It’s time for another episode of Rachel’s Life Tips. The program where Rachel (me) tells you what you’re doing wrong and how to fix it.
In today’s episode, I will teach you how to vacation without taking any time off work. (cue intro music). I’ve recently learned that you don’t actually have to be rich and famous to live like those that are. There are plenty of “life hacks”, (as the kids say) to achieve pretty much the same goals while maintaining your anonymity and 9-5 job. A common thing that the rich and famous do is enjoy lavish vacations. Okay, so you pretty much have to be rich to enjoy the lavish part. However, why not take a day off from life and enjoy a mini vacation? Trade in a Saturday of errands and stress for one lounging and drinking by the pool. (Don’t forget your sunscreen, big sunglasses, and extravagant sun hat.)
A Pool with a View
Nothing says vacation quite like a rooftop pool. I’ve recently discovered the magic of rooftop pools! Ahh! You don’t have a rooftop pool? Not a problem. There are plenty of hotels that do. Yes, some of them are only open to guests, but if you do your research, you will discover other hotels which allow you to purchase a day pass into their tranquil oasis. If you’re feeling super fancy, you can even venture out into the higher end options who (only) offer monthly memberships.
Not Just a Pool (A Pool with Benefits)
When selecting your tranquil escape, I recommend looking for a pool with additional services. There’s no sense in ruining the vacation vibe by bringing your own food. Find a pool which includes a restaurant where servers tend to you by the pool and will bring you all the drinks and pizza you’re willing to pay for. Go big or stay home, I always say. I also recommend towel service. Who wants to lug a towel around all day just to lug it back home all wet? Exactly!
Pretend to be a Tourist
If you’re feeling extra adventurous, I recommend pretending to be a tourist in your own backyard. You know those double decker tour buses that drive around your city (assuming you live in a big city)? The ones that point out famous places like where Drake’s dad buys his groceries? Discover what it is that tourists come to see. That is, if your city is a place tourists come to see. If anything, it’s a much more exciting way to travel around the city. You may even surprise yourself.
Some days, you never quite know where the day will take you. One minute you’re just going about your day. The next minute you’re watching a random guy faun over a c-list celebrity while he tries to enjoy a coffee with his wife. Seriously, I’m pretty sure this rando is truly hoping they’ll become best friends. I don’t think the celeb feels quite the same way. Oh, he did not just mention he wrote a screenplay…Run c-list celeb! Run!
Now, I will not drop the name of the celebrity I spotted. Mainly, to protect his (or her) identity, but also to keep the mystery alive. I always think the world could use more mystery, but I digress. However, I am going to share some helpful tips so you don’t end up stumbling upon an embarrassing situation for yourself.
So, you’ve spotted someone famous, now what?
1. Are you sure they’re famous?
C-list celebrities are tricky. Unlike A-list (and most B-list celebs), you don’t always know when one crosses your path. They almost look like normal civilians. They don’t have swarms of people following them as if they’re Brad Pitt. You end up staring at them for an uncomfortably long time trying to figure out why they look so familiar. It’s generally best if you can figure out who the individual is before you interrupt their peaceful afternoon, or frighten them.
2. No, he didn’t come to Starbucks to meet you.
I know, it’s shocking. I love when a stranger just plunks himself down next to a fairly well-known actor and starts talking to them like they’re friends. Just because someone’s on TV, and (virtually) spends a lot of time in your living room, that doesn’t mean you know them. Okay, maybe you know them, but they definitely don’t know you. Just let the man drink his coffee. I bet he wishes he didn’t sit down at the communal table. That’s always a gamble. Fortunately, for me, the gamble payed off with this interesting exchange. I’m not sure this actor feels the same way.
3. No, you are not the same person.
I love when certain individuals meet people with interesting jobs and they all of a sudden try to justify how they’re pretty much the same person. Ok, yeah…that’s why you’re not a fire fighter. “Oh, you’re an actor? I did theatre in high school.” Yeah, that’s the same. “I’m actually working on a screenplay…” (They always happen to be working on a screenplay). “You have a “daughter” who wants to be an actor? Great…”
Celebrating Easter as an adult is tricky. Society leads us to believe that Easter is for kids. It’s all about the furry little animals and egg hunts. If the kids in your family have grown past Easter eggs hunts, what do you do?
