In my last post, I explained how much I love travelling during September and October, but the truth is we haven’t done it that much since our kids started school. Except for last year because England happens to enjoy many school breaks, especially some in October. Before that and from now, we always try to make the best of short and long weekends. This means that we can’t travel far! Even easier, you can even stay at home.
If you can’t leave for long, you can still enjoy the beauty of late summer
The point is September is a great month to enjoy nature and outdoor even in cities, almost anywhere. You can make the best of your hometown or country! Rediscover some places you don’t happen to notice because back to school is taking everything from you.
We always managed to enjoy several escapes, whatever the part of the world we were, during this two first month of the school year. This became a stronger habit in Canada, as the cold winter and the hockey and ice-skating season were keeping us busy during the winter, but it was an already existing habit even before that.
Wherever you live, there is something that is worth your resting time
Some will say that they live in an average boring city or even village. Or they think that there is nothing to be discovered anymore because they’ve been living in the same place for so long, or they just can’t because… whatever the reason is.
All this is just an excuse; a bus ticket is easy to buy and cheap. Even a day off your usual life is already an escape. Surely there is something, somewhere that is waiting to be discovered or rediscovered, and that will make your day.
No need for huge expenses here
You can take a single day off and don’t have to pay for a hotel. As you don’t need much for the day, so you can pack some healthy snacks in a usual lunchbox. You have a car, don’t use tolls, it’s all about enjoying the landscape and taking your time. Drive on the smaller quieter roads. You don’t have a car? Neither do we, it never kept us from leaving and visiting. Of course, if you want to be completely free to go wherever you want, then renting a car will surely help. But you can do so much with a train ticket or even better a bus ticket.
Even for some further destination, the bus can be a cheap option. From Toronto, for example, Greyhound is offering a night trip to Washington or New York. If you don’t have time or money, then try a two night in a row coach sleep. You’ll be very comfortable with earplugs, a mask and a neck cushion. I reckon these cities are better enjoyed for several days but are it what you are looking for? The idea is to take a small break and enjoy these beautiful months of September and October, in two words: make memories! We are looking for a break from the stressful back to school time. The idea is to wander, discover and lift your spirit at a most beautiful time of the year.
Wherever you are there is some place of interest
Once again, the idea is not to go for a very fancy famous place. The best way to Slow Travel is to learn to have fun and rest in an area that is not your usual one. If you live in a city go for nature. I won’t believe you if you say that there is no day escape from your home without the sea, a river, a lake, a forest or any countryside path.
If you live in the countryside, this is a great time to visit a historical monument or an artistic event. A fair will do too! Simply escape your usual life for a while begin to notice how beautiful your environment is with these red leaves, this warm light and a crispy temperature. Just enjoy and discover! That’s what it takes to slow down and have fun with family or friends.
You can also stay home
This is more something we do during the cold Canadian winter. We love to have some “cocooning weekends.” Sometimes though, even during cocooning weekends (think -30°C/-22°F outside), we like to have a walk in the neighbourhood (try to avoid the shopping centers here: shopping shouldn’t be an activity or a hobby, so for the ones who love shopping, it also could be an opportunity to have some good time in a different way).
It’s a perfect occasion for cooking together, something new, something comforting. During these slow weekends, we choose a movie (we don’t have a television so watching a movie is something unusual by itself), we play cards, board games. Something not so easy to do during the winter is having a walk at night, but perfect for September. Whatever makes you enjoy this place of yours where you usually run, on a daily basis, from task to task.
You can also read a good book, and maybe make it a challenge: the family could read the same book together and then discuss it. Then, go for a walk! Always go for a walk in the end, because this is the perfect weather for walking, not too hot, not too cold!
Another great activity is taking some photos of your neighbourhood. Photography is a Slow Living activity; it helps to slow down and watching instead of seeing. Think of you being a tourist, or an artist wanting to bring back home the best of the area. There are so many ways to be on vacation while staying at home!
Slow Travel is not about the distance
And there are many different ways to Slow Travel! To us, it means enjoying a place at a slower pace by seeing less but better. If we love to travel far away destinations, we also often Slow Travel from home. Discovering a new ice cream shop or a new cafe, enjoying a long walk to go there is already travelling!
I would love to hear from your Slow Travel experiences in September… In the meantime, I hope you are having a great September month sparkled with slower days!
If you want more about Slow Travelling:
More about September mood: