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Your Compass MONTHLY
APRI L 2018
THINK OUTSIDE THE THEME PARK THE BEST VACATIONS FOR PARENTS AND OLDER KIDS
FROM THE DESK OF Ty Wilson
Have you ever seen a more beautiful spring? The flowers are in full bloom as I write the introduction to this month’s newsletter. Everywhere you look, fragrant, colorful flowers. A new baseball season is upon us. Last year was a less-than-successful season — I believe we ended at 2-14. We had a pretty good draft and a pretty good team; however, you just never know how a new group of people will play together as a team until they get a few games under their belt. Looking back, it took our team awhile to play together and support each other. This year, as I write this, we already have twice as many wins as we had last year, so we are off to a much better start. The spring temperatures and beautiful scenery make this the perfect time of year to be outdoors in Savannah. Enjoy the weather while it is nice — we might be in for a hot summer. Stay safe, and have a Happy Easter!
There is no shortage of vacation options tailored to families with young children, but what happens when your kids reach high school and college? You might think that vacationing with older kids is a bigger hassle than it’s worth. Nothing could be further from the truth. In fact, an entire new world of vacation possibilities opens up once your children hit their teenage years. Dragging a 4-year-old through a national park tour might be a headache, but doing the same with a 14-year-old can be fun. The best part of vacationing with older children is that it’s a lot easier to pick a destination that appeals to the entire family. There’s nothing wrong with an all-inclusive trip to a resort for the sole purpose of unwinding, but a vacation can be much more than leisure. The next time you plan a family trip, consider these options tailor-made to delight teens and adults alike. A n U rban A dventure If you’re the type of family that enjoys an activity-centric vacation, a major city is the perfect destination for you. Trips to cities offer a lot more flexibility and personalization than one-size-fits-all cruises or resorts. Mom and one child may want to spend time at a museum while Dad and another catch a baseball game. Cities allow you to account for the various interests of family members rather than forcing everyone to spend all their time together. Visiting a city also cuts down on the aspects of traveling that most people detest. With robust public transportation and the explosion of ride-sharing services like Uber, you won’t need to rent a car. You’re also far less likely to encounter the fifth-day fatigue that sets in when you’re stuck at a resort and have run out of things to do.
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Cover story continued ... The biggest appeal of cities is simply that there are an infinite number of activity options. From restaurants and farmers markets to parks and concerts, you can fill every moment of your vacation with something exciting. On the other hand, when you want a relaxing afternoon with nothing on the calendar, aimlessly walking the streets is a joy in its own right. A n O utdoor E scape On the opposite end of the spectrum, a nature-focused getaway can be just as thrilling. Whether you have a family full of thrill-seekers or bird-watchers, there’s nothing like spending time in the great outdoors. Ask anybody for their bucket-list sights, and you’ll likely hear about the Grand Canyon and Yellowstone National Park. Why wait to knock these breathtaking, one-of-a-kind destinations off your list? You may have been hesitant to bring a little one on a trip into the wild, but there’s no excuse once your kids hit their teens.
As with city travel, you can craft the perfect outdoor vacation for your family. Some people may prefer settling down in a comfy cabin, cooking dinner every evening. Others might want to rent an RV and visit as many parks as they can. You can also calibrate the adrenaline level to fit your family members, and whether that entails peaceful walks or whitewater rapids is entirely up to you. Another draw for teens is the fact that everyone in their class has posted a selfie at a beach on Instagram, but hardly any will have one in front a geyser! A M ultiple -S top M ini T our Vacations over multiple destinations may require a little more planning than a few clicks on a travel website, but they’re definitely worth the effort. Rather than planning your vacation based on a place, you can opt to organize them by theme. As long as you’re willing to be flexible and put in the legwork, you’re only limited by your imagination.
Maybe you want to explore sports halls of fame from Canton to Springfield by way of Cooperstown. Perhaps you want to visit wineries up and down the California coast — provided, of course, that your children are of legal drinking age. Whatever your family’s shared passions are, there’s a way to build a trip around them. Vacations like these also leave plenty of room for discovery, which is one of the reasons why you travel in the first place. When you see something cool between planned stops, there’s nothing stopping you from checking it out. C urate Y our V acation Too many families decide on a vacation based on well-worn options. Resorts and theme parks have their place, but as your children age, you have the perfect opportunity to create something more memorable. Don’t waste it!
DO YOU NEED A MEDIA DETOX? The Dangers of Overstimulation
CNN in an interview about her selective social media use. If you’re not mindful of your media consumption and participation, it tends to pile up. When you detox, it’s a lot easier to identify which parts of your media diet are essential and which are only a burden. Another benefit of a media detox is that you’ll have more time to pursue new and dormant hobbies. Because most of us consume media in small chunks throughout the day, it’s easy to overlook how much that time adds up. All those hours you spend on Facebook could be used to start a garden, knit a quilt, or join a soccer league. Unless you have an unlimited supply of leisure time (and who does?), you need to be selective in the way you spend it. Remember, media isn’t the cause of all your ills. Used mindfully, it can actually increase happiness and satisfaction. The problem is that we are so mired in the media muck that we can’t get a perspective on how much is too much. A detox will allow you to reassess the media you’re consuming and build a better plan for the future. You can still keep up with your grandkids on Facebook, but it shouldn’t be the only way you interact with the world.
