No need to go far
Don't you find it strange that we invest so much time and money in our homes and gardens, but every time we have vacation we are eager to go away? Why don't we enjoy what we have created?
I'm not saying that we should never leave the country. Rather, we should ask ourselves the question: what am I looking for when I leave the country? What is there, in that foreign land that I cannot find here?
Do you want to see new places? You will, but do you actually know your own province?
Do you want to hear foreign languages? You will, but with the tourist masses everywhere and locals avoiding them, these may not be what you expect. You are more likely to hear a dozen other languages than the local one.
Do you want to see a world-famous place? Tick it off your bucket list? You can, but then don't forget to stop and enjoy the moment while you are standing in the middle of a crowd, taking pictures in scorching heat.
Do you want to feel history? Sure, you can look up at the Sphinx, the Taj Mahal or the Statue of Liberty, just like millions of other people did.
Or, you can enjoy the shade of a 100-years-old oak, just like the one in the Authentical self-picking garden in Herne, touch its bark and wonder how much it has seen during its lifetime: world wars, technological revolutions, thousands of sunsets.
Take the time to discover where the nearest creek has its source and think about all the natural beauty it passes while it grows into a mighty river. Or even better, go and have a look.
Watch a butterfly rest on a flower and imagine what you would like to achieve in the same lifetime as hers.
Gaze up at the stars on a clear night and learn which ones of them are our planet-neighbours and which ones are the nearest stars - their light started travelling towards us long before humankind came to exist.
Close your eyes and take a deep breath to smell the season: the lilac bushes in May, the lime trees in June, a handful of strawberries, the smell in the air after a summer shower.
No need to go far to find beauty. It's closer than you think. Look at staycation as an opportunity rather than as punishment.*
It's not a faraway place that will make your vacation an experience. It's the people you are with and how much you allow yourself to enjoy the moment.
As they say, just stop and smell the roses.
*Tips for mindful experiences closeby, via Authentical: Open Air children's camp in Herne (3-7th August) and coaching camp for young people in Oetingen (28-30th August). Moment with nature: 't GroenteHart in Lembeek.