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Great Places to Vacation During the Summer

Great Places to Vacation During the Summer

There are few things in life that we look forward to more than a summer vacation, as it’s finally a chance to unwind and forget all the stresses that usually accompany day-to-day life. Additionally, there is a benefit to choosing an interesting and exotic location: bragging to friends and family. The following places are not only great locations to visit in the summer months, but they offer both cultural and visual flavors that will provide stories and memories to last a lifetime.

Paris, France

paris overview

    It is not a secret that Paris is a great place to visit in the summer, and this common knowledge is reflected in the crowds and prices. It’s best to plan this trip way in advance, then just enjoy the amazing weather and historical landmarks that everyone should see at least once in their lifetime. Don’t miss going to the top of the Eiffel Tower, visiting Notre Dame Cathedral, or seeing the Mona Lisa at the Louvre. Though it can be a nice trip for families, the high price tag makes a Paris more of a romantic getaway for couples—one that’s sure to keep the fire going, or ignite a new spark.

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    San Francisco, California

    San Francisco overview 2

      Mark Twain once said, “The coldest winter I ever spent was a summer in San Francisco.” While the cold breeze from the San Francisco Bay can get a bit chilly, the sun will be shining and the mid-60’s temperatures will be much appreciated while you’re doing all the walking that’s necessary to fully take in this historic city. Some of the main attractions include: Fisherman’s Wharf, Chinatown, Alcatraz Prison, and crossing the Golden Gate Bridge.

      Montreal, Quebec

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      Montreal overview

        Looking for European culture without taking a trans-Atlantic flight? Then welcome to Montreal. World-class restaraunts, historic sites, a vibrant music scene, and pulsating night life make Montreal an ideal destination for a trip with friends or for couples.

        San Juan Islands, Washington

        San Juan Islands

          Summer in the San Juan Islands off the Olympic Peninsula is the prime time for hiking and whale watching. The islands can be accessed by either flying in from Seattle or by taking a drive-on ferry and using a car to navigate from island to island. Hike in Lime Kiln Point State Park and watch the orcas that also like to visit the area in the summer. There are also boat tours that take you up close and personal with the gentle giants. With bike trails, cozy inns, and fantastic weather, this is a summer vacation spot for the whole family.

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          Glacier Bay National Park, Alaska

          Glacier Bay National Park

            Sticking with the whale-watching theme, the next summer spot on the list is Glacier Bay National Park in Alaska. The best way to visit this amazing location is by taking a cruise ship. This park is home to humpback whales, harbor porpoises, moose, black and brown bears, mountain goats, and mountain peaks that top 15,000 feet. The cruise ships will pass by deep fjords, coastal forests, and seven active tidewater glaciers calving glaciers into the bay. Yes, you can watch gigantic chunks of ice breaking off glaciers and crashing into the ocean!

            Maui, Hawaii

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            Maui, Hawaii

              While the preceding locations on the list are not usually the first places that would come to mind when thinking of a relaxing summer vacation, they definitely offer something potentially new and exciting. Sometimes, taking the road less traveled can be stressful and not everyone’s cup of tea. Maui, however, checks every box on the ideal summer vacation list. Beautiful beaches? Check. Warm oceans filled with exotic sea life? Check. Golf, hiking, volcanoes? Check. Maui offers fun in the sun for the whole family. Tons of shopping, snorkeling, surf lessons, waterfalls, helicopter tours of volcanoes, sacred hot springs, deep sea fishing, the list goes on and on. The hardest thing you will have to do on a trip to Maui is start packing to go back home.

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              Last Updated on January 21, 2020

              The Best Way to Create a Vision for the Life You Want

              The Best Way to Create a Vision for the Life You Want

              Creating a vision for your life might seem like a frivolous, fantastical waste of time, but it’s not: creating a compelling vision of the life you want is actually one of the most effective strategies for achieving the life of your dreams. Perhaps the best way to look at the concept of a life vision is as a compass to help guide you to take the best actions and make the right choices that help propel you toward your best life.

              your vision of where or who you want to be is the greatest asset you have

                Why You Need a Vision

                Experts and life success stories support the idea that with a vision in mind, you are more likely to succeed far beyond what you could otherwise achieve without a clear vision. Think of crafting your life vision as mapping a path to your personal and professional dreams. Life satisfaction and personal happiness are within reach. The harsh reality is that if you don’t develop your own vision, you’ll allow other people and circumstances to direct the course of your life.

