Updated: Jan 8
The lockdown (and now the eased, yet still abnormal) life that we all lead in 2020 has made our summer plans ground to a halt. But whilst it may seem that your dreamy summery Pinterest boards have gone to waste – do not fear! Your hometown has a lot more to offer than you think – and with the right group of people, you can still have a fantastic summer: just follow my tips and tricks below!
STAYCATION - IN A VARIETY OF WAYS
In Your Hometown:
Who’s to say that you can’t explore your beloved city like a tourist? You’ll definitely see another side to it and you can do it whilst avoiding the usual crowds swarming around the tourist traps. Make an itinerary for a couple of days and invite your pals too (University friends will enjoy discovering your hometown, anyway!) Take Bath for example – Have a wander around the markets and shops, take a tour of the Roman Baths and the Abbey and have a picnic outside the famous Royal Crescent. Soon, spas will be opening up anyway – so check out Bath’s Thermae Spa for an extra treat.
In Your University's City:
I’m going to make a huge generalisation and say that, during term time, you probably don’t venture too far out of the main student hub of your university’s city. So, maybe this summer, pop up and get used to your new student home (being socially distanced and safe, of course) or stay in an Air BnB if you’re a fresher – and discover the sights of the city you live in for half the year! I study at Manchester University, so let’s use that as an example. Instead of sticking the Oxford Road and surrounding areas (where the University’s central campus is located) head towards the Northern Quarter and treat yourself to some yummy tapas, funky vintage stores and tucked-away coffee shops. Pop to the world-famous Intu Trafford Centre or check out the football museum. You get the picture. Get to know the city you already love before University starts back – and make your student house your home before you have to go there for good!
Manchester Brighton Bath
Did Someone Say Road Trip?
If you’re lucky enough to have friends and family dotted across the country – take advantage of that and go visit them! Make the trip to Liverpool to see your friend from your Gap Year or go and visit your old school friend at her student house in Falmouth, Cornwall. You’ll get to catch up with the people you love and see another part of the country, too. Just make sure that you’re doing so in the most socially responsible way! Maybe get a COVID-19 test or, at the very least, make sure that you’re abiding by the new Government rules and double/triple check that the person you’re visiting is happy with you seeing them.
Even if you’re just drive for ten minutes and look at a different view (than the one outside your window), I guarantee that you’ll feel like you’re on a mini-holiday. Pack a picnic with some friends and explore a part of the nearby countryside on a day trip and unwind from all your stresses at home, or just go for a dog walk! If you’re feeling particularly adventurous, you could set up a tent, camp overnight in your garden and watch the stars. No matter your budget, this is definitely one way to spruce up your routine and enjoy the (free!) outdoors.
GET IN TOUCH WITH YOUR CREATIVE SIDE
Have you ever dreamt of writing a screenplay or learning a new language? Isolation may appear to be over but without the distraction of travel and traditional holiday busy-ness, this summer is still a fantastic opportunity to do those things that you’ve always been too busy to do.
Check the books off of your to-read list, too – here are some of my top recommendations:
Chloe Ting? Never heard of her? Good – because her workouts are seriously overrated. But if you asked me who she was before March, I would’ve had no idea at all, let alone been able to comment on the quality of her workouts. That’s because during this period of isolation I feel like I’ve gotten an idea of what types of workouts work best for me and have been able to actually spend time doing them! Whether it was the 5K running trend that got you going or Youtube’s Mad Fit 15-minute-long 2000’s dance party workouts that make you sweat – have a research and find out what you enjoy. Working out doesn’t have to be gruelling or a stress; after all, exercise releases endorphins that make you happy. Take the time to better yourself – not outwardly (because you’re already beautiful) but to improve your fitness and stay healthy at a time when health is the most important factor in our lives. Maybe even join a club or start a class (now that it’s safe to do so) and make some friends! They’ll be the reason that you keep going back and you’ll have fun whilst doing it.
Joe Wicks’ abs and cardio workouts – His videos are the only ones that make my abs burn because he actually talks you through technique and how to get the most out of the workout.
Madfit – worth another mention. Her workouts to popular songs by the likes of Harry Styles and Lizzo get the blood pumping and the actual exercises are manageable, yet effective. But the bottom line is, it’s so fun that you don’t even notice you’re working out!
PopSugar’s plethora of workouts – Mine and my sister’s favourite was the Latin Zumba workout. With peppy, fun instructors, not only did the moves make our muscles ache afterwards, but we had a laugh whilst doing it. On a Sunday morning, ‘batting the haters away’ (an actual legitimate move) was fun and refreshing from a workout routine.
Marla Fay’s abs and booty routine – Whilst she is not talking you through the techniques like Joe, her exercises do get you results. A good, classic ab workout with some funky background tunes (and a timer, so you know how long you have left of each move!)
Socially distanced group activities:
Workouts on either Zoom Swimming/Surfing
or at the gym
A run or brisk walk Golf
So, despite all the setbacks that 2020 has decided to throw at us - try and spend the summer in the most memorable way possible. Whether it be from your front garden, your bed or an 'air-bridged' holiday destination, hopefully I've given you some helpful tips to make the most out of this period of time (which is unlike any other in history!). Have fun!
(all of these photos are taken from Pinterest - I have linked where possible, but all credit goes to the original owners!)