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The Benefits of Taking Quick Getaways

The Benefits of Taking Quick Getaways

    I just came back from a quick getaway and it was such a worthwhile experience. Today with increasing financial constraints, which limits many people from taking longer, farther vacations, the quick getaway is a fantastic option.

    No need for many vacation days

    The quick getaway does not require taking a week’s worth of vacation days. It can be done over a long weekend or even just a normal two-day weekend. My latest trip was just two nights away.

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    One can save up vacation days for those future longer trips further from home. Even a two-night trip can result in adequate recharging of the batteries. Such a break allows me to return with more productivity. I came back from this trip totally satisfied, refreshed and ready for normal life again.

    The short getaways also teach you to pack efficiently as well as use some healthy habits during travels so that you become more prepared when the time comes to take longer vacations. Think of them as test trips before that big voyage you will take someday.

    No need for expensive flights or hotels

    Although it certainly is possible to fly to a destination for a quick getaway like I have in the past such as short trips to Florida for some scuba diving, many quick getaways can be done through driving within say six to eight hours each way. My recent trip was a pleasant six-hour drive from Toronto to Montreal where I met up with a few local friends. We then drove down to Vermont the next day which is just two hours away for a day of awesome snow skiing.

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    I stayed at a very reasonably priced hotel in Montreal and my CAA/AAA card got me a very nice discount. The chain of hotel I stayed at provides free breakfasts in the morning, which helped me, save on my meals.

    Catching up with friends is socially satisfying

    On this trip, I got to catch up with my Montreal friends whom I see maybe only once per year. This made the trip very rewarding from a social point of view as I think it is very important to reconnect with friends who live out of town.

    Indeed, friends will always feel great that you have made the time and effort to travel out to see them in their home cities. These same friends can also help you keep updated with the latest happenings in their cities whether it is the latest events or shopping opportunities.

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    During my trip, I got together a few of my local friends and they have never met each other before. So my social get-together provided them new local social connections as well.

    Expanding your horizons makes you more interesting

    Upon returning home, the experiences you get during your quick getaways will make you a more interesting person in the eyes of the folks you work and socialize with back in your home territory. They often want to know how your trip was and in my case, my fellow snow skiers back home were very interested to hear what my report was of the place where I skied at in Vermont.

    Instead of spending yet another weekend at home, I chose to go somewhere for a quick trip to not only socialize with a few out of town friends, but to also experience something or some place new. This was certainly the case as it was my first trip in the part of Vermont I went to. With just two days of regional travel, I expanded my own horizons.

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    So to get similar benefits that a standard long vacation would usually provide, one does not necessarily have to take entire weeks off at a time. Instead, short getaways can result in the same type of benefits and one can even possibly take more of them throughout the year without digging really deep into the finances.

    Conclusion

    Consider all the different places you can travel to within say an eight hour drive radius and make a few of these your future quick getaways. These types of trips are great for the soul and easy on the bank account.

    Feel free to share in the comments section below some of the quick getaways you have taken or would like to take in the future.

    (Photo credit: Landscape of snow and snow-covered pine trees via Shutterstock)

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    Last Updated on July 8, 2020

    18 Benefits of Journaling That Will Change Your Life

    18 Benefits of Journaling That Will Change Your Life

    The act of writing in a journal often seems daunting or unnecessary to many people. Even authors who work on novels might shun the idea of daily diaries. What purpose does jotting down words on a regular basis do if not contributing to the next novel, play or song? I know from experience many benefits of journaling that I wish to share.

    1. Understand Yourself Better

    Though many people and even writers avoid keeping journals, I vow to do it more often. Not only do I desire to take up daily journaling but also I plan to do it with pen to paper.

    Some of the benefits I’ve found from my more active days include finding myself in the sense of understanding what matters to me and what I want out of life. I’ve been incredibly fortunate to find a spouse who is my best friend and advocate in raising children. I attribute this and much more to what I learned about myself in keeping journals for years.

    2. Keep Track of Small Changes

    I’ll admit that I never got very far with my guitar lessons, but in writing in a journal, I have seen the ability to track small changes like those that come when you practice anything.

    Those learning a musical instrument often fail to see the small improvements that come with regular practice. Writing won’t help you switch chords any faster, but it will help you to develop a better sense for language and grammar just by doing it.

    3. Become Aware of What Matters

    As you continue to write in a journal, following a stream-of-consciousness feel, you can look back on the topics that you chose to write about. Those issues and emotions that poured out of you will provide insight on to what matters most to you.

    You may not even realize that you’re job is depressing you or that you want to spend more time with your kids until you look over your thoughts that you weren’t really thinking about.

