What would you do with a week off?
June 8, 2013 11:20 AM   Subscribe

I have nine days coming up shortly with no distractions. The phone is 'off the hook', the chores are done, the 'to-do' list is all clear. What would you all do in this situation? "Enjoy it" I know... that is taken for a given! I want it to be constructive too.

Some background if it helps: I am a single guy, mid-thirties. I live near a couple of cities but also within reach of some countryside. I don't have a huge amount of hobbies other than cycling and running. Plus, I enjoy reading and documentaries.

I hope it doesn't sound like complaining. I am really looking forward to this time and appreciate it as a rare luxury. So, what would you do in this situation? Alternatively, if you want to tailor an answer more specific to the details I provided that would good also.

Many thanks in advance of any advice offered (you guys are seriously good at what you do).
posted by 0 answers to Society & Culture (18 answers total) 12 users marked this as a favorite
Bike riding in the countryside?
posted by luckynerd at 11:26 AM on June 8, 2013

I would swim, meditate and cook some healthy meals that take time to prepare. Maybe even have a small dinner party for friends or otherwise reconnect with those that I love.
posted by St. Peepsburg at 11:42 AM on June 8, 2013

I would make art.

If you don't have many hobbies, perhaps you can use this time to try out a couple things that you've always been curious about but were never organized or motivated enough to give a go. Something that leaves you with a result after your endeavor might be nice, like writing, or geocaching, or making jam, rather than something more of the moment like dancing or climbing the tallest mountain (although there's always cameras for that.)

Or, if the reason you don't have many hobbies is that you don't have the time for them in your day to day life, use the time to focus and recenter yourself. Relish the quiet and be deliberate in doing next to nothing. Don't watch tv or check your email or anything. It'll be really hard! But hopefully ultimately rewarding. Take care of your body of course, eat well and sleep well and go for long walks. The phrasing of your question implies that you recognize the true luxury here is the quietude you're able to afford yourself. Take advantage of it; roll around in it.
posted by Mizu at 11:42 AM on June 8, 2013

I would travel somewhere. Maybe a city or two. Somewhere foreign, non-English-speaking. Somewhere I haven't been before. I would use the time to just be, in a place that's very different to my normal environment. I regard this sort of thing as being very constructive indeed.
posted by Decani at 11:47 AM on June 8, 2013 [1 favorite]

Do you have any lazy dirt just sitting around holding up grass?

If so, buy some little veggie starters and a shovel at a nearby store and plant a garden in the sun. Even if you've never been into gardening, you may be surprised how excited you are to run out and check on your new plants each morning.
posted by General Tonic at 11:59 AM on June 8, 2013 [4 favorites]

can you provide us with anymore criteria of things you like/dislike? in what area are you located?

to build on luckynerd's post - if i were you i'd pack a bag/pannier and go on some overnight/multi-day long ride biking adventures. either camp out or find an airbnb to crash in. hit up those cities, cruise around that countryside, and try to explore the roads you've never been on. eat in restaurants you've never tried. talk to locals and ask their recommendations on things to do. if you know your surrounding area by heart, go to the edges of that area and explore beyond it.

if it was me and i had a week off - i'd get out of my city as i explore it enough as is. i'd go to chicago or colorado. chicago i haven't been to yet but i've been told the architecture is amazing. colorado has family and my heart and is just a really rad place to be :)
posted by cristinacristinacristina at 11:59 AM on June 8, 2013 [1 favorite]

Here are three things I would consider doing if I had 9 days off and no other responsibilities:

(1) Begin the first 9 days of a rigorous fitness and exercise plan, so that by the time my vacation was up I'd be well into the routine and could keep rolling with the positive momentum.

(2) Redecorate an entire room: paint the walls and the trim, find new wall hangings, paint/varnish/refinish furniture, shop for new rugs, curtains, etc.

