The minute hand strikes 'weekend' and you're off the clock. You and a group of your best buds pile into a car filled with backpacks, coolers, and road snacks. You've got the tunes cranked and you're on your way to backroads and evergreens. You drive through forests and fog, past shorelines and mountain tops. Its a few hours before you pull into the driveway of the cabin you've rented for the weekend. Everyone rolls out and ducks inside to claim a bed (and marvel at how clean it is). Maybe there is a hot tub. Maybe there is a gas cook top. Maybe there is a handwritten note of instructions. Whatever, wherever, you are staring at a few glorious days of time to yourselves. You take a deep breath, and let it out slowly.
Weekends away are usually about relaxing, socializing, taking a break. Most of us need that once in awhile. We need to shuffle our schedules and ruffle our feathers to bring variety to our lives. It can be a great way to release stress and refocus on what we really value. Whether it is time away together with friends or family, or time alone, it gives us the opportunity to connect. There might be someone you've been missing that you need a real heartfelt chat with. You might need to sit and journal to spend time with your own thoughts. Or it may be nature that you've been neglecting, and having the time to get outside and ground yourself is what you're really craving.
It could be all or any. Every trip is different, every person is different. While you're daydreaming up your next excursion, we encourage you to be mindful of the way you are planning to get away. It can be easy to let your principles drift to the back ground for a weekend and choose convenience over consciousness. It can be tough to keep your good habits up while you're travelling, but just because it is time off doesn't mean it should be a time out from respecting our planet.
When you're making your shopping list for the weekend, ask what everyone already has in their fridge to contribute to each meal instead of feeling like you need to purchase everything new (easier on the wallet too!). If you're cooking together a lot, there is bound to be at least a few leftovers. Toss in a couple of jars and reusable beeswax wraps to preserve anything that doesn't get eaten and bring it home as opposed to trashing it. Add in some reusable cloth napkins in case where you're staying doesn't have any, they will always be useful. Whatever your method of transportation is, you will be the ones who will have to haul anything you bring so consider items with multiple uses while you're packing. When you have an extra mason jar to fill with water or coffee, you'll thank yourself for thinking ahead!
When you're planning the activities for your trip and picking things like what restaurants you'll eat at, what hikes you'll do, how much leisure time you want, slot a block of time into the itinerary to complete a good deed. When you've already gone to the trouble of gathering your friends together to share in a wild experience, why not make it purposeful as well? It can be as easy as packing a few garbage bags into your pockets on your way to the beach you really want to visit and doing a bit of clean up.
There is so much ocean plastic washing up onto shores that gets ignored because we think there's no easy fix for it. Right now, the easy fix part is true. But we can still make a difference in our own small ways. We can choose to be leaders and inspire those who are watching us to find their own intrinsic motivation to be change makers. Guilt is a motivator often met with reluctance, but anyone can be reminded to be a little more mindful when we see others doing good.
You can be that inspirational person in a big way, or just within your own peer group. You don't have to preach, lead by example and invite others to join you in your appreciation of the natural beauty of this planet. Even if you just get people thinking, that could be the spark needed to change their habits and lifestyles for the better permanently. We know it's cliché, but you can be the change you want to see!