Friday, June 22, 2012

Summer Escapes by Guest Author Gregory Allen

People see these few months we get each year as a time to escape our usual daily lives and go on a vacation. They plan (sometimes for months) exactly where they want to go to create the best possible holiday/vacation they can. I’ll admit I’m always jealous of my friends that teach and get those months off. They will fight with me about how hard they work during the other months and they deserve to escape their classrooms; but secretly I am jealous I can’t spend every summer day in front of the television or immersed in a good book. But the rest of us must be happy with that one week we may get away or a long weekend to go to the beach.

Escapes don’t need to be held for those warm months when people like to shed their clothes and bake in the sun. There are so many ways one can turn off the daily routine and do something different throughout the year.

Watch a good movie. Turn off that phone, put in the latest DVD of a movie you missed when it was released and allow yourself to forget the world for a moment. Or actually get out of your house and go sit in that large dark room that smells of popcorn and be swept away by the latest blockbuster (or better yet – an indie film by an unknown filmmaker). Just do remember that silence is golden so for the sake of all: cell phones off!

Let yourself travel in a book. There is nothing like turning your back on the laundry piling up or the dishes in the sink to be transported somewhere else by the words of a well-loved author. Our minds are the best escape we have. We paint the pictures. We set the scene. We cast the characters. And we get to enjoy the moments inside those pages (or on your favorite digital reader) when it is just us and the book. Now more than ever, there are so many choices for excellent books out there. I personally love to discover a new author (thank God for social media sites) and try them out. See where they’ll take me and just let myself take a personal vacation for a few hours.

Live theater. I absolutely love it. I realize I have the luxury of living near New York and can get to a Broadway show (always with discounted seats, I might add), but that doesn’t mean others can’t do the same. Look in your local papers to see what the community theater in town is presenting. Or the high school. Or a touring company of a show. There is nothing like watching people perform live as you never know what may happen. And as you sense the audience around you and you all collective enjoy the experience, the escape you can get from it is well worth the price of admission.

So don’t always long for the good ol’ days of summer. Plan those escapes throughout the year so you allow yourself more chances to ‘get away’. 

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