The temperature drops, the tan lines start fading and we return to reality by heading back to school or our job. But just because the long, sunny days of summer are over, it doesn’t mean we can’t make the most out of the cooler season that has just begun; it’s a perfect time to travel, to have some wholesome fun with friends, and to develop the skills and habits that will take your life and career to the next level. Here are five easy (and effective ways) to make the most of fall:
1. Make a travel plan
There is no better way to get over post-summer blues than to start planning another trip (yes, even science shows it), and there’s no better time to explore the world than fall: there are fewer crowds, better deals, and mild weather. Here are a few destinations perfect for a long weekend or a week or two immersed in a new culture and perhaps even in a beautiful, new language:
Rome: The glorious Italian capital comes into its own out of the high season of summer: it’s not as hot (it’s really, really hot in the summer) and the streets aren’t absolutely swarming with tourists. Traveling to Rome during fall or winter means near-empty museums and churches, lower hotel rates, and the chance to experience the eternal city in a much more relaxed and authentic way.
Madrid: Spain is known as a summer holiday destination for a reason, but when it comes to the country ’s diverse and multicultural capital, you’re much better off visiting in the fall. Make sure you make the most of the cooler, sunny days by exploring the city by foot, tucking into some great food at every opportunity, soaking up some culture in the many museums around town and finding some friendly locals to practice your Spanish with.
Paris: There is nothing romantic about sweltering heat and massive crowds. To enjoy the best that this ridiculously romantic city has to offer, head there in the fall. The next few months offer an ideal time to lose yourself on those beautiful boulevards, tuck into some French fare in the city’s legendary bistros, explore the world-class museums scattered all over the city, and to shop till you drop in some seriously stylish boutiques.
London: This cool capital is great in every season, but once again, fall offers up the opportunity to really enjoy what makes this city so special: magnificent museums, spectacular shopping, cutting-edge culture, and some seriously fascinating history. Don’t miss out on Oxford Street for all the big brands, Buckingham Palace for a bit of royal magic, the British Museum for more history than you can handle, the National Gallery for amazing art and the East End for fresh street culture and great food.
Tokyo: Another city that really comes into its own in the fall – the foliage across Tokyo’s many parks is stunning in this season and as the temperatures start falling, it becomes much more manageable to explore the best of big city life. Stuff yourself on the Tokyo metro with millions of locals or take the bullet trains to nearby cities like Osaka or Kyoto, eat yourself silly in the thousands of world-class restaurants that dot the city, shop in the biggest electronics stores you’ll ever visit and get to know locals and local culture at the Tokyo Imperial Palace or the Robot Restaurant (two VERY different sides of Japan, believe us).
New York: Perhaps the ultimate fall city – the colorful foliage in Central Park is worth the trip alone, but so are the sights and shops that make this one of the most exciting cities in the world. Don’t forget to visit the Empire State Building, shop in Soho and walk across the Brooklyn Bridge, and make sure you spend loads of time in the city’s spectacular parks enjoying the colors and smells of fall.
2. Commit to learning a new skill
Now is the perfect time to add one more skill to your CV and make sure it stands out from the crowd. With more time dedicated to learning, fall is the perfect season to start learning a new language (or to develop one you already know) and to increase your chances of getting a better job or better pay. Committing to learning a new skill like a language will also boost your confidence, help you make new friends and allow you to live, work or study in a foreign country. It can mark the beginning of a life spent exploring the world and breaking down all kinds of barriers. Believe us, we know!
Not up for a language course right now? Spend this colder season brushing up on your cooking skills by taking an online cooking class with some world famous chefs.
3. Go on a road trip
Not up for traveling to faraway cities to get that taste of adventure? Explore your own country by car with a few good mates, or explore those neighboring countries you’ve always wanted to visit, but never got the chance to. With cooler temperatures, beautiful nature and quieter roads, now is the perfect time to explore your neighborhood on four wheels.
4. Focus on friends
You’re all back from your summer travels now and looking for something fun to do together. If the above-mentioned road trip isn’t your thing (or you don’t have a car, for example), do something smaller scale and head into nature and consider doing an exciting new activity together, like mountain climbing, biking, horse riding or camping. You could also set aside a weekend with your best mates to check out a nearby film or cultural festival – both are perfect opportunities to learn together and to bond over things that you all love.
5. Get academic
If you’re still studying, use this season to really refocus your energies on your academics by planning the year ahead, committing to learning new skills or taking new courses in subjects that interest you (but may not be your major). Even if you’re no longer a student, now is the time to commit to an evening or online class on something that interests you – we love the idea of doing a language course in the evenings or going on a short language course abroad (if you’re up for the challenge, consider studying Chinese or Arabic), or perhaps learning to code (CodingAcademy is a great place to start).