By Juliette

New Year’s Resolutions for Travelers

New Years resolutions

For more years than I can count, I’ve brushed off the tradition of New Year’s Resolutions. The thought of generating a to-do list for the upcoming months only added to my already over-eager and over-anxious need for task completion. Rather than enjoying the process of working towards my goals, I would bury myself with ambition after ambition until I achieved the ultimate success, in record time nonetheless. But, if you caught the title of this post, I’m clearly changing my tune. Perhaps resolutions are my cup of highly caffeinated tea. So what’s the deal? Welp, I have simply decided upon one single intention for the year 2018.

Upper yosemite falls hike

What’s my resolution for this year? To take my time. Find patience. Discover peace in the process. I live with a never ending fear that there just isn’t enough space for all the things I want to do and see (and eat). What’s keeping that fear in place? Me believing it’s true. So now I’m opting to let go of my obsession with my personal timeclock in order to focus on the things I truly would like to explore this year. Rather than checking items off a list, I’m going to dive into their purpose. I’m not looking to fly around the entire world, but I am striving to absorb as much as I can in the places and people I’ve chosen to spend my time with.

Lough Tay and Guinness Lake in wicklow mountains

My major travel plans for the next 365 days? Well, first and foremost, tie the knot with a handsome fella that manages to turn everyday into one I never want to forget. Spend an off-season week in Portugal absorbing the local life and eating as much seafood as humanly possible. Plan a honeymoon in a location outside of our comfort zone. Europe is fab, but ideally I would love to venture through Asia and visit the land down under. Lastly, take a trip with my best friend that calls for us to uncover our old Iceland hiking boots and backpacks. Whether we drive down route one in Cali, kayak through the Grand Canyon or hike every mountain in Banff, it doesn’t totally matter as long as we have uninterrupted road trips with a bangin’ playlist. Most importantly, I plan to soak in every single minute of days around the world, and even more, the ones nestled in our sweet little home.

Iceland

But, the type A in me couldn’t leave this post without some sort of list, eh? Although I’m keeping my intention simple and achievable, these are the resolutions I’m keeping in the back of my mind to ensure that 2018 is the most fulfilling, and yes, adventurous, of them yet.

Break Out of My Comfort Zone
I’ve found that one of the first things I do when I’m traveling abroad is to check to see if the locals speak English. While it’s not a deal-breaker, I do feel an uneasiness if I fear I won’t be able to communicate. This year, I’m moving past this silly feeling, and finally accepting that a little uncomfortableness is good for the soul. Language isn’t necessary for human connection. So, I plan to desert the common tourist traps to explore the small towns and landscapes, peaking through smiles and tattered phrasebooks.

Embrace Spontaneity
Shocker. I like to plan ahead of time. But this year I intend to use up my vacation days on last minute ski trips, overnight mountain getaways, and a few more weekends at home in the north country (i.e. Central New York), whether or not they’re scheduled a mere 12 hours ahead of time.

utthita hasta padangusthasana

Find Balance Abroad
As I find more and more excuses to hit the road, it’s easy for me to let go of the healthy habits I work so hard to maintain at home. Rather than using vacations as an excuse to #eatallthefood and #drinkallthedrinks, I want to enjoy the culture as I would my own while respecting my body with active movement in a way that brings me joy and confidence. How? Finding a yoga studio in every city I visit..or laying down a hotel towel and getting after it. Plus, eat more green things and less things with eyes.

Salt pond, bethany beach, delaware

Uncover Adventure At Home
Boarding an airplane to a place I’ve never been before is one of the most exciting things in life. However, the brightest of new adventures can leave your hometown in the shadows. Rather than always looking to leave, I want to visit the ins and outs of DC, to witness the heart of the city I’ve spent the last seven years in. There is so much around me in the current moment if I only put down my passport to look at it.

Make My Travels Work For Me
Ugh. I have a feeling this will be on my list forever since it’s seems to be a black hole of airline tips and Groupon discounts. But, there are so, so many tricks to taking advantage of all the travel offers available. I want to spend more time earning fly miles through a credit card (more to come..), and opting to be consistent with hotel usage to earn rewards. I want to continue collaborating with companies and using this blog to help advertise for others in exchange for experiences I might not otherwise have. While I’m not looking to travel cheaply (although, that’d be great..), I want to travel smarter. Which includes evaluating how I’m spending, when I’m traveling and where I’m going. Wish me luck.

Minimize Packing
Minimalism has always been my passion and I want to continue freeing myself of physical objects in exchange for life experiences. Simplifying my wardrobe and limiting what I believe to be “necessities” will make it easier to see the world without being weighed down by miscellaneous items I’ve deemed useful. It’s time to break out the donation bags and tough lovin’ and part ways with that t-shirt from Panama City beach 2010 that I’m seriously never going to wear. Among other things.

Deer in Yosemite Valley

Do Good
I haven’t always been able to pack my bags and travel the world. In fact, I didn’t even have a passport until I turned 23 and realized I need one for my first trip abroad to Greece. Growing up, we spent long weeks on the cape, or summer days up at our camp on Port Bay. While I cherish those family vacation, I’m now overwhelmingly grateful that I’ve uncovered my passion for travel, and can afford to do so. With a location list that doesn’t appear to end anytime soon, I’d like to start using this blessing to share with others the time I have to give. Whether it’s volunteering at an Elephant Park in Thailand or leading free yoga classes in Costa Rica, I’d like to use these 12 hour flights to not only take in all there is to experience, but to also give back the goodness.

And you? What are your travel goals for the upcoming year?

New Years resolutions

xx,
Juliette

Tessa Rampersad

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