Why Choose A Service Trip As Your Summer Family Vacation

Why Choose A Service Trip As Your Summer Family Vacation

As the Summer months approach, many parents are beginning to line up schedules full of activities, kid camps and play dates in order to fill the time for children on summer break. As parents seek out anything to entertain their children and make sure their brains don’t turn to mush during the vacation from school, it oftentimes leads to a packed schedule more so than when school is in session. If you are some of the lucky few, you are able to include a summer vacation somewhere in between the calendar of constant activities. Vacation offers families a break from the craziness of summer break, a time to spend with each other, and a time for adventure. This year, instead of jetting off to your typical beach destination or tourist attraction, consider opting for an alternative vacation focused on serving others and new experiences that will encourage much needed direct family time.

Here are the reasons why you should opt for a service trip as your family’s summer vacation this year:

Disconnect From Chaos And Connect With What’s Important

Participating in a service trip provides the opportunity to disconnect from digital devices, packed schedules, and negative influences, and to focus our energy and time on important values that we may have forgotten. Typically, those that need help are living in poverty or even way below the line. When seeing how others live with far less than we have, and doing so with smiles and laughter, it changes one’s perspective. It will provide you a new perspective on what matters in life, a sense of joy for life and its newfound simplicity, gratitude for each other and all your blessings. The opportunity to reconnect you and your family back to what matters most in life is one that can be found on a service trip.

Unique Opportunities For Family Bonding

When you go on a service trip, most likely you will be living in an entirely new environment, with a different context of living than you are used to (IE. A small village in Africa may not have running water for showers or drinking). Such circumstances will force you and your family to step outside of your comfort zone and adapt to new situations together. Through overcoming obstacles, experiencing new activities, and stepping outside from what you know, it will create memorable experiences only you will understand. Service trips unplug you from cell phones, tablets and TV’s, and encourage time spent interacting with each other. The experiences and memories made will always be remembered and cherished by both parents and children.

Explore New Cultures

Most vacations involve visiting several tourist attractions, which provide very minimal insights into the local culture and way of life. The locations chosen for service trips are far from tourist hot spots and are places you most likely would not otherwise visit. Typically, the villages and small towns are in the middle of nowhere, with no economic means. Therefore, many of these towns need the assistance of volunteers and donated services to help improve daily life. Because of this, villagers rely heavily on tradition and it allows volunteers the opportunity to learn the heart and soul of the country’s culture. From elementary age children to adults, everyone will have their own intercultural experience when living like the locals of the area while on a service trip. This experience influences a person’s interpretation of differences and allows parents the opportunity to mold children’s overall acceptance and respect for other cultures.

Everyone Will Grow

Every member of your family will develop and grow positively from the experiences on a service trip. There will be opportunities for parents to teach their kids about kindness, generosity, and acceptance, and moments for children to teach their parents how to play a new game learned from the children in the village. Everyone will walk away having learned a new skill or two—from painting a house, to how to lead a team. Some may find a new passion or career path to follow based on the work and services they provided on the trip. As a parent, it is important to provide children with the opportunities to learn in different ways and that is just what a service trip does. In the end, volunteers will come home feeling successful and empowered to continue giving back and making a difference in the lives of others, which ultimately provides a continuous opportunity for personal growth.

There is a common misconception that to attend a service trip you must be religiously driven, but the truth is all you need is a desire to give back and make a difference in the lives of others. As an alternative to the traditional summer vacation, a service trip offers a new adventure filled with many opportunities for quality family time and bonding, emphasis on values and personal development and special memories that will always be kept close to the heart. So, before all those summer activities pile up on the schedule, be sure to reserve a week or two to make a family adventure out of a service trip this year.

Pete and Rachael HerschelmanWhy Choose A Service Trip As Your Summer Family Vacation
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Simple Tips to Take a Holistic Approach to Working Out

Simple Tips to Take a Holistic Approach to Working Out

Working out can easily transition from a stress reliever to feeling like another job that you’ve grown to dread. It’s important to think about your health from a holistic perspective; consider the wellbeing of your mind, body, and soul as a system of interconnected components. While being active, think of your whole being, not just specific muscles. Taking a holistic approach to your health and life, in general, can help ensure that you stay on a healthy track.

