Since I came back from Ireland in April, the weekends already felt like summer: birds chirping in the morning, sunshine, heat on quiet streets in the afternoon, people in the city sitting outside sipping cold drinks in the evening.
Before I left in September last year, I had to work on weekends – the joys of being a student and having to make money at the same time, thus ending up in cafés and other jobs with weird working hours. So I basically never had a full weekend off since I started university. Now that I think about it, I never had weekends off before that. When you’re in high school in Germany and you don’t want your grades to suck completely, you have to study on the weekend. And if you want some extra cash, you get yourself a job – guess when – on the weekend.
Anyways, I’m not here to complain. Now that I’m back in Stuttgart and having realized how important weekends are to me, I have basically restructured my life and fought to have two full days off every week.
So far, so good. Now, what do normal people (“normal” meaning having a 9-to-5 job and a 40-hour week) on the weekends? Especially when the sun’s out and it’s getting warmer?
In an attempt to actually do something with my life and NOT end up on the couch re-watching White Collar on Netflix for the hundredth time, I knocked together this list of cool things to do on a sunny day off.
(Note: I will go into more detail about some of these things and name actual places in the German version of this post. Figured it wouldn’t make much sense to tell you about specific places in Stuttgart if you’re reading this in English because you live on the other side of the planet.)
Now, I proudly present….
…the summer list!
• go to a cute café
This is something you can even do on a not-so-sunny day. If the weather is good, though, you might want to opt for someplace where you can sit outside or take your preferred beverage (or cake) to go.
Pay your go-to place a visit or…
• discover new food/coffee places
…try something new! I have a list of coffee shops, ice cream parlors, cafés and the like that look cool and that I want to check out. Try googling cute cafés in your city, ask friends, walk through the streets or check bloggers or stories on Instagram.
• go to a park
Most people, especially in cities, don’t have a backyard or even a balcony. Why don’t you put your bathing suit on, pack a book or a friend, a blanket, some snacks, and head to the nearest park to catch some sun?
If you don’t know any places near you, try looking for green spots on Google Maps (no joke) or, once again, check Instagram.
• go to a lake
Now, I know that you’re not allowed to actually swim in most of the lakes that are not in the middle of nowhere. It can still be nice to just hang out by the water, maybe dip a toe in, and just enjoy the fucking beauty of summer.
Lakes can be found the same way as parks, see previous tip. (You might wanna look for blue spots on Google Maps tho.)
• take a city trip
This doesn’t have to be far away – most of the times, you can catch a train or a bus that will take you to a different city in like an hour. Pack your camera, take a friend, and just explore the city! I love doing this with my sister when we’re on vacation, but I never realized how many beautiful and cool cities are close to us and allow us to do the exact same thing – roaming around the streets and soaking up every bit of a not-familiar town.
• visit a castle
Okay, I admit, this point depends on where you live. In the south of Germany, we have a lot of beautiful castles, even smaller ones, that are reallyreally close but somehow only tourists go to see. Time to change that!
• go to a flea market
There are actually a ton of flea markets in most cities in the summer. Google the shit out of that or check Facebook events to find the ones close to you: garage sales, private flea markets, huge events with bands and food, whatever floats your boat.
• work outside
In the unlikely event that you actually have to work on a beautiful sunny day, try to take your work outside. Even if you don’t have a backyard/balcony, try finding a spot where you can put a chair and a tiny table or just sit on the floor with your laptop – there’s always a way.
That’s all I have so far!
I’m always looking to extend this list, though, so hit me up with your tips and favorite summer sunday activities – if you have any.