(3) Drive to somewhere I've never been, bring a journal, a camera, and some books and hang out there until I get tired of it.
posted by MoonOrb at 12:05 PM on June 8, 2013 [1 favorite]

I'd contemplate a trip somewhere, but I'd probably end up just sitting in the living room playing a video game for most of the week. I might also slouch around poking at ideas for my upcoming comics project, since I can only imagine being in that sort of space when I'm done with the current one.
posted by egypturnash at 12:07 PM on June 8, 2013

Oh God, I would *read*.

Pick something dense and rewarding, that you have always wanted to read and never had time for.

On my list: A Theory of Justice by John Rawls. But any classic that appeals to you would do. It is really rare for people to have the time and energy to do this: take advantage :-)
posted by Susan PG at 12:13 PM on June 8, 2013 [2 favorites]

Go to Iceland and drive around and hike and look at waterfalls.
posted by raf at 12:51 PM on June 8, 2013

I'd act like a tourist in the nearest cities. Go to a bar or cafe that you haven't explored. Go to chuch, go to museums, go to thrift stores, try something completely different. Then, I'd make something I'd never made--beer, bread, homemade pasta. And then, I'd spend a day watching the entire run of a new-to-me TV series (Breaking Bad, Dr. Who, Grimm--something I might not have seen.)
posted by Ideefixe at 1:07 PM on June 8, 2013

Teach yourself to bake bread.
posted by ZipRibbons at 4:03 PM on June 8, 2013

If I felt like spending money: I'd travel to some mildly interesting and inspirational but not too flashy city with at least passable public transit. I would probably use Airbnb or the equivalent to get some homelike place for a week. I'd set myself a "work week's" worth of creative "work" I could do on a computer. Monday through Friday I'd get up around 8-9am and take my laptop to some friendly, well-trafficked coffeeshop and spend 8 hours "working" around a long breakfast and lunch. In the evening I'd drop my laptop off at my place and then go sightseeing and have a nice dinner. During the weekend I would make extended day trips either around the city or into the country or both.

If I didn't feel like spending money and was disciplined: stay at home but do the "work" thing at a coffeeshop somewhere not near my apartment. Evenings and the weekend would be like my normal life.

If I didn't feel like spending money and wasn't disciplined: waste it all messing around on the internet or playing games in my apartment.
posted by moonlit walk on the sun at 5:51 PM on June 8, 2013

I wish I was you!

I would have at least one day of taking it easy - take your time getting up and ready to go, go out for brunch or a late lunch in a nice place and just watch the world go by.

Go to that restaurant or bar that you've been meaning to try for a while.

If you don't normally have weekdays off - go to a concert or some community event that's on during the day that you wouldn't normally be able to get to. Also explore your local area. It will feel different during the day.

Go to the countryside and walk/run/cycle and read and watch DVDs. A change of location will make you feel like you've had a holiday and not just time off.

Have fun!
posted by pianissimo at 11:42 PM on June 8, 2013

I would learn to play a musical instrument for just such times.
posted by BenPens at 4:57 AM on June 9, 2013

I would find an intensive language class for my target language.
posted by chiefthe at 8:52 AM on June 9, 2013

Just coming in to tidy up. Thanks for all the suggestions everyone. I compiled a little list because I prefer to leave off 'best answers' as everyone gave a useful contribution. My week starts tomorrow and I am looking to knock some of these off the list and remember the rest for breaks in the future. I hope the thread helps others who may find themselves in this situation too. Good work guys!

bike riding in the countryside
focus and recenter
just be
plant a garden in the sun
explore the roads you've never been on
drive to somewhere I've never been
contemplate a trip somewhere
go to a bar or cafe that you haven't explored
bake bread
read a classic book
use Airbnb or the equivalent to get some homelike place for a week (and structure creative work)
at least one day of taking it easy
learn to play a musical instrument
an intensive language class for my target language

Thanks again everyone.
posted by 0 answers at 2:09 PM on June 9, 2013

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