How to Set New Year’s Travel Resolutions and My Own Travel Wishlist for 2015
New Years Resolutions are typically horrible things which we dread doing, but know are good for us, like dieting, joining the gym or saving money. Isn’t that why January is such a terrible month? It’s full of austerity and denial of things we love doing, like eating rich foods and drinking alcohol. So instead of making New Years Resolutions and starting the fresh year with a list of prohibitions and things I should improve about myself, I prefer to look ahead with anticipation to the excitement and adventures the coming year holds, by writing my travel wishlist and travel goals.
In July last year for my 25th birthday I wrote down my travel wishlist for the next five years, and in 2015 I’d love to crack on with a few of those. However some of them are quite major (such as “live outside of Europe for 6 months” and “crew aboard a yacht one summer”) so I am pacing myself. The ones I’m making progress on are:
1. Get my RYA Day Skipper qualification – after a 7-week evening class in London I’ve already passed my shorebased theory exam and I’ll take the 5-day practical course in the Caribbean in May.
3. Run a marathon abroad – after a 10k run in London last September, I’ve signed up for the Hampton Court half-marathon in February, with a plan to run a full marathon in autumn 2015.
9. See the Northern Lights – fingers crossed we’ll see them during our trip to Iceland in March!
10. Work as crew on a superyacht – the Day Skipper course is a step in the right direction with this one.
11. Do Ibiza in style – currently only a maybe, but hopefully happening in July.
Other new travel goals I’d like to add to my wishlist for 2015 are:
- Copenhagen – a birthday present from last July that is yet to be organised!
- Morocco – I seem to be the only person left who hasn’t been to Morocco and this year it’s finally time I did something about visiting this country.
- Lake Como – I’m desperately missing Italy and can’t wait to explore this great lake.
- Russia – I studied Russian for a whole two years while at university and still have never set foot in a Russian-speaking country, which is shameful!
- Skiing in winter 2015/16 – over Christmas my family all decided that next year would be a white one, so we’re hopefully heading to the Alps next Christmas, something I’m especially keen to do since I don’t appear to have any skiing plans this winter!
- Visit 5 new countries – In 2014 I only managed to visit two new countries (Indonesia and Malta), something which must not be repeated in 2015!
- Master photography and shoot more videos abroad – I always used to consider myself a creative and artistic person, and I would love to take my photography and videos more seriously in 2015. I loved compiling my Video Diary of 2013 Travels, but sadly I didn’t get enough footage in 2014 to make another.
- Learn more about the world beyond Europe – I’d like to research and learn more about cultures I’m not familiar with, and have decided to write a monthly insight into a different culture.
- Offset my carbon footprint – I recently donated money to plant 8 trees, which equal the 7,143kg of carbon my travels produced in 2013, and I shall be doing exactly the same for 2014 and 2015.
- Good deeds through travel – After attending the incredible 2014 One Young World summit in Dublin, I decided there must be a way I can put this blog to good use for society, so in 2015 I want to highlight ways we can make a difference to the world around us through travel, volunteering, fundraising, etc. I hope those blog posts will inspire you to look at the world from another angle and to take action!
- Get one step closer to travelling into space – no one believes me about this one but it’s going on the list nonetheless!
- Decide by the end of 2015 when and where I will next live abroad – I’ve been back in London for 5 months now, after my 6-month stint in Madrid this year, and I’m already getting itchy feet. While I would love to move abroad this year, even if I don’t, I want to at least have a solid plan for it. Hong Kong and South America (where my company has offices) are both on my radar. Basically, I don’t see myself staying in London for the next 10 years!
So what are your travel goals for 2015?
Are you already fully booked up for the year with trips and adventures or are you still mulling over where to treat yourself to this year? Over the next couple of weeks I’ll be writing down my tips, firstly on how to find time for travel (yes, I grapple with annual leave too) and secondly on how to find the money for travel (because it certainly ain’t free). But in terms of writing your travel wishlist in the first place, I’ve got a few ideas for you that may help your mind wander and begin to daydream of far-off lands…
1. Think about what you’d like to learn this year.
A new language, a new sport, a new craft, a new cuisine? Travel is an education in itself, but travelling with a specific subject in mind makes travel all the more valuable. You can find courses in absolutely everything, and it’s a great way to build excitement before a trip, as you swot up with pre-reading and take local courses to prepare you. Learn to scuba dive like I did last October, learn to speak Spanish in Salamanca, learn to make your own pasta in Tuscany or learn to paint in Bali.
2. Which countries are you yet to visit?
Build your own travel map at Matador and see where you’re missing. Which countries have you always wanted to visit but aren’t highlighted on the map? Which countries have you never even heard of before? Or find a country you have already been to and visit the 2nd or 3rd most important city, not the typical tourist magnet. Visit somewhere new this year (the more unusual the better) and you’ll surprise yourself.
3. Take 12 trips in 12 months.
I’ve seen a number of travel bloggers commit to a trip for every month of the year. If you’re constrained by annual leave then some of those can be weekends away, and they don’t all need to be abroad. But maybe consider exploring somewhere new for every month of the year. This is something I’ve been trying to do consciously for the last couple of years. In 2013 I managed 9 months of international trips, and in 2014 I managed 10 months, so I’m slowly improving!
4. Visit friends and relatives abroad.
If you live in the 21st century then it’s likely that you know someone who has ventured abroad to live – perhaps a best friend you haven’t seen for a few years or distant relatives who are so far away on the family tree that you’re not quite sure who they are. Everyone says they will visit some day, but very few actually turn that into a reality. But there couldn’t be a better way to explore a place than with a local who can not only spare you a bed or sofa, but who can give you their own perspective on their adopted culture, share hidden parts of the city/country and teach you about the reality that most tourists never even glimpse.
5. Draft your obituary.
It’s a morbid task and not one to obsess over, but solo ocean rower Roz Savage told me that she tried writing her obituary, and it inspired her into action. What would you like to be remembered for in your obituary? I’m not saying you need to row solo across the Atlantic, Pacific and Indian Oceans like Roz did, but in 2015 think about doing something you’re afraid of, that you consider an adventure, something that will push you outside of your comfort zone. Travel is the very best way to literally leave your comfort zone, and as they do say: “Life begins at the end of your comfort zone”.