Summer 2020 was definitely a bust. I personally spent the entire summer with a busted knee, so very much not a fun time. Never mind the global pandemic we all experienced, which makes me really excited for this coming summer. With warmer weather approaching, I am already thinking ahead about what I can do to make every second count. 

Appreciate the Outdoors

This summer, I want to take advantage of new hiking trails near me in Westchester, NY, as well as go on walks to clear my head and get away from screens a bit more. In Westchester, one of my absolute favorite places to walk is the Bronx River Pathway and one of my absolute favorite places to hike is Cranberry Lake Preserve. I try to go on a walk at least once a week to get fresh air and take a mental break and mental reset. I’m really busy with quite a few jobs so it’s important for me to take that time to get fresh air and just breathe. 

two person walking towards mountain covered with snow

One of my friends and I like to go on a hike once every month or so and explore a new place. It is incredibly fun and gives us that sense of adventure and adrenaline that keeps life fun and exciting. According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the average American spends 93% of their life indoors. That’s concerning. Let’s all appreciate the outdoors more this summer, together. Here’s another Planet Home piece by Amanda that emphasizes the importance of spending time outside and connecting with nature! If you do not have a car and that level of freedom to explore, sometimes the most exciting places are right under our nose! Do some research about what is around you that you haven’t noticed or checked out before. 

One activity that is definitely on my bucket list is going on a picnic with friends and making a delicious charcuterie board, picnic style. I’ll definitely be going to Harbor Island Park in Mamaroneck NY, which has beautiful waterfront views, as well as Central Park for picnics with friends this summer. Here’s an incredible piece by Planet Home’s Amanda about why cities need green spaces, as well as another piece by yours truly on great snack options for your picnic!

white ceramic mug on white ceramic saucer

If you need any more reasons to validate spending more time outdoors, here is a list of 5 by Planet Home writer Jamie! 

Another activity on my bucket list for this summer is beach days! There is nothing like a hot day in the sun with friends and a cooler of snacks and drinks. In order to truly enjoy a picture perfect day at the beach, I often spend some of the time that I am there cleaning up any litter I see along my way. Beach clean-ups are incredibly important and making an effort as one person really does go a long way. Here’s why the ocean is so important to Planet Home’s Julianna. Why is the ocean important to you? For me, the ocean brings me so much happiness and peace. I have a sound machine to help me fall asleep at night (and keep me asleep no thanks to my very loud family) and I always gravitate towards the beach sound because the crashing waves are so moving for me. Since the ocean brings me so much, I try to return the favor and care for it however I can. 

Road Trips all the Way! 

Another item on my neverending bucket list for this coming summer is definitely a road trip or two! If possible, I recommend renting an electric vehicle for your road trip. Brandon from Planet Home wrote an awesome piece on electric vehicles for those of you that may not be as familiar! Another great way to make sure your road trip is fun and ethical is to carpool together! 

Some friends and I are considering road trips that include stops at the Grand Canyon and Colorado! Where would you go? 

If you’re going on a road trip, I recommend shopping at the local stores. I recently went to Siesta Keys, FL and my friends and I really enjoyed visiting the local rum distillery, not only for the free samples but also for the history and relevance to that part of Florida! When you are travelling to different places, it is important to consider that the constantly changing flow of tourists can make or break the local businesses. Do your part and support small! 

Paradise is only a plane ride away

I will be traveling to North Carolina this summer for one of my cousin’s weddings. I am extremely excited as I obviously have not been able to do much traveling lately. If you are considering traveling anywhere a plane ride away this summer, definitely check out this piece by Planet Home’s Julianna about ecotourism – it’s fascinating and important to know. 

I hope that we all have an amazing Summer 2021 that is fun and responsible!