Working out can easily transition from a stress reliever to feeling like another job that you’ve grown to dread. When being active, it’s equally important to think of your wellbeing as much as your muscle mass. Approaching your health and daily life from a holistic way can help you enjoy staying on track and avoid feeling burnt out of your usual routine.

Living an active lifestyle rather than living at the gym

Many people directly associate working out with signing up for a gym membership. Instead of joining a gym, strive to increase the activity in your everyday life. Take the stairs, take a short walk during lunch or opt for a standing desk. There are many small changes you can make to your everyday routine to live a more active lifestyle. This can also be very helpful when planning workouts.

If you dread your workout- find a different one!

If you have a planned workout scheduled every day that feels more like a chore than an escape, it’s time to change it up. Being active should be fun! If you don’t find joy in the types of workouts you do, the desire to keep up with your workouts won’t last. Everyone is different, so take care in finding what works for you. Even taking the “routine” out of your routine may be the answer to more holistic health. Instead of scheduling a trip to the gym every day at 7 am, fill your week with multiple activities that you enjoy. There are many activities that don’t sound like traditional workouts but do your body good just the same. Taking the dog on a long walk, going on a bike ride with the kids, taking a morning hike on your day off, jumping on the trampoline, cleaning out the garage, or planting a garden in the backyard can all be beneficial to your health. Think about filling your week with meaningful activities that get your body moving.

Take some “me time” to exercise your mind, body, and soul

Workout classes and working out with a group of friends may be fun, but some time alone can be great for your mental stability. Take a run by yourself or do some yoga outside. This quiet session with yourself can help you clear your mind, de-stress and organize your thoughts. Taking time to refresh can help you ready yourself for work and other day-to-day tasks. If your life tends to involve constant interaction, a quiet retreat of an hour by yourself can do your mind, body, and soul some good.

Take a Spa day

Yes, you read that right. Taking care of your body means more than just working out and eating right. A massage can do wonders for your lymphatic system, circulation, loosen tight muscles, and de-stress your body. Take an hour to get a facial to take care of your skin and help you relax and unwind. Sometimes we get so caught up in taking care of the tasks and other people in our lives that we forget to take a moment to take care of ourselves.

Being healthy shouldn’t be a chore! It’s important to take care of yourself, in all aspects of your mind, body, and soul. Your health is your wealth. Approaching your life with a more holistic way of thinking can help you achieve a healthy ‘work-life-family and whatever else you can think of’ balance.

Pete and Rachael HerschelmanSimple Tips to Take a Holistic Approach to Working Out
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3 Easy Tips for a Healthier Lifestyle in 2018

3 Easy Tips for a Healthier Lifestyle in 2018

No matter how extensive your list of resolutions is for the new year, we’re willing to bet that somewhere on that list is a bullet point that reads something along the lines of “eat better” or “exercise more.” And while those are both great goals to set for yourself, staying physically fit and healthy is so much more than that. It involves every aspect of your lifestyle. So this year give your body everything it deserves to feel its best. Here are 3 easy tips for a healthier lifestyle in 2018.

Go outside your comfort zone

2017 may have been the year of self-care, but we’re saying 2018 is the year to be bold and unapologetically yourself. And with that boldness comes risks, adventures, and new discoveries. So take risks in every area of your life––your diet and fitness regime included. Make a point this year to try new meals and explore the benefits of foods you haven’t had before. When it comes to fitness, challenge yourself to break out of your go-to workout. If you’re an avid runner, challenge your mind and body by signing up for a yoga class. Or instead of following your regular gym routine, grab a friend and sign up for a HIIT class. You’ll never know all of what your body is capable of unless you push yourself past your comfort zone.

Drink more water

It’s the oldest tip in the book, but for good reason. No matter your lifestyle, hydrating a little more throughout the day will make your body feel better and look healthier. Purchase a new water bottle to keep with you throughout the day, so you can fill up whenever you need to. At the very least, challenge yourself to drink a cup of water right when you wake up and before you get in bed.

Listen to your body

A healthy body looks different to everyone, so staying in touch with what your body needs is the key to reaching your optimal level of health. Believe it or not, sometimes your body needs a break from the high-intensity workout sessions and strict diet regulations. So this year don’t be afraid to take a day off from the gym if you’re feeling a little rundown. And if the slice of cake is really speaking to you, remember that no one is stopping you. Healthy lifestyles are all about moderation after all.

Make 2018 your year. Follow these 3 tips to make the next 12 months your healthiest ones yet.

