Summer is upon us. And I swear the reason I haven’t written here for a while is that I’ve been finishing school work… I haven’t been slacking off in the sun! But now I’ve written my final, final paper and I just have to study for my last exam on Friday. Then I’m free! Except I’m also starting a new job…
I’m excited for this new opportunity and also for the chance to make some new summer memories. Of course, I’ll have a lot less free time than I did as a kid, like many of us do. When I was a kid, every year my family would drive up to the northern part of the province to visit relatives. It would take a couple of days, and it was fun–both the journey and the destination. Now I usually only go there by plane because I have less time, which feels less special. I don’t know if I’ll even go for longer than a weekend this time around.
Maybe your time off in the summer is limited too? If so, here are my 3 cheap ways to bring the magic of summer to wherever you are–introvert style.
1. Search the web, the newspaper, and street corners for summer supplies.
If your idea of summer bliss is chilling by yourself on the waterfront, at a park, or somewhere on your home base with a cool drink and a good book, you need supplies. Even if you have supplies already, finding new (to you) things can add some excitement to your relaxation. Garage sales are a good way to go, as is Craigslist. Think deck lights, even just a fancy new cup or twirly straw. Don’t forget to enjoy the process of searching, too. I look back fondly at the time my roommate and I found a patio table with two chairs labelled ‘free’ in front of a house about a half hour walk away from our place– and carried them all the way home, in the dark.
2. Explore unknown parts of your town and surrounding areas.
Get out of your routine! Even if you’re doing the same things in the summer during the weekdays as you do the rest of the year, try to make some time in evenings and weekends to explore. Take a bus you wouldn’t usually take, or look in to getting a coach bus or train to a nearby town for the day or weekend. Since it’s summer, you can take comfort in the fact that you won’t be the only one checking out the sights solo, if that’s how you want to go about it.
3. Volunteer at festivals.
Of course, you could just attend the festivals–but if you really want to keep the costs down, volunteering is a good way to go. You’ll usually get some sort of pass to get into the festival for free off-shift. For me, as an introvert who likes to meet new people but can feel awkward doing so, often one plus of volunteering is that it gives me a reason to talk to people–others are there to do a similar job as you and that can give you a way to start a conversation. However, if you just want to volunteer to get that free pass or to do good for your community, and you’d like to skip the small talk bit, you can always take a position picking up garbage or using your skills in something technical. A free t-shirt and snacks are often part of the package deal–all-inclusive resorts aren’t the only way to have fun in the sun, after all!
What are your tips for introverts who want to have fun on the cheap this summer? Share them in the comments. Thanks for reading!