I like to call this the Why do I live here? week. So many consecutive days of single digit temperatures are sure to make you question your residential choices. This is usually the time of the year we reunite with friends and family after a week or two apart. Some of us flee the freeze and come back with tan lines, while others stay home and bare it with bundles of blankets. While some of us are still able travel to our far away destinations, some of us are taking a stay-cation out of caution. Since it stings to leave the comforts of your home, we thought we could provide a little help to make the most of your house holiday.
Start off your condo cruise with a nice meal. Whisk yourself away to a tropical place with some pineapple upside-down cake. Throw away that frozen pizza (or save it for later) and make a zapiekanki instead. Look it up, it’s even easier than pizza! Visit your ancestors with some recipes that were passed down from grandma. Picnic on the hillsides of your hallways with chakchouka or a croque monsieur. Food can give you the same rush you experience when zip-lining through the canopies of the Amazon, since 90% of our serotonin receptors are located in our gut. You don’t have to go to Brazil to taste a fresh limonada suíça, in fact you don’t have to leave your bed. With apps like InstaCart, who bring groceries right to your door, all you need is a little imagination.
Next in your apartment adventure, see some sights. What a world we live in, to be able to see the Louvre and the National Gallery of Victoria, down under, on the same day. The link below will lead you to 75 of the best virtual museum tours around the world! You can skip the lines and be as loud as you want. Not to mention you already know where the bathrooms are. Take a look at the Sistine Chapel without breaking your neck. Try and find the bathroom on the ceiling in the Dali Theatre-Museum in spain. From South Korea to San Francisco, Saint Petersburg to Mexico, these tours range from 3-D click and move styles to YouTube videos. Sure you won’t be able to touch anything, but let’s be honest you couldn’t touch anything even if you were there. So put on an analytical face, take off some comfortable shoes and be the tourist you always wanted to be.
There are many types of vacations. Some of us like to spend the entire day running from one reservation to the next while others like to sit by the pool and relax. For those of you who just want to relax, Madison has a few fabulous options to choose from, or you can create them yourself. Book a treatment at the Edgewater Hotel, right off frozen Lake Mendota and enjoy their heated relaxation pool before or after your mani-pedi. Or check out Kneaded Relief Day Spa in Fitchburg where they offer hydrotherapy options ranging from aromatherapy baths to a mud steam shower. Driving 20 minutes sure beats jumping into a mud bath with 20 strangers. Or if you want to create your own spa day, turn up the thermostat, turn down the lights and cut up a cucumber. Amazon can supply you with everything from nail polish to actual hot tubs.
It’s not a true vacation until someone gets lost. How do you get lost in your own home, you ask? Well, physically, that would be impressive, but mentally, there are many ways you can find yourself unaware of your surroundings. The fun in getting lost is in the adventure; your survival skills kick in and your brain starts to think differently. To get a little lost at home, try adding a little spice to your daily routine. Use your non-dominant hand when you brush your teeth. Stimulating your brain’s cognitive and creative functions can actually improve your brain fitness. Try getting dressed without any lights (be careful though.) Try going a day without your cell phone! Get lost from society. Get lost in a good documentary or transport yourself to a foreign place with a good book. Make your apartment unrecognizable. Rearrange the living room, bust out the satin sheets. Even putting a vase full of flowers on a table can create a foreign environment. There are many ways to create the illusion of being somewhere else, you just need a little creativity.
I don’t know who needs to hear this, but call your mom. Make your own postcard and send it. Zoom a friend and set your background to wherever you’re pretending to be. You may not be as far away as you would have liked, but any distance is a good enough reason to write home.