Summer is my favourite season. It may seem like just the thing for extraverts, but everyone can enjoy summer in many different ways. It’s true that there are a lot more people out and about, and even more opportunities to attend BBQs, parties, and a bunch of your friend’s friends at a cottage. There are also ample opportunities to have some alone time. For me, it’s about balance, and finding balance may just mean ignoring some people sometimes and other people all of the time. We need to get good value for our energy expenditure as well as know when and how to re-charge, and of course to have fun!
Having Fun in Summer
There are lots of ways to have fun in summer, in my opinion, whether you like to hang around other people or not. I prefer a mix of hanging around other people and just chilling out by myself (on my balcony enjoying a beer and a good book). I also don’t mind a half-empty patio (good luck with that in nice weather during prime-time) and sharing a drink with a good friend. For example, a friend and I were recently evaluating the margaritas at a local Mexican restaurant. Needless to say, they passed their evaluation and we’ll be going back for more. If you go for margaritas with one other friend, and they’re the talker in the relationship, then all you have to do is just sip and listen. Sounds good, right? You will have to pay attention sometimes, however, because there may very well be a quiz later: “Remember that time we went for margaritas and I told you that really important thing?” You’d better remember; for the sake of your friendship!
Let’s say that enjoying drinks and a book on a balcony by yourself, or a drink with a friend on a patio isn’t you thing. What about outdoor sports? There is that issue of more people being outside enjoying nature now. You might find yourself wondering: “Where did all these people come from?” They were inside, and now they’re outside. You may find that the look lost. It’s because they’ve been staring at the same walls for months and now they’re wondering: “what are these things with the brown trunks and the green tops?” (Answer: trees). Convertible guy can now go down the street with the top down and not having me judge him for it being too cold to do such things. If you are participating in an outdoor activity such as riding your bike, pick off-peak times if you would rather not do “slalom” around pedestrians who make really good pylons as they spread out across the breadth of the trail you’re riding on (ugh…strangers).
May I rant for a second? Please tell your friends with the ear buds in and the headphones on as they walk down the trail to turn down the music, take off the headphones/ ear buds and listen to the sounds around them. One of those sounds could be my bicycle bell. It’s loud enough to be heard without music or pod casts blasting in one’s ears, and it’s important that it is heard (to prevent injury and trail rage). I am not above scaring the pants off someone (as I sneak up beside them) who doesn’t heed the warning of my bell. I only say this because it has happened before, and I gave the person the same advice I am giving now. Thankfully, there was no collision. Rant over.
Meeting Strangers at a Friend’s Cottage
On a long-weekend, you may be invited to a friend’s cottage, and at this cottage you will likely meet friends of that friend whom you’ve never met before. This can be an awkward situation for an introvert because of that whole thing we tend to have about meeting strangers. You may hear this friend of a friend ask “dude, why is your friend so quiet”? If you’d like to know why, check out my video. I explain it in that speech. The first day or two is likely going to be uncomfortable for the introvert, especially if the only person he or she knows is their “friend”. Good for us for going and playing along. There are lots of fun things to do at the cottage, especially if you’re into the outdoors. And think of this: you may get some alone-time after all!
Since Last Summer
Meeting people you haven’t seen since last summer may mean catching them up on everything that has happened since last year, including that thing you were trying to get over that happened a few months ago and this person brings it up again. Or they may be over it and you’re off the hook (it’s usually this one).
Some people will look exactly the same, and that’s comforting. And maybe some people don’t like you anymore, or maybe they never did like you and now they’re showing it. Or, they weren’t sure about you before, but now they do like you. Either way, you get to hang out with whomever you’re comfortable with. Nowadays, if someone seems to dislike me (because I’m not in their squad, that’s what it seems like), or isn’t including me I’m okay with it. Guess what it does mean: more alone time/ ME time. It’s not about being liked or not. It’s more about: am I having a good time or not?
How to Get Alone Time
This one is easy. You go for a walk, and if anyone asks to come with you, say “yes” and then lose them in the woods. See? Super easy. I always ask the person I know will say no. That way, I get to feel good about offering to someone else the opportunity to be in my presence, and then I get to walk by myself. I may also talk to myself if necessary, and that is perfectly normal. Another way to go about this is to simply disappear. I find that a distraction isn’t even necessary (i.e. “What’s that over there”). Eventually, everyone will get up to go inside and get more bacon (since it’s breakfast time in my imagination) and you take off in the other direction.
What to do with your alone-time
Extraverts, take note, especially if you’re relying on your introvert to entertain you. Everyone can benefit from alone-time, and others can benefit from you taking some alone-time too. It goes both ways.
This is the beauty of alone-time in the summer. If everyone is inside, you can go outside (even if it’s raining, believe me). If everyone is outside, you can go inside, or go jump in a lake, or go for a walk, or go see a movie by yourself on a Wednesday afternoon. The possibilities are limitless.
I have family members who live in touristy areas, and they are inundated with tourists all summer long. They’re quiet oasis turns into a tourist-Mecca as soon as the sun comes out and the weather warms up. And, if my family members are unlucky, the tourists start removing their clothes. It’s legal under certain conditions for all people in my province of residence to go without tops. Why anyone would want to risk getting sunburn in those areas is beyond my understanding, yet people do it. Yes there is sunscreen to be applied, but what if you miss a spot? This nudity risk is one thing that can make it hazardous, or at the very least, interesting for my family living in these summer-tourist areas to make a trip to the grocery store. There may be things that aren’t in the flyer that they see on display before they even get to the store.
Some people may complain about tourists taking over their small town during the summer months, but keep in mind, I get to live near these people and their “strange” driving habits the rest of the year because I live where these people live. I get them the rest of the year, so you get them for summer camp. Enjoy! I like being a tourist but trying not to act like a tourist. I also like pretending I’m a local because I know the people who live there and can find them without a GPS, or knowing the names of streets.
I hope you have enjoyed my tips on getting ready for summer. If you’d like to share your funny tips on summer, please drop a note for me in the comments.