Jeanneret Beach, Bay of Fires
Ah, summer holidays. The first question everyone asks is, "Where are you going over summer?" And my answer mostly is, "Well, nowhere actually." The subject of my sermon today is, 'Why you don't have to get on a plane to experience the good life.' Choosing experiences over stuff is all very well but experiences don't have to involve exotic, far away places. One of my recent resolutions is to learn to live deep in the place where I already am. I could spend a lifetime walking the forests and towns of Tasmania and discovering the birds, the fungi, the plants and the extraordinary human history just on this little island where I live. To be honest, I hardly even do that. I like my house, my garden, my neighbours, the little patch on the mountain I find myself visiting on a regular basis.
But certain family members get restless, and other family members come to visit, with their partners, best friends, cousins, great aunts etc, in tow, and sometimes I find myself under pressure to actually leave the house. Sometimes I find myself entangled in schemes to go away for a few days, camping or staying at a house at the beach, or other variations on that theme. And let's face it, while that always seems worthwhile in retrospect, it is completely exhausting before, during and after the event, with all the packing, cooking, washing, cleaning and organising that goes with leaving the house for a few days. Like Armageddon, with suitcases. Clearly, event organisation is not my thing. So this summer, I have been encouraging Big Days Out instead.
Honeycomb Caves, underground river
Most places in Tasmania are within two hours' drive of most other places, so in high summer, if you leave earlyish you can have a good six to eight hours of being in a whole different place, and then get home in time to sleep in your own bed. Oh, my goodness, I appreciate my own bed. I think I must be getting old. There are so many benefits to this scheme. Food for one day is relatively easy to prepare and stash in an esky in the back of the car. Sleeping bags, tents, toothbrushes, camping permits etc are not required, nor is it necessary to sell one of the children to finance overnight accommodation. It is easier to persuade friends and family to join you for one day, thus spreading the joy and the food preparation and sharing the children around.
Honeycomb Caves - quick, count the children, have we lost any?
This summer we have been to the beach, been caving in unguided caves in the hills, clambered up and down waterfalls, discovered two new river swimming holes, been blueberry picking and picnicking, and well, now would be a good time to stay home, I think.
On top of the world - The Sidling Lookout
Being Tasmania, most of our adventures have been in the great outdoors, but city Big Days Out could be very creative and fun and cheap as well. For me, art galleries and botanic gardens would always top the list, but it is possible there are other entertaining free things to do in a city as well.. anyone?
Tell me about the Big Days Out you enjoy in your part of the world..