Planning an Easter egg hunt can be a lot of work. Most people would assume that this leads to the end of Easter egg hunts. Not in my family. Apparently, the alternative involves my grandma throwing a salad bowl full of eggs in all directions while the grandchildren run to collect them. Eggs are thrown everywhere. There’s really no telling where they’ll land. The floor, the dinner table, your drink. She really can’t see so well.
Even though we’ve grown, the tradition continues. However, we’re not collecting eggs to enjoy a sweet treat as much as we are trying to keep them away from the dogs. Although the dogs seem very excited at the thought of their own hunt, it wouldn’t really bring quite the Easter surprise everyone hopes for. Also, don’t forget to check your drinks for stray eggs and broken glass. Enjoy!
Confrontation is uncomfortable. It’s even more uncomfortable when it involves telling someone that you don’t like them. My theory is: avoid confrontation at all costs. If you are quick enough and have a stream-lined system, you can still enjoy your favourite places, like the gym, without running into or having to face the seemingly inevitable uncomfortable situation.
Hypothetically speaking, let’s say you unintentionally caught the eye of someone at your gym. How did this happen? This is your happy place! Your escape from the world! You just renewed your membership for another year and now you have to quit! No, you don’t. Okay, let’s call that Plan B.
I’m here to tell you, there’s a better way. I call it the “get in/get out” approach. At the gym (hypothetically speaking), there are some people looking to chat. Some might even go out of their way to find you and start up a conversation when you’re clearly trying you pretend you didn’t see them when you walked in.
Earphones provide a great “La, la, la, I can’t hear you. I’m listening to music/ I’m in the zone” kind of vibe. I recommend one of those handy arm straps so you can continue to work out without having to also hold your phone/Zune/music listening device of choice. You don’t actually like listening to music when you work out? Not a problem. Handy tip: listening to music and pretending to listen to music look pretty much exactly the same. Maybe bop your head a few times so it looks like you’re really jamming out.
Focus is also key. Keep your eyes from straying and accidentally catching said person’s eye who might then notice you looking at them and take it as you wanting to talk to them/be friends in real life/outside the gym (or wherever). When you’re on the treadmill, look at the screen or your phone. When you’re walking from the treadmill to your locker or weights, look at the ground. You can also try looking down at your phone and pretending that you’re checking an important message, but this takes a skilled individual with a keen sense of their surroundings. If done incorrectly, you could accidentally walk into said individual and your carefully thought out plan goes straight in the garbage.
If you’re as stealth as an anvil and you’re not willing to bite the financial bullet of Plan B, there’s always Plan C. Write a blog post about your current situation and hope that said individual happens upon it and realizes that you’re a nice person who just didn’t want to break his heart and/or crush his dreams. Hypothetically speaking, of course.
Some of my best ideas come from watching…er…observing people at Starbucks. For handy tips on how to do this stealthily, click here. You’re welcome. Most recently, the young and trendy folks purchasing their pumpkin lattes got me thinking about confusing beauty trends.
Why must all beauty trends be taken to the extreme? The most recent culprit: Magic Marker Eyebrows. You know what I’m talking about. When girls crazy thicken up their eyebrows in an attempt to make them look more natural. Why not just stop shaving them down to pencil-thin lines? You know, actually natural brows.
Faux Fur Vests. Okay, I understand that you’re against animal cruelty. I think that’s great. Take a stand! However, doesn’t wearing something that simulates fur kind of send the message that you wished that real fur wasn’t taken from a once-living animal so you can enjoy the crazy soft warmth? Think about it.
Suede Boots. Why would you make boots out of the one thing that can’t get wet? Aren’t warm boots essentially created for those cold days, usually accompanied by snow? There’s only so much protective spray can do. And I’ve seen what salt does to them. It’s not pretty. This argument can also be made for boots that look like sweaters.