Pete and Rachael Herschelman3 Easy Tips for a Healthier Lifestyle in 2018
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3 Habits That Are Making You Less Productive

3 Habits That Are Making You Less Productive

One of the best ways to make the most of your life is to be sure you are using your time in the best and most efficient way possible. Time management and productivity is the key to success, but unfortunately, a lot of us establish habits that sabotage our time management skills. Between endless notifications and constantly buzzing smartphones, there are now more distractions than ever, and it has never been easier to get sidetracked. However, your productivity is what allows you to get things done, reach your goals, and be there for the most important moments in life. Here are 3 habits that are making you less productive.

Checking your email throughout the day

We get it. Your inbox is constantly filled to the brim with e-mails coming in at an astonishing rate. But how are you supposed to ever get anything done if you are constantly responding to other people’s questions and concerns? Instead, carve out a designated time each day to clear out your inbox and try to only glance back at it when absolutely necessary. Any emails that don’t require immediate attention should be checked during the designated time the following day. In doing so, you get yourself into a routine, answer emails efficiently, and check items off your own to-do list.

Putting off the longer tasks until later in the day

Most of the time it is so much easier to put off more time-consuming or difficult tasks until later in the day. However, in doing so, it’s easier to fall into the dreaded habit of procrastination. And we all know that it’s nearly impossible to be productive if procrastination is your go-to response to stress. Not only does procrastination take a serious toll on your own productivity, but it can also ruin deadlines and potentially destroy relationships with the people you work closely with.  

Hitting snooze

When your alarm goes off at an ungodly hour to get you up and moving for the day ahead, nothing sounds better than hitting snooze and rolling back over to doze off again. However, hitting snooze can actually throw off your entire day. By waking your body up just to go back to sleep again for a few minutes, you are throwing off your internal clock and might find yourself feeling sleepy at odd times throughout the day. The more you press snooze, the more confused your body feels, which will leave you feeling groggy later in the day––most likely when you should be your most productive self.

Give yourself the respect you deserve by making sure you are doing everything you can to produce your best work and avoid these 3 habits that can make you less productive.

Pete and Rachael Herschelman3 Habits That Are Making You Less Productive
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3 Signs that Indicate You May Need to Reignite Your Faith

3 Signs that Indicate You May Need to Reignite Your Faith

No matter how spiritual you are, everyone experiences periods in life where their faith is neglected due to life’s challenges. Likewise, when you’ve been blessed with good fortune and resources, it’s much easier to strengthen your faith. This is because life is filled with ups and downs, the bitter and the sweet, and it’s simply human nature to succumb to life’s ebb and flow. However, it’s important to pay attention when you may be in need of a renewed outlook on your faith. Here are 3 signs that indicate you may need to reignite your faith.

You can’t admit that you’re in need of a renewed faith

The first step to reigniting your faith is to admit that your faith is in need of renewal. Sometimes, we can become blind to our own lack of faith because we don’t want to believe we have let it take backseat somewhere along the path of life. It can be extremely hard to admit to yourself that your faith needs work, but it’s also the first step to strengthening it. Therefore, if you’re having a difficult time recognizing your loss of faith, doing so might be the very thing you need to come to terms with in order to reignite your faith.

You haven’t noticed a change in your faith journey in a while

It’s perfectly normal for your faith to be in a state of fluctuation. This means you are taking the time to consider where you stand on your faith journey and reassessing. However, if you haven’t noticed a change in your faith journey in a while, this may indicate you may have gradually become used to going through the motions instead of actively participating in your faith. Being stagnant in your faith is rarely a good thing, so make sure you take action and put in the effort to constantly renew your faith.

You are quick to blame anything besides yourself for your loss of faith

When we fall short of any expectations, especially our own, it’s too easy to find a scapegoat to blame for our own shortcomings. For instance, when your faith has been neglected, it’s much easier to say “I have just been so busy with my work lately, but once it slows down, I will work on my faith again.” However, that’s the exact way faith gets put on the backburner in the first place. Instead, go through life with the mentality that, no matter what happens in other areas of your life, your faith should always take priority.

More than anything, remember that losing sight of your faith is nothing to be ashamed of––it’s just a part of being human. The important thing is to recognize the signs that indicate you may need to reignite your faith so that you can take action.

