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  • Rebecca P. Cohen

Try something new - every day

In 2009, I've set an intention to travel more and experience daily adventures with my family. Being on our first vacation of 2009 in the first week of January helped me notice what makes vacations so memorable: you're out of your routine, so you have to try new things. You don't have your same comforts, and the weather may not be cooperating, so you have to be creative in thinking up stuff to do. And when you do new stuff, you discover that while you may enter into a new activity with hesitation, you end up either loving the experience or at least having a great story to tell.

In reflecting on what we did in our first 48 hours of vacation, after traveling 13 hours (when we could really could have been on a couple of different continents for having spent so much time in the air), it's not like these activities aren't available at home! Indoor swimming, tennis, basketball, racquetball, and ice skating - pretty much available at a local rec center, gym, or ice rink.

With ice skating, half of our 4-person party was NOT excited; one was reluctant at best but willing to try. My older son sat in the bleachers for the first 5 minutes, refusing to participate. But, he quickly changed his tune, not wanting to be sitting alone, and after an hour, he was the last of us to leave the rink. When one of us expressed that we weren't very good at ice skating, he said, "That's okay, I'll hold your hand." "I love ice skating," he said as we got back to the condo.

Anything worth doing isn't easy. What makes vacation twice a year so memorable for any of us and our kids? The time we spend together. So, make a resolution to spend a 1/2 hour a day doing something new with your kids, and you'll have those same memorable moments, every day. Remember: something "new" may be as simple as asking your kids what they want to do, and doing whatever it is that they want to do, with your heart open to having fun.

About Rebecca P. Cohen

Rebecca P. Cohen believes time outside transforms our lives for the better. PJ's Backyard Adventures is the latest project from Rebecca, author of the book 15 Minutes Outside: 365 Ways to Get Out of the House and Connect with Your Kids (Sourcebooks), and creator of Rebecca Plants Curiosity Cards. Rebecca’s work has been featured in countless media outlets, including USA Today, Parenting, Redbook, Working Mother, and Family Circle. In addition, Rebecca has appeared on live morning news shows around the country, and is also host of the video series, Get Out of the House, which shows fun ideas for time outside in every season. For Rebecca's inspiring blog and free downloads, visit