The Upside of Downsizing
Originally published August 23, 2016 in Boomers and Beyond, Times-Standard
Less stuff, more time to visit beautiful local places.
I’m a way-cationer. I leave town and usually the country on my vacations. I love flying to faraway places. At least until I am standing in an airport-related line or feeling claustrophobic halfway through a long flight. In my youth I worried when I couldn’t sleep on planes, now I just go with the flow. I don’t get jet lag. Sure, I am tired after a sleepless journey, but I try to get in sync with the time difference as quickly as possible, staying awake until it is socially appropriate to pass out.
Each time, I swear I will pack better. Since I sold my home and downsized my stuff I have more time on my hands so my thoughts went first to planning a trip. The idea of keeping things simple caused me to think about how little I have seen locally. Maybe it was time for a stay-cation to see everything I’ve missed wandering in airports on my journeys around the globe.
The list of things I have never seen or done locally turns out to be embarrassingly long, so I have already started my attack. My first stop was Sequoia Park. I admit I had never seen the duck pond! Now that I live near the park, it is my favorite walking route.
Trinidad Head was next. Been to the beach plenty of times, but never walked around the Head. Then a meander along the coast to Luffenholtz Beach where I spotted what looked like an extra-terrestrial sunning itself on the overlooking bluff.
I had a nice time at Moonstone Crossing’s tasting room, another first. Not the wine, but the location. After a hike in the McKay Tract I googled the 101 Things to do in Humboldt webpage and started to seriously plan my “stay-cation.”
Outdoor activities are the priority – I spend enough time indoors. As per my pre-trip ritual, I will overkill my research and set a very ambitious schedule. Half the fun of any trip is the planning and anticipation, right? Morning, afternoon and evening activities will be planned.
Instead of driving through Richardson Grove I am going to take a hike there. Same for Prairie Creek State Park. A trip out to Fern Canyon is on the list. Although I have been there once before, I barely remember it, so it’s time to go back.
I might rent kayaks for both the Bay and one of the lagoons. I have rowed on the Bay, but with a whole team on board I couldn’t stop and look around.
A jet boat up the Klamath sounds fun, as do tours of Blue Ox Millworks, Salmon Trail and a horseback riding tour in Fortuna.
Patrick’s Point is one of my favorite places to go, but I have only been to Agate Beach once and it’s time to go again. I will also visit a few of our RSVP program stations where we support volunteers working for the environment.
I can’t decide whether to go full tilt and stay in motels or drive home each night, where I might get distracted by non-vacation types of things.I am starting this adventure the end of August. If you see me out and about, I am on a legitimate vacation and not shirking my official duties.
(Note, almost one year later: No, I didn't do even half of the things on my list and I received a great number of suggestions when I wrote this story last year. I am looking towards the end of August this year for another mini stay-cation.)