The Costa Rica News (TCRN) – What is it that makes vacation so appealing?  Swarthy foreigners with exotic fruity drinks?  Pristine sparkling beaches?  New cultures and ancient architecture?

All of those things are lovely, but there’s a more universal force that drives millions of people to unfamiliar locations across the globe: Freedom.

Vacations allow us to escape from our mundane schedules while becoming more resourceful.  It makes us aware of the simpler things in life – local cuisine, a sunset, a smile – which are suddenly more meaningful than at home.  We breath in the sights, smells, and sounds a little more deeply, and time slows down for just a little bit.

So here’s a thought: What if we could apply the vacation mindset to our daily lives?

It sounds ridiculous, right?  You can’t lay on the beach and sip mai tais all day; people need to maintain their daily lives by working, running errands, taking care of their families, and washing their dirty underwear.  Plus, believe it or not, doing nothing all day can get boring very quickly.

Instead,  the key is to implement a few small changes in the way we go about our normal lives when we aren’t on a luxury Caribbean cruise:

STEP 1: Try new things.

This seems obvious, but it can be really easy to get in a rut; eating at the same restaurants, listening to the same music, and hanging out with the same people.  No matter your age or the size of the town, there’s something you haven’t tried.  Make yourself vulnerable and talk with strangers or ask their advice.

STEP 2: Less is more.

Minimalism is key.  Get rid of all the garbage that’s bringing you down and stressing you out.  Hate your job?  Quit it.  Too many bills?  Reduce or consolidate them.  Do whatever you have to do to find that carefree vacation attitude.

STEP 3: Maximize everyday to the fullest.

We rarely go on vacation and veg out in front of the television, nor should we be doing this in our daily life.  Read that book you’ve had sitting on the shelf for six months now or try that stripper exercise class you’ve heard so much about.  Life’s too short to be doing anything less than what we want at any given moment, especially because of some terrible reality TV show.

STEP 4: Slow down.

Try to enjoy and soak in all the little details around you.  Take a walk rather than drive down the street – you’ll be amazed at what you notice when you aren’t driving with the windows rolled up and the radio blasting.  Accept that the world won’t come to a screeching stop if you don’t get the lawn mowed or the windows washed quite on schedule.

Here’s the bottom line: You should be looking forward to every day, no matter where you are, rather than cramming all of your “relaxation” into a hasty two week period.

The order of the steps doesn’t actually matter and the fact that you’re even reading these ideas means that you’re already thinking about the path to a more tranquil life.  Whether you implement one or all of the recommendations, at least you’re one step closer to living every day like a holiday.

Just make sure remember to wear a shirt and shoes in public.

The Costa Rica News (TCRN)

San Jose, Costa Rica

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