leather journal artwork done by Cindy Tadje

4 Simple Discoveries to Make This Summer

Summer is a season of discoveries. Amid pool trips, road trips, BBQs and sunburns are moments of warm quiet and cool breezes. It’s a season unlike any other, bringing about a renewed sense of energy and life, and a long, long list of all the things we want to do with these valuable months of sun.

If you’re anything like the Rustico cohort, your summer list is probably more full of drop-everything-now-and-book-a-flight-immediately-trip-ideas than anything else. (Belize, anyone?) We crave discovery, and our minds immediately go to tropical destinations with white sand beaches and dense rainforests well before they go anywhere else.

When we think of discoveries, it’s hard to tie our ideas to daily life. But amidst wild dreams of month-long getaways and personal pancake tours, there are 4 things you should take time to discover right here at home this summer.

A new hobby

When I was younger, I hated the thought kneeling in the dirt and pulling weeds. Possibly because it was occasionally used as a punishment, but I didn’t want anything to do with flowers, plants or soil. Last summer, my parents decided they wanted to do their own backyard landscaping and I agreed to help. I spent weeks with my parents exploring the planting shelves at Home Depot, picking beautiful flower combinations, and transferring them from pot to ground. Between the time I got to spend with my parents, the smells of the plants and sweet soil, the warm sun, and working with my hands, gardening became one of my favorite things to do. It gets me outside even more frequently and has created a space of mental clarity I absolutely love to escape to.

Urge yourself to try something different this summer, even if you think you’ll hate it. You never know what hobby will take hold and bring joy to your life.

A new favorite meal

I get pretty sick of eating the same food, but I’m not a great cook. It took years to master spaghetti and several more to figure out the stir fry game. Nevertheless, I’ve found finding and trying new recipes to be an amazing process. So much so that between the French, Thai and American Classic cookbooks in my cupboards, there’s barely room for anything else.

Discovering a fresh taste and a new favorite meal can take on its own life, leading to a series of hilarious mishaps and delicious wins. And what summer couldn’t do with more of those?

An amazing read

There may not be a better way to discover foreign, yet familiar worlds that bring unexpected meaning, clarity, and sense to our lives. In reading, I’ve found glimpses of myself that have prompted self-discovery, while simultaneously unearthing characters and plots that made me step outside of myself completely.

Don’t underestimate the journey that can be had in reading. Discover a new genre, author, or writing style this summer.

A new thinking place.

I’m of the belief that beauty is all around us, and that quiet moments are necessary to balance our lives. But in the swarm of rushing from place to place, it’s easy to allow stress and chaos way more room in our lives than we do peace. Step outside your daily routine and explore a new area. Find a new park, a new bench, a new walking path, or a quiet trail. Create time for listening and contemplation.

A still place to think, one that allows you the space to reconnect to the outdoors and to your inner thoughts, is one of the most valuable discoveries you can make.

While we might like it to, discovery doesn’t have to lead us thousands of miles away. Much of the discovery we do day-to-day – in the places we spend most of our time and just beneath the surface of our exteriors – is some of the best exploration we’ll ever do.


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