Graduating from routine vacations - Baltimore Post-ExaminerBaltimore Post-Examiner

Graduating from routine vacations

It’s that time of year again when graduation time surrounds us.  Be it a little one graduating from kindergarten, junior high graduation, high school graduation, or college graduation, this time of year signifies change for almost everyone.  Why not take this time as an opportunity to graduate from your boring, ho-hum vacation plans and try something new? Don’t think that’s you?

  • Have you been taking the same week of vacation off every year?
  • Do the people at your vacation destination know you by name?
  • Does the idea of something new seem completely foreign?

While some people enjoy their vacation time at their lakeside cottage, timeshare on the beach, or a week in a tent in the woods, the world is a far bigger place than your traditional yearly vacation hot spot.  What you’re in is a rut.  You may feel that you’re not, but I’m sorry to break the bad news to you because you are.

Perhaps you’ve heard this before from your significant other.  “Do we have to go there again?” You list off all the reasons why visiting your favorite vacation spot (aka vacation rut) is a good idea including saving money, the familiarity of the area, and the best burgers at the neighborhood BBQ restaurant.  But is that all there is to vacation?  More of the same old, same old just like you have at home?  We work so hard every day of the week and those vacation moments are ones to savor.  If you find yourself slipping into the comfort and familiarity of vacation, but inside you’re longing for more, it’s time for a change.


Sayulita (Courtesy from

Vacation isn’t only about travel, but also about exploration.  When you go out and explore your surroundings and meet people, you not only find out more about the area you’re visiting, but you also discover more about yourself.  When you don’t know an area, but you learn to navigate it within a few days, there’s a sense of accomplishment that you get that is like no other.  When you learn a few words or phrases of a foreign language and get to practice it with the locals, you feel alive when you begin to communicate and feel understood.

Maybe you’ve been afraid to try new places, new food, new everything.  Don’t be afraid anymore!  The more you travel outside of your comfort zone, the more you grow as a person.

Maybe you’re not ready for a safari in Africa or an adventure in the Outback.  But with baby steps, you could get there eventually.  Here are a few ideas to get you on your way:

  1. Instead of partying hard in Cancun, why not try a trip to Riviera Maya or Playa Nayarit – two alternative, but equally captivating locations in Mexico.
  2. Perhaps you love vacationing on Cape Cod.  Why not try a week on the Amalfi Coast of Italy instead.
  3. Love the boardwalk at Myrtle Beach? Did you know that there are boardwalks in Virginia Beach and also Santa Cruz, CA?
  4. Like fishing in the big lake near your cabin? What about ice fishing in Wisconsin or Canada? Deep-sea fishing in Costa Rica or fly-fishing in Alaska?

After trying a few different variations of your tried and true vacation, you might then take a chance on something completely out of the box.  No one’s expecting you to hitchhike across Europe tomorrow.  But you can and should imagine a future with more adventure in it.  Dream big and explore the world around you and never miss a chance to see more than what lies in your own backyard.  It’s time to graduate and begin that new vacation experience of a lifetime.

About the author

Marian Krueger

Marian Krueger is the Founder of the Travel Shop Girl blog, a blog that simply states, “Travel musings by a girl who loves to write and travel the world.” Functioning on high-octane coffee most days, her straightforward and honest approach has resulted in a worldwide following and a desire for global domination. Connect with her on Twitter, Facebook, and Pinterest. Contact the author.

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