Summer inspo 2024

Laila Banerjee provides a list of (unconventional) activities that you can immerse yourself in this summer

I’m from India so I get told quite often: “You must really enjoy winter considering you live in a tropical country,” and frankly, I do not. I count the days till I can step out without taking 10 minutes to just layer up. Summer makes me feel so optimistic for some reason. The 1st of May comes around and I’m already picturing myself living Sophie Sheridan’s life (Mamma Mia).  

Besides, it is the one season that lasts long enough to achieve the things/experiences on the list we’ve been putting together since last summer. Don’t we all have a list of things we’ve always wanted to do or experience scribbled somewhere in our diaries? Well, at least I do. The issue with most of those lists is that they are the same old activities people have done over the years. Backpacking through Thailand, the J1 visa, or even just going to Greece. Don’t get me wrong, they are all great ideas, but a touch too generic. It is time to switch it up a bit and maybe change that list or add something new and exciting. So here are some ideas I scribbled in my diary that may sound inviting. 


Of course, my first recommendation would be India! The country’s diverse culture, customs, language, and cuisine are widely recognized, but India’s wildlife is just as impressive.  There are 106 national parks in India which are all popular for different flora and fauna. So, if you are a wildlife enthusiast, the Professional Naturalist Training in Satpura National Park is the perfect opportunity for you.  The Programme usually takes place in August and is organised by a company called “Pugdundee Safaris.” This is a great way to experience the typical “Mowgli” life and enhance your knowledge about all the animals and plants out there.


If you ever watched The Crocodile Hunter as a kid, or for that matter, watched Anyone But You recently, then I’m sure visiting Australia sounds great right now! The Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attraction aims to protect marine turtles, especially flatback turtles in Australia. The West Pilbara Turtle Program (WPTP) takes in volunteers to monitor the nesting activity of these turtles. This program is a great way to help endangered animals and explore Australia. 


If you are an adventurous person but do not have the time to travel outside Europe then Talloires, a town near Lake Annecy should catch your attention. It is one of the largest lakes in the country. This lake, along with Lac de Bourget and Aiguebelette, are a result of melting glaciers from the last Ice Age. Lake Annecy is quite popular for its clear blue water, picturesque view, and outdoor activities such as paragliding and wakeboarding. What is even more compelling is that getting there is no hassle at all! The Geneva Airport (Switzerland) is an hour’s ride from Talloires. Many people hire cars or take buses to their destination, so it is not as far out as you think. While the Eiffel Tower does sound appealing, paragliding over this beautiful lake should be something to add to your bucket list. 


This tiny country is tucked away in the Himalayan valleys. It is the first carbon-negative country in the world, with the happiest and most hospitable people you could ever meet. They are extremely proud of their heritage and strive to improve in any aspect possible. READ GLOBAL is just one non-profit organisation that aspires to establish self-sufficient, community-driven libraries and resource centres. Education is the cornerstone for achieving the social and economic potential of a community. Supported by The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, this organisation allows volunteers to teach underprivileged individuals. Working with READ GLOBAL would be a great way to help the community and discover Bhutan. From the valley of Paro to the trek up to Tiger’s Nest, every corner and individual of this small country is absolutely delightful. 


Imagine 20,000 people having a food fight with tons of tomatoes and loud music in the streets of Buñol. This may not excite some people, but it’s worth a shot for others. Interestingly, I know of this festival because of a very interesting Bollywood movie called “Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara.” This festival started in the 1940s after a fight broke out during a Buñol cultural march, which resulted in a vegetable market stall being attacked by an excited crowd. The tradition has carried on since and has become one of the largest celebrated festivals in the world. This year it is speculated to happen in August.  Many assume that a lot of tomatoes are wasted in the process but only rotten tomatoes are purchased for this festival. If you are not afraid of trying new things this summer then this would be the perfect opportunity to do something wild!


This idea is more for people who enjoy some peace and music. Most of Europe’s art and music festivals take place in cities. This wonderful festival, or more correctly, concert, takes place among the Dolomites in the province of Trentino, Italy. A medley of performances surrounded by hills and greenery is the most peaceful way to enjoy your summer. The best way to get there is cable cars and is usually free of cost. 

This article should be an exciting reminder of just how close summer really is! And if you did not have any plans for the summer, well, now you do. There are so many opportunities out there and these are just some of them. So go ahead and start ticking off that summer list because if not now then when?!