Regular readers will remember that we spent a weekend in British Columbia, Canada back in April. And that I was in the throes of morning sickness (actually a mild case of hyperemesis gravidarum) during that trip. But Will and I decided that we wanted to take the trip anyway. As miserable as I was, I would have felt awful (emotionally) if we’d missed out on a family mini-vacation just because I didn’t feel well.
Doing this required a few modifications to our original plan, though.
When we were first looking at “fun things to do in British Columbia,” options like renting a boat for whale watching really caught our eye. Those things weren’t expensive, and they would have been immensely memorable. But then I ended up feeling lousy. We’d both hoped that I’d be feeling better when it came time for the actual trip. (I started feeling bad late on Wednesday, and it escalated on Thursday. Thursday night, I was finally able to keep some gatorade down by sipping it slowly and going to bed basically as soon as I’d finished it so it didn’t have time to come up. Friday morning, the day we left, I felt amazing. But by the time we stopped for breakfast two hours later, it was bad again and didn’t let up until I got medical help late Saturday night.) So, the hope that I’d feel better and we could maybe do some of our original ideas didn’t pan out. This left us with trying to figure out ways to make sure everyone had a good time without participating in activities that would be more likely to exacerbate my illness.
So, what did we do? We explored things like a local instead of like a tourist.
We asked the locals for their favorite spots to hang out and favorite restaurants to eat at. And we did those things. Because the people who live in a town are going to want to do different things than the people who are just visiting, and a lot of the time, you miss out on knowing about some of those things if you focus on the tourist areas. Even things that could be considered “touristy” take on new light when you do them with a local flair. Take shopping, for instance. We visited a mall and a Dollar Tree. We have both of those things near our home, but they were very different in Canada. Public transportation? We spent $10 (Canadian) on the Sea Bus. We took our kids to the park. None of those things were what some people might consider “vacation activities,” but they all worked well with our restrictions for that trip. And thesee are things that can be applied to a trip anywhere.
So, the next time you’re planning a vacation and want to do things that are out of the ordinary, just remember those four little words: Think Like A Native.