, there’s colleague-envy swim to enjoy.
So-so activity: Backyard barbecue
Spiced-up alternative: Campfire cook-up
Spending a Saturday afternoon manning the grill (e.g. flipping a couple of burgers and rolling some sausages back and forth) is a pretty good way of shaking up your run-of-the-mill cooking routine. But we reckon you can take this to the next level by taking your culinary skills into the wilderness. Forget gas, it’s time to cook over an open flame and give each of your campfire chums a smokey meal of deliciousness they’ll rave about all summer. Slow-roasting a lamb shoulder, scorching an entire red snapper, and ending the meal with a classic serving of s’mores. One adventure like this and you’ll become known as a campfire hero, and who doesn’t want that title? Seriously?
So-so activity: Glamping
Spiced-up alternative: Campervanning
We totally get why glamping is awesome - it’s brought creature comforts into the world of roughing it. But sometimes unplugging from everything is when you really start living. So instead of booking a wifi-ready cabin in the woods or a shepherd’s hut complete with TiVo, try shunning the home comforts of glamping and hire the sort of back-to-basics campervan that will let you dip a toe into the #vanlife - and then take off for somewhere 4G isn’t. The top of a mountain, a glade in a forest, the dark spot of a national park, the shelf of a cliff, the shore of a lost lake - anywhere that will let you switch off and reconnect with you (and the world), even if just for a weekend.
Thanks for reading. For more travelspiration and far-flung adventure ideas, follow us on Instagram and Facebook and, you know, don’t forget to grab yourself the most awesome towel ever made… and some shorts… and a hair wrap... and probably a poncho too. After all, everyone looks good in stripes.