Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Be a Tourist

I was off last week, taking my own gift-of-the-month. We drove to Wrightsville Beach in North Carolina for a few days, not too far from our home, and the trip reminded me of an easy way to plan for a brief break close to home.

Play tourist, right where you live.

Go to the library, bookstore or AAA office (if you're a member) and get a tourbook for your state or local area. Check out your state's tourism bureau on the web and look for tourist maps in grocery stores. I found a map of North Carolina Civil War sites that makes a good resource for small trips around the area. I picked up a great book in the bookstore called "Day Trips from Raleigh-Durham" and I requested a copy of the AAA tourbook that covers North Carolina. When I'm planning a couple of hours for a local holiday, I look through these books for the tourist attractions--museums, parks, shopping centers, historic sites, craft studios, buildings of local significance, and factory tours. In many tourbooks, the entry for an attraction will note how long a typical visit lasts. I pick what strikes my fancy and fits my schedule. Then I act like a tourist and visit.

In tourist mode, I've learned a lot about North Carolina and seen beautiful local scenery which I would never have known existed--all while giving myself time away from the normal stresses of life.

These local mini-trips are low-cost, save gas, and help the local economy. It's all good.

Take care of yourself today. Be a tourist.

Blessings on your caregiving!

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