Summer is a time to take a break and focus some energy on ourselves. Whether we challenge ourselves to learn a new sport, read more books, or reconnect with someone, it’s the perfect time to broaden our horizons, expand where our insight comes from, and develop more and deeper connections. Here are some of my favorite ways to do that.

  1. Summer Reading

Reading challenges are most often associated with children’s literacy initiatives that result in an ice cream party or free pizza. Of course, you can choose to reward yourself with the same, but true benefits of an adult summer reading challenge stem from exploring topics you are passionate about or interested in being exposed to something you don’t know much about. Learn about history, leadership, the environment, or a culture you don’t know. Take some time to enjoy a good book and learn something new. Looking for inspiration for what to read? Check your local library. The Westport Library has their own adult summer reading challenge.

  1. Summer Camp

If you have pleasant memories of childhood summer camp, you don’t have to let growing up stop you from having summer camp experiences. There are still plenty of summer camps for kids, but as an adult, you can see how summer camps have evolved, discover what people are interested in learning about, and experience a new lifestyle for a week or longer. Adult summer camps have become popular destinations, ranging from sports and activity themes to money management, conflict resolution, and wine tasting. These summer camps offer a guided space for exploration and an opportunity to test out theories you wouldn’t ordinarily be exposed to. Not to mention, you’ll have plenty of opportunities to network and make friends who can offer new perspectives.

  1. Summer School

No one should ever stop learning but taking a course as an adult can be exhilarating. The relationship dynamics between professors and students are quite different when you’re all grownups. Professors are less likely to be merely instructors and are more likely to become mentors and friends. Taking a class as an adult professional has an array of benefits, particularly with online courses that allow for more flexibility. Taking a class helps you understand what it’s like to be a student these days – and be around the Gen Z’ers who will be joining the workforce. No time to attend class in person? The AARP put together a list of online courses people of any age can take for free.

  1. Summer Wedding

A wedding is the perfect place to develop insight this summer. Why? There is an entire group of people from all walks of life gathered in one place, giving you an opportunity to be exposed to family dynamics in other cultures, new fashion trends, and traditions. A friend recently attended a wedding and adored the dresses. That was her first exposure to Rent the Runway. Weddings are a great place to discover trends in men’s fashion, too.

  1. Summer Road Trip

The classic summer road trip is a journey through multiple insights. The entire pretext of a road trip is to have new experiences. The drive itself leaves time for self-reflection as you make your journey, and once you reach your destination (known or unknown), there are no limits to what you can learn while you’re there. If you’re looking for a specific experience, you can easily create a theme around your journey, whether you convention hop or explore the best restaurants across the U.S.

  1. Summer Concerts

From catching up with your favorite classic artists to discovering a new sound, concerts are a fun way to discover the new – from fashion and food to the experience of the venue itself. Attending a live concert can surprise and delight you with the diversity of the audience and fan base, the unique foods available at the site, and the wonderful ways in which people express their personalities and devotion as fans. From Jay-Z and Beyoncé to Marilyn Manson and Rob Zombie to Donnie and Marie, there is a concert to suit every taste.

Insight and inspiration are always found in unexpected places. You don’t know what you’ll learn along the way, but that’s part of the fun and the experience. Whether it’s your local library or the Grand Canyon, take on a challenge this summer. You’ll walk away with valuable insight that will expand how you think, how you live, and how you do business.