Summer. Most people love the season, – warm weather, pools, Fourth of July, vacations, etc. – but really, summer is a totally different concept for people who haven’t entered into the “real world” or the “work force” yet. Students who get a summer break really do get just that – a break. Sure, many of these students take up summer jobs, but rarely are they full time gigs. Being in college, I’m beginning to realize how much I took my summer breaks for granted. Thinking about it, I may only have 3 REAL summer breaks left in my lifetime. Maybe even less. Yes, I do work a part time job, but compared to my schedule when I’m taking 17 credit hours, a few shifts here and there feel like nothing. Alright, so what? Since this may be one of my last real summers, I’m not willing to just sit around all day and do nothing. While this can be incredibly tempting due to the fact that during the school year I seem to be going nonstop, I need to use this valuable time to do things I might not get as much of an opportunity to do in the future. What’s on the top of my list? Traveling.
However, this is where it can get really tricky. Being that I am in college only working a part time job, I’m pretty broke. Ok, really broke, especially when talking about being able to afford to travel. My solution?
1. Take small trips to small towns
Small towns are SO underrated. They have great diners and cafes, cute little stores (some antique if you’re lucky), loads of history, and the nicest people you’ll ever meet. Not to mention beautiful old and charming buildings. The best part? It doesn’t take a whole lot of money to make a visit. The key is to do your research and find the right towns. If you’re from NKY like me, you’ll be surprised at how many quaint, old towns there are that are great to visit less than an hour away. It makes it super easy to just make it a day trip. What are some of my favorites?
Can’t say enough good things about this town. It was the town that made me first fall in love with small towns! Downtown Madison, IN is a beautiful, old town located right on the water with so many delicious places to eat and visit. While I was there, I took a tour through the Lanier Mansion State Historic Site and learned a lot about the Lanier family and their impact on the state of Indiana. Am I boring you? Maybe. But it’s one of those things you’ve really got to go out and try to fully understand. Plan a day trip to Madison, IN, and I promise, you won’t regret it.
Another one of my favorite small towns is Augusta, KY. It’s the hometown of George Clooney, but that’s not even what’s most special about this place. Again, it’s located on the river, and it has great places to eat and shop, but my favorite part of Augusta was the people that I met there. Every single person was so incredibly nice. You could tell that they were just all raised to be that way. It was refreshing to talk to people who just get so much joy out of the simple things in life. Here’s a picture I took of the town clock on my last visit there.
2. Save your money for a dream trip
I think this will be my next goal – save a ton of money, so I can travel somewhere out of the country. I was asked the other day if I had been out of the United States, and I had to sit there and think for a second or two before realizing that I DON’T EVEN HAVE A PASSPORT. So easy answer there. I haven’t even been to Canada. So I guess my first step is to get a passport because I hear those can be a little pricey. I’m willing to save and do it because I know that in the near future, I WILL be out of the US. No exceptions. Traveling is one of my biggest dreams, and there is no better time to start than now. If you’re feeling the same way, I encourage you to start saving up!
Wow, this is only the top of my “summer to-do list”, so I think I should probably stop blogging and start checking off some of my other items. I hope everyone has a great, adventure-filled summer, and follow my blog for updates on mine!