So I think there is this misconception that we have to wait for our 2 weeks of vacation a year to truly relax and enjoy ourselves. Sure, those vacations are well worth looking forward to but there’s something to be said for your simple, afternoon getaway. In fact, I think these easy, quick trips are essential to living a life of joy and happiness. What’s the quote about creating a life you don’t need a vacation from? Obviously a lot more goes into that then just hiking and being outdoors but hiking and being outdoors are what we’re about and you probably don’t want to read a 100 page novel about why I think so many people are depressed and miserable despite the millions they make and pretty things they work so hard to buy. . . . Anyways, we live in the city. We don’t have mountains in our backyard, but within the city limits we have beautiful parks and within an hours drive there are hundreds of places to visit and explore. You don’t need a grand, thought out vacation. You don’t have to climb a mountain. Heck, you don’t even have to be gone long enough to bring snacks (although I always recommend bringing snacks). Just throw some shoes on and go find a trail to wander down. This past weekend I had a very long to do list and had barely survived a stressful week. I honestly just wanted to hunker down and get everything checked off my list. Sunday ended up being sunny and beautiful and Dan had mentioned taking the dog somewhere for a long walk. I decided the fresh air would probably be good for me so we headed 45 minutes west to the lakeshore for a sandy hike and had an amazing afternoon. I felt revived, re-connected with my family, and was visibly less stressed. It gave me a whole new perspective on what was really important and worth stressing over (which by the way, nothing is worth stressing over). It’s so easy to get wrapped up in the constant to do’s and the never ending alerts on our phones that we need to remind ourselves to just take some time and relax. I love our big vacations but when my time comes to reflect on the life I lived, I’d rather have an entire life of joy than just a week each year to remember.