With the current trend of getting TV, social media, and news alerts sent to our phones, we have access to more media than we could ever consume. While constant connectivity is a boon for many aspects of our lives, researchers are discovering that too much stimulation is cause for concern. One study in the Journal of Social and Clinical Psychology found that too much social comparison, spurred by the likes of Facebook and cable news, can lead to an increased risk of depression. If you find yourself pressured to live up to the public lives of friends and family, or if you feel like you’re being bombarded with too much news and entertainment, consider a media detox. A detox doesn’t require you to unsubscribe from social media services or unplug your TV forever. Instead, think of it as a vacation from the overstimulation so many of us experience. Ask yourself which aspects of your media diet are causing more stress than they’re worth, and take a break from them for a little while. “In the same way we think about what we eat, we should think about what we read, what we’re seeing, what we’re engaging in, and what we’re interacting with every day,” Emma Watson told
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GARDENING: BRINGING FAMILY TOGETHER Why You Should Consider Investing in a Family Garden
C ollaboration Gardening gives your family a chance to collaborate. When you’re stuck inside for long periods, you may be spending time together, but it’s usually not quality time. Working in a group to create and maintain a garden is a hands-on experience for everyone. It’s a chance to get the whole family involved with a single project, and you can literally share the fruits of your labor. D eciding on P lants When it comes to deciding which plants you want in your garden, there are many variables to consider. Do you want to grow edible plants, ones that have magnificent blossoms, or ones that are easy to care for? Flowers are a good start if you want a plant that grows a little faster; plus, they lend a pop of color to your garden. Growing vegetables is also rewarding, as the kids will take great pleasure in eating what they’ve grown. Other possibilities include sunflowers, blackberries, peas, and lettuce. You might be surprised at how willingly children eat their greens when they’ve had a hand in growing them. Family gardens can bring something new and fresh to your home. So, get outside, enjoy the sun, and discover the joys of plants and gardening.
After spending a winter cooped up inside with your family, there might be a little tension between everyone. Fortunately, it’s spring, and the warm weather, melting snow, and blooming flowers offer a good way to ease restlessness. This season, why not bring your family closer together by starting a family garden?
A L earning E xperience
Nearly every step in the gardening process can be a learning experience for kids and parents alike. Begin by discussing where you should start and why, what supplies you’ll need, and the types of plants you want to grow. Gardening also offers opportunities to learn about science, ecology, and nutrition.
Take a Break!
MINT PEA SOUP With the beautiful spring weather, peas will soon be ripe enough to slip out of their pods. In honor of the season, this recipe pairs peas and pearl onions with mint to make a refreshing soup.
1 tablespoon agave nectar Juice of 1 lemon Salt to taste Pistachios for garnish
3 pearl onions, diced 3 tablespoons olive oil 6 cups fresh or frozen peas 5 cups vegetable stock 3/4 cup fresh mint, plus more for garnish
DIRECTIONS 1. Place pot on stove over medium heat. Add olive oil. Add onions and cook until translucent. 2. Add peas and stock. Cook until peas are just tender and still bright green. Remove from stove and cool for 5 minutes.
3. Put the mixture in a blender. As you blend, addmint, agave, lemon juice, and salt. 4. Once blended, pour into a bowl, garnish withmint and pistachios, and serve!
Recipe courtesy of mynewroots.org
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Inside This Issue From the Desk of Ty PAGE 1 Vacations Worth Remembering PAGE 1 Why You Should Consider a Media Detox PAGE 2 Bringing Family Together PAGE 3 Spring Greens Soup PAGE 3 Take a Break! PAGE 3 3 Awesome Ways to Create Lasting Memories PAGE 4
FAMILYTIME INTHEGREAT OUTDOORS
F ishing Fishing is a great way to get out and do something relaxing yet challenging. It doesn’t require a lot of skill or investment. All it takes is the willingness to learn and the desire to connect with nature. This is why fishing is the perfect activity for youngsters of all ages. So, what are you waiting for? Grab your rod and reel and head to the nearest lake or river. While these are all great stand-alone options, together they form an amazing three-headed monster for your next family outing. By combining camping with a hike to a river or lake where you can go fishing, you are sure to create lasting memories with your family that will draw you closer together. Ditch the lines at the airport and the stress of travel. Unleash the possibilities of adventure in the great outdoors.
thousands of dollars — and that’s just for the basics! But camping only requires a tent, a fire, picnic food, and water. Rather than scarfing down fast food between
flights and dealing with airport security, departure delays, and long flights, take a deep breath and roast marshmallows over the fire with the people you love. H iking A hike with family is an easy way to escape the hustle and bustle of city life. All a hike requires is a trail and a sense of adventure. The best part of hiking is that you can tailor the distance to fit your family’s needs. If you have children or grandkids who aren’t up for the challenge of an arduous daylong trek, there’s sure to be a shorter scenic trail. If nothing else, you can always turn around and backtrack the way you came.
Family adventures are a great way to grow closer and develop meaningful connections. But with lodging prices rising and the logistical nightmare that traveling with the entire family can be, many Americans are looking at a new option: ditching the beaches and resorts and heading to the great outdoors. Actually, we know this option isn’t new at all. Spending time outdoors with family may very well be one of the most time-honored traditions ever. C amping Lodgings and flights are expensive, so going on a family vacation can cost
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