Summertime is the absolute sweetest (and sweatiest) if you reside anywhere in the Southern USA. There is something particularly intoxicating about summer and the idea of summer vacations. The excitement reminds me of that freedom I felt running through the halls as a child on the last day of school. The entire summer break ahead of you, eyes full of wonder.
Unfortunately, for most of us with usual 9-5 jobs, adulting hits hard and we don’t necessarily get that incredible, 3 months of ‘play.’ But, we do technically have 93 days of enhanced vitamin D, increased sunburn, and a heightened awareness for embracing the good things in life. Summer is a new beginning full of opportunity for romance, adventure, exploring bodies of water, and of course a cocktail (or five) on a patio somewhere.

As fast as summer flies, there are a few feelings you shouldn’t let pass you by before it ends: 

1. Waking up in a brand new place, a bit confused by your surroundings 

With the summer sun brings longer days, more sunlight to explore, and of course sizzling temperatures. Everything is a little bit more laid back, and (even for us Americans), it is the perfect time to squeeze in a few weekend getaways or longer trips. Get in the car, or pack a bag and just go somewhere completely new and untouched by your little travel toes. Try a site like SRPRS.ME which actually plans everything for you and then surprises you with a destination, or Pack Up & Go which plans 3-day weekend trips! Try playing around with Google Flights destinations ‘Maps’ which allows you to literally explore prices to any destination in the world, all you have to do is move the toggle on the world map and see what comes up.
 

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2. The sun on your face on a simple Sunday with nothing to do

There’s something about Sundays that makes everything seem a bit softer, like a subtle sweetness layered on top of everything. The world simply seems brighter on a Sunday. Particularly one with no agenda and no obligations – just a cozy bed, an adventure ahead, and the chance to simply ‘be’ on a Sunday.

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3. A morning that tastes like regret 

Regret in the sense of reaching beyond your limits. Regret that tastes like hot coffee and too many cigarettes. Regret that maybe means you slept with someone you shouldn’t have or ventured on a first date and loved every awkward second of it. Regret doesn’t have to be paired with the negative connotation of missing out, but rather with moving so far outside of your comfort zone that you might have done something silly, stupid, or something that hurt like hell. Regret in the purest sense of really living free. Some of the best nights of my life turned into mornings with a wee bit of regret, but I wouldn’t change them for the world.

4. The jolting adrenaline of jumping off a cliff

Summer is prime season for finding cliffs, rocks, really anything to jump off into a nice cool body of water. Cliff jumping can be so scary, and gazing at the water below always looks a lot higher from the top. The feeling right before the jump is something I, personally, crave. You deserve it too, you deserve to have a racing heartbeat pounding out of your chest. You deserve to scare yourself a bit and take the plunge. It makes you realize that everything is scary at first. Scary and exhilarating and when you come up for the first breath you feel alive again. If you want a real dose of adrenaline, try exploring some of the best cliff diving spots in the world including Mostrar, Bosnia; Brontallo Switzerland; Corfu, Greece; and Dubrovnik, Croatia.

5. For someone to tell you that you are valuable and worth it  

You deserve to be told that you’re killing it. Maybe not today, and definitely not always, but you deserve someone to tell you that you are doing great because it is within our human nature to second guess ourselves all of the time. That someone can be the person looking back at you in the mirror, a father, mother, spouse, a best damn friend in the world, or maybe the woman checking you out at Starbucks. Someone will tell you that you are worth it, and you should tell someone they are worth it too. The days are often constant roller coaster rides of ‘woulda, coulda, shoulda,’ but just know that wherever you are, whatever state of mind–you put yourself there–and you can always throw yourself somewhere new.
 

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6. An ice cream cone dripping down your hands 

That sticky, gross, sugary, awesomeness that makes everything better. Ice cream is synonymous with smiling; I don’t think I have ever seen someone eating an ice cream cone and frowning, seriously. Eat the damn cone–get rainbow sprinkles, get chocolate dipped, go all out. Who cares if it is the season of bikinis, it is also the season to please your palate and try all the things.

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7. The wild feeling of possibility 

With summer comes a re-birth, a fresh start to reinvigorate yourself. If you’ve been super stressed at work, or aren’t satisfied with anything – where you live, what you’re doing for your health, the time you are getting up in the morning, ANYTHING that is in need of a jolting change – do it now. Summer is the perfect time to strip down to your skin (literally or metaphorically). I recently read, ‘The Subtle Art of not giving a Fuck‘ by Mark Manson, and he compares self-awareness to an onion, stating,”there are multiple layers to it, and the more you peel them back, the more likely you’re going to start crying at inappropriate times.” Isn’t that the truth though? Self-awareness can sting, it’s often startling to self-evaluate and acknowledge our own faults or shortcomings. But peeling back the layers is just one way to move towards a bit more truth, and in essence, a bit more possibility.

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Whatever you choose to feel this summer, let it all in, let it all out, and take a step back to thoroughly enjoy it. The magic of summer is fleeting, just like travel, time, and all the mundane spaces in between.

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