Travel
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Cottage Vacations

Go on a cottage trip this summer if you can. It’s not like other vacations in which you are constantly on the go; looking at historical sites, going to amusement parks, exploring a different culture. Cottage vacations are different. They’re…quiet. Usually.

Don’t get me wrong, I love going on a vacation that provides me with a new learning experience and loads of sites to discover, food to try, and things to do. With that being said, the occasional cottage trip is pretty much a requirement for my introverted soul. There is a deep-rooted need to be away from urban life and have some down-time in a more rural, secluded setting. It provides me with the opportunity for self-discovery and self-reflection—a different kind of learning experience.

To wake up with the sunrise and sit on a screened-in porch or balcony (you know, to protect you from the bugs!) with a book and cup of tea in hand, is literally one of the greatest feelings in the world. These particular trips are what gives a person some much needed time for rest and relaxation. A break from hectic schedules and constant interaction both online and off.

Some may choose to go completely tech-free on a cottage trip. I am not one of those people. To avoid too much social media is a must, but depending on the actual nature of the trip, it’s nice to have some technological devices on hand. Phones and cameras are good for quick photos, laptops are good for writing if you aren’t into writing by hand, TV’s (or laptops) are good for a day spent on the couch watching Netflix (if there’s the internet) or your favourite movies, and game consoles are especially good for cottage trips with friends to spend some evenings playing Mario Party. Feel no shame if you can’t quite tear your eyes from all of your devices. Technology plays a huge role in our lives nowadays and being completely without it can sometimes cause more stress than necessary.

Ultimately, a cottage trip is wonderful because it removes you from regular life and puts you into a scenario in which you are required to do absolutely nothing. No schedules, no unnecessary expenses. Just you, the friends and/or family members you are travelling with, and whatever activities that you feel like doing. Also, unlike a camping trip, you are not required to sleep with bugs or unwelcome animals (hopefully) and you still have access to the things that will remind you of home (like electricity).

But with that being said, it is nice to do at least a few tech-free things while you’re away, to connect a little more with nature and the world around you. Depending on the location of your cottage, here are some fun tech-free activities to participate in while on a cottage vacay:

  • Go for a walk/hike
  • Spend some time at the beach
  • Go fishing
  • Read
  • Write
  • Sleep
  • Play card or board games
  • Stargaze

Cottage trips are completely refreshing for the mind. I will never forget the nights spent staring up at the night sky and seeing an infinite number of stars (and even shooting stars). That was years ago now, but it is still one of my favourite memories ever from a cottage trip. Sometimes we forget how small we are in the grand scheme of things—we are but tiny speckles in the astonishingly vast universe. It’s easy to lose that kind of perspective whilst living the urban life— we can barely see any stars at all in the city and even in small towns. To take a moment to escape from that and experience the sky, and the rest of nature, as it is meant to be seen, is a remarkable experience that can replenish your soul.

Nature is inspiring. The entire world around us is filled with inspiration and sometimes all it takes is just one short trip away from life as we know it to experience utter relaxation, as well as a refreshed attitude toward ourselves, and the wonders of nature that surround us.


Words by Jaime Grover // Photography by Juliette Bélanger.

© 2015 Reef Magazine

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  1. Pingback: My Reading List | 101 Happy Accidents

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