Pete and Rachael Herschelman3 Signs that Indicate You May Need to Reignite Your Faith
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Why You Should Take Your Family Skydiving

Why You Should Take Your Family Skydiving

Skydiving is an activity that holds a top spot in the bucket lists of many, but that may or may not get checked off. And there is a reason for that. Skydiving is not for everyone. If you’re not an adrenaline junkie, a risk-taker, or a natural adventurer, skydiving may not be for you. But before you completely overlook skydiving as a viable bucket list option, read our 3 reasons why it’s the perfect thrill-seeking activity for our family and why it may work for yours. You might find yourself changing your mind from “no way” to “why not?”

Skydiving makes you live in the now

Life can quickly become a series of routines one busy day after the next––a chain of causes and effects. And we get it. It can be really hard to break out of that routine and do something just for the sake of doing it. When was the last time you intentionally planned an event or an activity just for the sole purpose of making memories with the people you care about most? For most people, that might take a while to answer.

So look for and take advantage of opportunities that bring you and your family out of your everyday life. These are the kinds of activities that will force you to become present, keep you mindful, and make you live in the now. Trust us, when you’re falling through the air after jumping out of an airplane suspended tens of thousands of feet in the air, it’s impossible not to live in the now. And what more could you want than to pepper your life with moments that make you come alive and live in the now with the people you love most?

Skydiving puts your problems in perspective

Likewise, freefalling towards the wide expanse of the earth below places you and your thoughts in perspective against the enormity of the world. Your worries somehow diminish to a seemingly insignificant concern when you’re in the face of so much adrenaline and such a beautiful landscape before you. You truly can’t help but feel small against the macrocosm of the world. In short, skydiving makes you realize just how small you and your problems are.

Skydiving brings just the right amount of balance

Everyone needs the right amount of balance between safety and embracing adventure. Skydiving requires a bit of audacity that you won’t find in living your day-to-day life. If anything, it’s a break in your daily routine and frees you from the monotonous humdrum of your jampacked schedules. It’s one of those moments that fills you with the right amount of excitement, stomach-drops, and pure passion you need to continue on living the absolutely inspiring life you do.

So go for the “why not?” approach, because you’ll make the most exciting memories of all, and that’s exactly where life lives.

Pete and Rachael HerschelmanWhy You Should Take Your Family Skydiving
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5 Things Successful People Tell Themselves Throughout the Day

5 Things Successful People Tell Themselves Throughout the Day

Internal monologues play an unexpected, yet important role in achieving long-term goals. In fact, thoughts are the first stepping stone in launching your dreams into action. A vision is first sparked by an idea, the thought that inspires a new goal. This vision is then encouraged, fostered, and eventually put into action by maintaining a positive perspective and thinking constructive thoughts each day until the vision is spurred into existence. Read on to discover what are the things successful people tell themselves throughout the day to make their goals become accomplishments and their dreams a reality.

Today I will do at least one small thing that gets me one step closer to my goal.

You can’t do everything in one day – it’s only 24 hours long after all. But you can do one small thing each day. Set little objectives for yourself every day so that you wake up each morning inspired to achieve one small thing that gets you closer to your long-term goal.

I do not care what other people think.

No one can measure your own success better than you can. Remind yourself every day that it doesn’t matter what other people think because at the end of the day the thoughts and opinions of others aren’t going to contribute to your achievements. It’s you, all you.

Complacency is a bit too comfortable.

It’s way too easy to get comfortable with something that is satisfactory. Remind yourself that true success is achieved by those who push themselves farther than they ever thought possible. Go above and beyond the initial goals you set for yourself. Set daily reminders to do something that no one else has ever done before – you might just blow yourself away.

Mistakes are not the same as failures.

Arguably, this is the most important reminder to keep in mind each day. No one ever achieved anything without learning and making mistakes along the way. Remind yourself of this fact, so that when you get discouraged you don’t give up. Simply tell yourself you will take what you learned today and try to do better tomorrow – there’s always another day to get it right.

I deserve it.

You deserve it – whatever it is. You deserve the success that comes along with achieving your goal because you put in loads of hard work, commitment, and determination. But remind yourself that you deserve other things too. If you’re stuck on something or feeling lost on a certain path, you deserve a 10-minute brainstorm session to come up with a new idea. If you’re feeling overworked or overwhelmed, tell yourself you deserve a break to refresh and recharge – because you do. 

