The new year is upon us and while many are making resolutions to lose weight, quit smoking, or save money, I am creating a list of travel goals. Whether you are still daydreaming about your next adventure or are in the process of planning, these resolutions will help keep travel interesting and you can pat yourself on the back when you’ve accomplished them! Let’s face it, this is a lot more appealing than not eating that second brownie…
Plan the epic trip
You may have been thinking about this all year. Biding your time, wringing your hands as you troll the web for travel sights. What better time to treat yourself and commit than New Years? This is your year! Whether you are planning a weekend retreat to your favorite national park or a backpacking trip abroad, starting now might give you an edge on those who are late in the game!
Although it seems daunting, traveling alone can be a wonderful life skill. Learning to spend time alone is crucial and traveling solo will be great practice. While we encourage you to be safe, solo travel offers the chance to really push your boundaries. Meet people at a pub, go on a hike with the woman you shared a cab with, be invited to go fishing–you’d be surprised at the opportunities that open up when you are traveling sans partner.
Fit everything in one backpack
Let’s face it, if you’re on a month-long backpacking trip through Nepal, you’re not going to need your makeup or that extra pair of jeans. Fitting everything in one backpack not only gives you the option of traveling light (you’ll appreciate it on those crowded buses and trains), it also provides perspective. Stuffing everything in your pack shows you how much you really need in life. Toothbrush? Yes. Underwear? Yes. Camera? Yes! Entire Harry Potter series? I wouldn’t.
Travel where you don’t speak the language
Just like traveling alone, going somewhere where you don’t speak the language can be challenging and rewarding. It can be exhausting at times but it will force you to learn (some of) the language, engage with locals, and exercises both hemispheres of your brain. A lot of people worry that they’ll look foolish trying out an unknown language but once you get past your own self-awareness you might find that native speakers appreciate your attempt.
Take a hike
One of my goals this year is to go on a long hiking trip. If you pick the right one you can kill two resolutions with one stone: cool travel AND getting in shape. Hiking is a great way to see the nooks and crannies of any location. You’d be surprised at the natural beauty any country or state has to offer (even Florida).
Eat something that scares you
Whether it’s something as benign as escargot or something as adventurous (and potentially poisonous) as blowfish, use this year to try a new food. Traveling will open up a variety of gastronomic options and stepping outside your comfort zone might be delicious and will always make for a great story!