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    4. Boost Creativity

    The idea that the brain and its neural activity across hemispheres encourages learning also shows up in increased creativity. Just like with learning an instrument, your increased activity will inspire your thoughts to connect and reconnect in different ways.

    When I wrote in a journal, I often wrote poetry as well as just my thoughts as they came out. I started to hear poems more in my mind; so much so that I took to scrawling lines on napkins and finding metaphors in mundane activities.

    You really are what you do, so writing helps grow more than being a writer. Writing boosts the way you communicate and structure language, which really is a creative process.

    5. Represents Your Emotions in a Safe Environment

    A journal is as private as it gets. You can lock it in a safe or tuck it under a pillow and no one will accidentally share it on social media or have an opportunity to “leave a comment.”

    Write about your sorrow as much as your happiness and frustration and know that you don’t have to keep your emotions inside your body. You can put them on paper.

    6. Process Life Experiences

    When you take the time to look back over what you’ve written, be it a week or a year later, you will have the distance you need to more objectively interpret your raw feelings.

    Everything from losing a job to losing a loved one can emerge in a new light for a fresh perspective. Figuring out how the benefits of journaling affect your perspective on life will create connection and increase creativity.

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    7. Stress Relief

    In combining the exercise inherent in fine motor coordination that comes from the act of writing with the emotional release of self expression, those who maintain a journal relieve stress.

    Try it out. Go home and write about your day. Write about the traffic. Write about the coffee order the barista got wrong but you didn’t have time to change. See how you can physically purge some of that pent-up stress by putting it on paper.

    8. Provide Direction

    Though journaling is often conducted as an activity without much direction, it often provides direction.

    One of the biggest benefits of journaling is that your chaotic thoughts merge to show a direction in which to head. Asking the right questions is the only way to achieve the best solutions, so look to your journal to find your way toward your next goal.

    9. Solve Problems

    Just as in practicing math problems, we all get better at finding hidden solutions through the act of processing.

    Think of your next goal as X and solve your life problems by reading your journals as word problems. The benefit of journaling here is that you write, explore and process to recognize and then solve problems.

    When life is too in-your-face, you have to step back to see reality. Living in the moment allows us to write in the moment and use that expression to solve problems.

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    10. Find Relief From Fighting

    Solving your problems only comes after time to process, recognize and strategize. Just as in the benefit of journaling where relief comes from the act of writing, relief from fighting comes when you decide to “sit this one out” and communicate one-way.

    Fighting is only productive when the fighters care to communicate and find common ground. When the emotions are as high as the stress levels, writing will function as the best time out.

    11. Find Meaning in Life

    Journaling will show you why you are living, whether you are wallowing in things you wish to change or striving to make the changes. Your life will begin to take on new meaning and your own words will reveal the actions that got you where you are so that you can assess and pave a new path for your future.

    12. Allow Yourself to Focus

    Taking even a small amount of time out of every day will provide you with not only peace of mind but also increased focus. Taking a break to meditate in writing and journaling will sharpen your mental faculties.

    13. Sharpen Your Spirituality

    When we write, we allow all the energy and experiences to flow through us, which often provides further insight into our own spirituality. Even if your parents didn’t raise you to follow a specific religion, your thoughts will start to show you what you believe about the universe and your place in it.

    14. Let the Past Go

    I’ve mentioned a few examples where going back over your writing offers advice and direction, but the simply truth is that writing down our feelings can be the best way to let them go. We can choose to literally throw these pages away when they’re filled with negativity and hate.

    15. Allow Freedom

    Journaling is the perfect way to not only express yourself but to also experience the freedom of being who you are. Your books can stay private or you can publish them. Your freedom stems from your sense of self and your perception of your thoughts.

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    16. Enhance Your Career

    Again, the private act of pen-to-paper processing provides the benefits of journaling mentioned above, but you can also enhance your career when you take similar ideas and categorize, edit and publish them in an online blog.

    Your thoughts will often be personal and express emotions, but another benefit of journaling is uncovering fresh ideas about your work.

    17. Literally Explore Your Dreams

    All the benefits I’ve mentioned explore ideas, thoughts and emotions, which is also what our dreams and nightmares do. Through writing down your dreams from the previous night, you can enhance your creativity as well as connect some of the metaphorical dots from the rest of your journal.

    18. Catalog Your Life for Others

    No one wants to think about dying, but we all die. Leaving a journal will act as a way to reconnect with family and friends left behind. The ideas you wish to keep personal while you process the life you’re living will serve to rekindle and inspire those who loved you through the process.

    We consider our partners our life witnesses, but writing provides a tangible mark on the world.

    Now that you’ve learned all the benefits of journaling, it’s time to start writing a journal:

    Featured photo credit: Kelly Sikkema via unsplash.com