What year is it again? Oh yeah, 2021. Are you ready to come out of hibernation and fill your veins with some summer adventure? There are so many different ways I can think of spending the summer months. Stuck and in need of some ideas how to get out and embody adventure over the warm months? I have some exciting alternative summer ideas for you.
The fire is burning in my heart to make the most of the warmer months and embrace my adventurous spirit, and take advantage of travel again as things are (thankfully!!~) opening back up in most places.
My thoughts are this: why spend the summer at home when the world is literally ye oystah *insert thick rhode island accent here*
The following is for the bored, perhaps restless, adventurous soul who wants to do something a little different this year while making money or spending minimally. Alternative summer ideas, here we go.
Alternative Summer Ideas For The Nature Lover
For The Landscape Enthusiast: Work on the water as a tour guide or in a National Park
Your life is about to look like a page from National Geographic. What if you were to wake up to the most stunning scenery the country has to offer, and work and play where people dream of visiting? It can totally happen.
For me, spending the summer on or near water is ideal. You can take the girl out of the ocean state but you can’t take the ocean out of the girl. What if you spent the summer working on the water? Sounds fun to me.
There’s a variety of options available, from kayaking to white water rafting, to working on a boat. Why not make some extra money and embody your best lifestyle outdoors this summer?
There’s literally a website devoted to listing jobs on water. You’re welcome.
Perhaps you don’t want to be working as tour guide, but want to work and live near water. That’s totally possible too. What if you worked in a National Park for a season and got to enjoy all of the elements every day while living your best simple life? Check out jobs working in National Parks this season.
Or rather, make a road trip out of National Park hopping. Pick two or three parks in the good ol’ USA and pack a tent, hop in the car and go! That leads me to my second alternative summer idea…
For The Woodland Wanderer: Pack up the car and go camping!
I love camping. There’s just something about fending for yourself, in the woods, in a tent, making it happen. Creating comfort in the wild, a skill we all should befriend. The idea of packing my car with a tent, an Aeropress, a cooler and some tiki torches sounds like my best life number two. And don’t forget toilet paper while you’re at it. Terrible joke not deleting later.
Camping is a great way to reconnect with nature, get some rejuvenation in your soul, and refuel. I find especially if you live in the city, its so important to take intentional time in nature and embody stillness for awhile.
The great thing about camping is it’s quite affordable, and you need minimal resources to do it.
There are thousands of public and privately-owned campgrounds catering to the needs of millions of campers using tents, travel trailers, motor homes or other types of RVs.
Checkout Reserve America for a directory of each, as to location, season, rates and amenities.
Want to camp a little less rustic-ly? Fancy a glampsite perhaps? I love cabins, I love weird structures in the woods. In fact, someday I hope to build my own tinyhouse. Until then, my favorite website is Hipcamp where you can find all sorts of gems such as treehouses, glampsites, RV’s, cabins, and beyond.
I’ve made you a little checklist to make sure you’re fully prepared to live in the wild:
- Tent (and footprint, stakes)
- Sleeping bag
- Camping pillow
- Headlamps or flashlights (and extra batteries)
- Camp chairs
- Folding Camp table (if no picnic table)
- Disposable Cups / Plates
- Pan & Pot (I love this camping cookware set!)
- Aeropress for Coffee
- Coffee, duh
For The Uninspired: Work on an eco-farm or improve your language skills while discovering a new corner of the world
Workaway is a website connecting people to a wide variety of cultural exchanges, where you get a chance to be a part of any type of lifestyle you can imagine. It’s a great way to travel affordably and learn a skill in the meantime. You’ll definitely walk away with a bunch of new memories and ideally a new perspective on the world. It’s an alternative summer idea with so much flexibility and variety, too!
I’ve taught english in a little village in Poland, and worked on a juice cleanse retreat center in the valleys of Portugal, where I fed 15+ volunteers and helped in the garden. Most of the time the work is fairly balanced with free time so you can explore a new place while having accommodation and food covered. If you’re in transition, this is a great chance to immerse yourself in a new environment.
It’s also an awesome way to get some inspiration, some perspective, and a chance to rethink your life.
For more information about what you might expect in a Workaway experience, read my post: Quit Your Job & Work Abroad: What Life Is Like Living Rent Free (My Workaway Experiences)
Here is a glimpse on some of the gigs you can encounter on Workaway:
For The Curious Pet Lover: Live rent-free, work & travel luxuriously while petsitting
As many of you may or may not know, part of the way I have been able to afford this nomadic lifestyle is not having a monthly rent payment (until very recently in Tulum). I spent many years petsitting, yes, petsitting, around the world in exchange for free rent in a new part of the world.
I love TrustedHousesitters — there are so many epic homes and animals in need of some love. It’s a beautiful community based exchange win-win situation. Browse the endless list of housesits and find a place you’re curious to visit, apply with a warm introduction, and go! You may want to start locally to build up your profile with some reviews, and ask any former pet’s parents to write you a testimonial to build trust in the beginning.
Want to make this a way of life? You totally can! Head over to my guide How To Be A Digital Nomad & Travel: 5 Steps To Freedom In 2021
So my friends, I hope this guide filled with alternative summer ideas has inspired you to do something maybe a bit unconventional this summer. Think outside the box and realize the only limit is really your imagination. There’s something available for every budget, every circumstance, and every lifestyle.
Let me know if any of these ideas were inspiring to you and what you’re choosing to do with your summer in the comments!
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Christine is a twenty-something coffee-obsessed solo traveler from a small town on the east coast of the US. She sold everything 4 years ago to follow her curiosity around the world.
As a passionate creative entrepreneur & digital nomad, she has explored it all! Her mission is to help others create and live their dream lifestyles aligned with their values and ultimately, create more sundays in their everyday.