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Summer Bucket List

6 Ways to Make the Most of Summer Right Where You Are

Article by Kristen Wright-Matthews

Originally published in SOFU Lifestyle

What comes to mind when you think of summer? For most, summer is synonymous with fun. It’s the time of year to let your hair down and take life slowly. For students, it means no school and many working people usually take the opportunity to break the monotony and get away. Vacation, baecation, staycation, or whatever you call it—by the time summer rolls around, most of us can appreciate the time off, warm weather, and a dash of excitement.

This summer will inevitably be a little different. With numerous events, school, and even jobs being canceled, we will have to be creative in entertaining ourselves and our families. We have no control over how long this will last, but we can control how we spend our time. The COVID-19 pandemic is an unprecedented event that will be documented in history. Whether you’re enduring it alone, with a significant other, or as family, why not make some memories of your own?

Create a bucket list as it’s a great way to connect with your values, stay on track with your goals, log your experiences, and simply enjoy life. Here are some ideas to help you have a summer you’ll never forget, social distancing or not.

#1: Take a Virtual Vacation

Is there something or someplace you’ve always dreamed about? Like watching an Egyptian sunset camelback or floating across the Grand Canal under the moonlight? How about swimming in the luminous crystal-clear waters of Bora Bora? Thanks to the WWW, we can go virtually anywhere we want—without a passport. Pick one of the world’s most fabulous destinations and chart your next (or first) international vacation. Save your findings in a binder. Take notes. Once you have everything you need, plan your virtual vacation. Cook cultural recipes or order takeout from a local restaurant, make crafts or decorate to make your journey complete. Take lots of photos. Repeat.

By the time we’re free to travel abroad safely, you’ll be ready. If you never make it, at least you’ll have the memories. By the end of the summer, you might be considered a world traveler.

#2: Go Backyard Camping, or Glamping if You’re “a Little Extra”

Get a tent and let the fun begin. Getting outside will allow you to vacate the house and experience something new and different. You can keep it modest or step it up for a full-fledged glamping adventure by adding some of the comforts and luxuries you have inside the house.

#3: Explore the Peach State

Take a day trip and explore some of the beautiful sites Georgia has to offer. Catch a sunrise, go for a run, or swim at Jekyll Island's Driftwood Beach; climb 600 stairs to Amicalola Falls, the tallest cascading waterfall in the South; or kayak through a forest of Spanish moss-covered cypress trees at Paddle Bank Lake. You can indulge in all of these fascinating adventures while staying 6 feet apart from others. If you’re not ready, visit for more ideas on how to #ExploreGeorgiafromHome.

#4 Get Better

In seeing how the world is innovatively adjusting to our new normal, it’s hard not to feel inspired to be better and do better. Many are saying their goal is to come out of COVID-19 better than before. What that looks like varies from person to person. Whether it’s launching a new business, writing a book, starting a charity, reorganizing your home, or going back to school, define “better” for you and use the extra time to get started.

#5: Experience Your Home From a Different Perspective

Enjoy your home in ways you wouldn’t ordinarily. Sleep in a different room or gather everyone together for a sleepover in the family room. Instead of watching a movie in your typical spot, plan a movie night in the yard, or as they say, on the green. Invite friends and family and spend quality time with those you’ve been missing, social-distance style.

#6: Celebrate the Fourth of July  

If you have no intention of going out to celebrate Independence Day as usual, consider hosting a celebration at home with all the trimmings. Invite your family and friends via Zoom and you can make it a virtual reunion. Plan early because by July, maybe we can have the kinds of reunions we really want.

Being limited to the space of our homes is not what we’re accustomed to. It can be overwhelming, but we must keep in mind that it’s temporary. The ultimate goal is to stay safe. See this as a time to reset, look at life and what’s important to you…and live! One thing we’ve learned from all of this is that life can change in an instant. Reconnect with yourself, your people, and your environment. Despite social-distancing guidelines, there are so many ways to make the most out of summer right where you are. So go out and fill your bucket lists!

Kristen has worked as a freelance writer and public relations professional for over 20 years. Originally from Los Angeles, she relocated to Atlanta in 2015 after spending 12 years in beautiful Charleston, SC. Kristen lives in South Fulton with her husband Chris and two boys. She is the editor/publisher of – a hyperlocal calendar and family fun guide.