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                How to Create Your Life Vision

                Don’t expect a clear and well-defined vision overnight—envisioning your life and determining the course you will follow requires time, and reflection. You need to cultivate vision and perspective, and you also need to apply logic and planning for the practical application of your vision. Your best vision blossoms from your dreams, hopes, and aspirations. It will resonate with your values and ideals, and will generate energy and enthusiasm to help strengthen your commitment to explore the possibilities of your life.

                What Do You Want?

                The question sounds deceptively simple, but it’s often the most difficult to answer. Allowing yourself to explore your deepest desires can be very frightening. You may also not think you have the time to consider something as fanciful as what you want out of life, but it’s important to remind yourself that a life of fulfillment does not usually happen by chance, but by design.

                It’s helpful to ask some thought-provoking questions to help you discover the possibilities of what you want out of life. Consider every aspect of your life, personal and professional, tangible and intangible. Contemplate all the important areas, family and friends, career and success, health and quality of life, spiritual connection and personal growth, and don’t forget about fun and enjoyment.

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                Some tips to guide you:

                • Remember to ask why you want certain things
                • Think about what you want, not on what you don’t want.
                • Give yourself permission to dream.
                • Be creative. Consider ideas that you never thought possible.
                • Focus on your wishes, not what others expect of you.

                Some questions to start your exploration:

                • What really matters to you in life? Not what should matter, what does matter.
                • What would you like to have more of in your life?
                • Set aside money for a moment; what do you want in your career?
                • What are your secret passions and dreams?
                • What would bring more joy and happiness into your life?
                • What do you want your relationships to be like?
                • What qualities would you like to develop?
                • What are your values? What issues do you care about?
                • What are your talents? What’s special about you?
                • What would you most like to accomplish?
                • What would legacy would you like to leave behind?

                It may be helpful to write your thoughts down in a journal or creative vision board if you’re the creative type. Add your own questions, and ask others what they want out of life. Relax and make this exercise fun. You may want to set your answers aside for a while and come back to them later to see if any have changed or if you have anything to add.

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                What Would Your Best Life Look Like?

                Describe your ideal life in detail. Allow yourself to dream and imagine, and create a vivid picture. If you can’t visualize a picture, focus on how your best life would feel. If you find it difficult to envision your life 20 or 30 years from now, start with five years—even a few years into the future will give you a place to start. What you see may surprise you. Set aside preconceived notions. This is your chance to dream and fantasize.

                A few prompts to get you started:

                • What will you have accomplished already?
                • How will you feel about yourself?
                • What kind of people are in your life? How do you feel about them?
                • What does your ideal day look like?
                • Where are you? Where do you live? Think specifics, what city, state, or country, type of community, house or an apartment, style and atmosphere.
                • What would you be doing?
                • Are you with another person, a group of people, or are you by yourself?
                • How are you dressed?
                • What’s your state of mind? Happy or sad? Contented or frustrated?
                • What does your physical body look like? How do you feel about that?
                • Does your best life make you smile and make your heart sing? If it doesn’t, dig deeper, dream bigger.

                It’s important to focus on the result, or at least a way-point in your life. Don’t think about the process for getting there yet—that’s the next stepGive yourself permission to revisit this vision every day, even if only for a few minutes. Keep your vision alive and in the front of your mind.

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                Plan Backwards

                It may sound counter-intuitive to plan backwards rather than forwards, but when you’re planning your life from the end result, it’s often more useful to consider the last step and work your way back to the first. This is actually a valuable and practical strategy for making your vision a reality.

                • What’s the last thing that would’ve had to happen to achieve your best life?
                • What’s the most important choice you would’ve had to make?
                • What would you have needed to learn along the way?
                • What important actions would you have had to take?
                • What beliefs would you have needed to change?
                • What habits or behaviors would you have had to cultivate?
                • What type of support would you have had to enlist?
                • How long will it have taken you to realize your best life?
                • What steps or milestones would you have needed to reach along the way?

                Now it’s time to think about your first step, and the next step after that. Ponder the gap between where you are now and where you want to be in the future. It may seem impossible, but it’s quite achievable if you take it step-by-step.

                It’s important to revisit this vision from time to time. Don’t be surprised if your answers to the questions, your technicolor vision, and the resulting plans change. That can actually be a very good thing; as you change in unforeseeable ways, the best life you envision will change as well. For now, it’s important to use the process, create your vision, and take the first step towards making that vision a reality.

                Featured photo credit: Matt Noble via unsplash.com

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