Just like the right habits will aid in success, positive thinking and constructive thoughts will guide you towards success as well. 

Pete and Rachael Herschelman5 Things Successful People Tell Themselves Throughout the Day
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Fourth of July Party Games for All Ages

Fourth of July Party Games for All Ages

The more the merrier. And The Fourth of July is no different. Who doesn’t love spending this holiday surrounded by friends and family? Spice up your Fourth of July by throwing a party or hosting a picnic and wow your guests with some fun and patriotic games that will entertain all ages!

Patriotic Balloon Pop

Blow up a bunch of red, white, and blue balloons, and place a note saying “You Win!” in one of the balloons. Have guests pop the balloons to find the note and win a prize.

Baseball Game

After all, baseball is America’s favorite pastime. Get everyone involved in a baseball game. Encourage those who aren’t playing to be cheerleaders or coaches for the younger children.

Water Balloon Dodgeball

It’s always a scorcher on the Fourth, so cool everyone down with some water balloon dodgeball. Divide the guests into two teams and throw red, white, and blue balloons at each other. If you’re hit, then you’re out. The last man standing is the winner!

Costume Contest

Who says you can only dress up on Halloween? Have your guests arrive in their best Independence Day costume and have everyone vote for the best dressed and most creative.

American History Trivia

Divide your guests into teams and challenge everyone with trivia on American history. Don’t forget to throw some easy ones in there so the kids can stay excited and involved as well!

Watermelon Eating Contest

Who doesn’t love watermelon? Cut some watermelons into fourths and lay them on the table. Have your guests place their hands behind their backs and eat their watermelon without their hands. The first to finish wins!

These Fourth of July games are perfect for the young and the young at heart. Check out our Pinterest board for more 4th of July party games! What Fourth of July games do you like to play with your friends and family?

Pete and Rachael HerschelmanFourth of July Party Games for All Ages
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Why Traveling Solo Should Be on Your Bucket List

Why Traveling Solo Should Be on Your Bucket List

Solo travel can be daunting, scary, and for some people, really quite terrifying. But it’s also one of the most rewarding learning experiences a person can have. The nerves might get to you before you take off, but once you’re out exploring you’ll forget why you were ever scared in the first place. When you return, it will feel like it did when you first learned to ride a bike without training wheels. You did it, and you did it all by yourself. Read on to find out why traveling solo should be on your bucket list.

Why Traveling Solo Should Be on Your Bucket List

Solo travel redefines bravery.

Suddenly, bravery might not necessarily mean facing a life or death situation or making a risky business decision. Bravery can be walking into a café alone with no intention of meeting a lunch date. It’s wandering the city confidently and fearlessly. Since solo travel requires a different kind of courage, you’ll redefine what bravery means to you.

Solo travel sparks unlikely, but lasting friendships.

Even though you’re traveling alone, you probably won’t end up spending the whole time completely by yourself. Chances are, you’ll have to ask a stranger how to get somewhere, or you’ll strike up a conversation about restaurant recommendations with the man ringing you up at the convenience store. Or maybe you’ll just make small talk with the lady standing next to you on the train. Before you know it, you’ll end up swapping stories and realizing that you may have a lot in common with people you’ve never met before. These brief friendships are special because even though these interactions likely won’t last longer than a few minutes, the conversations will stick with you forever.

Solo travel will push you out of your comfort zone.  

When traveling alone, you will automatically be knocked outside your comfort zone. Not only will you be in places and situations you’ve never been before, but you will also be in these places and situations alone. It’s a freeing feeling, but a little shocking at first. All of a sudden, everything is up to you, and only you. So embrace your own vulnerability. Don’t be afraid to do something you’ve never done before. You’ll gain a more authentic experience of the culture because of it.

Solo travel heightens your sense of awareness.

On your solo adventures, you will be spending a lot of time with yourself days on end.  And by doing so, you will figure things out about yourself that you would have never found out had you not embarked on this solo journey. You’ll gain a strong sense of independence and an awareness of the world. This new attitude about yourself and your abilities will follow you back home when you return from your travels, so much so, that your solo travels may be more than just a journey to a different place. They may also serve as a personal journey to self-discovery.

So, next time you have the opportunity to travel by yourself, take the chance! It could potentially be the best trip of your life.

Pete and Rachael HerschelmanWhy Traveling Solo Should Be on Your Bucket List
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