With the searing heat, experiencing more frequent cravings for cold desserts, and calendars being filled with family outings and get-togethers with friends, there’s no doubt that summer has arrived. You might have seen photos of your friends on tropical getaways as you scroll through your social media accounts, or you may have already posted your own beach trips and earned a number of likes for them. Some of you may have resorted to going to Baguio or Tagaytay to escape the city heat and the blazing sun.
While such trips give you that summer glow, tan lines, and the feeling of being refreshed, they also cost you quite a bit of money. Some of us may have to wait till very late in the summer months to go on a summer holiday because of the hectic schedule that still keeps us in the workplace at this time.
We have listed eight activities that are cheap, easy to organize, fun and a bit unusual, but will surely make the remainder of your summer memorable:
Try and rate different halo-halo recipes.
What is better than a halo-halo during summer? The answer: several halo-halo recipes to choose from! Having a taste of different versions of halo-halo, be it a recipe from a town in Pampanga or Cavite, or that one sold at your nearest street corner, this sweet treat will certainly give you the refreshed feeling you want this season. This delightful activity may also stimulate the entrepreneur in you. Who knows, you may have your own halo-halo kiosk with your own recipe next summer as a part-time business.
Create a hammock and take a nap under a tree.
A makeshift hammock can easily be made through the use of blankets or bed sheets and, with just a few yards of rope, you can create a perfect resting place as you enjoy the peace and beauty of Mother Nature. As you lie in the hammock, look up at the clouds, and feel the smooth rocking motion, reflect, meditate, relax and experience pure bliss.
Visit the countryside other than the popular sites.
Going to cities and vacation spots that are so inundated with tourists often turns out to be a more stressful activity. How about going to non-traditional tourist places, such as farms and riversides? Discover new locations and be amazed by their scenery, food and culture. There is more to a place than what you can google.
Learn a new language.
This summer may not just be about creating memories, but may also be about developing a new skill. Learning a new language is easier nowadays, as there are several mobile applications and tutorial videos online that can guide you in your study. Think of this as a preparation for a trip to your dream country, as well as an opportunity to learn more about a culture. When you go to Japan or France, how amazing would it be if you could say more than just “konnichiwa” to your Japanese client or “bonjour” to your French colleague?
Grow a plant.
When growing a plant, there are several tropical species that you can choose from. Growing plants may seem to be an easy task, but plants need extra care and attention. Nonetheless, this activity gives you a sense of responsibility and the feeling of accomplishment. Plus, isn’t it good to have some greenery around you and to fill your lungs with pure oxygen?
Take a trip down memory lane.
Visit your old school or your previous workplace, a park where you used to play, or any place that you used to visit frequently before you got tied up with work. You may opt to go with friends and reminisce on those days when you laughed, struggled and succeeded together. You can also go by yourself to reflect on the days when you solemnly prayed for the things you now have.
Do volunteer work.
If you would like to engage in a physical activity, you may do volunteer work. Volunteer work may include clean-up drives for rivers and beaches, adopting and rehabilitating animals at the shelter, tree-planting activities, refurbishing schools, feeding the less fortunate, and a lot more. Not only will you be able to travel around the country, you will also help improve the lives of people, animals and the environment, making your summer much more meaningful.
Have your own bubble party.
These days I sometimes host a bubble party with my young daughter on weekends or when I arrive home early from work. I have passed on to her my bubble mixture recipe: crush five to eight gumamela leaves in one cup of water, add one tablespoon of powder detergent, mix it thoroughly. Improvise a bubble wand. Simple and cheap, yet time well spent with my young daughter, who may remember me as her first and best bubble buddy.
Your remainder of the summer can be well spent alone or with your family and friends. While alone time is important for inspiration and creativity, spending quality time with your family and friends is just as important. Our work may be demanding, but we should not neglect the things that keep our passion glowing and our spirits high. As social beings, social time is important for happiness. For me, there is no better season for spending social time than in summer.
Nelson J. Dinio is the deputy head of Audit & Assurance, and partner-in-charge of P&A Calabarzon. P&A Grant Thornton is one of the leading audit, tax, advisory, and outsourcing firms in the Philippines, with 21 partners and over 900 staff members. For your comments, please email firstname.lastname@example.org or PAGrantThornton.email@example.com. For more information about P&A Grant Thornton, visit our websitewww.grantthornton.com.ph.