To me, ‘travel resolution’ seems a bit redundant. Both words are declarations of purpose. Commitments to transform. Desires to strengthen.
Redundancies are most often a waste of time and space, but in this case, I think marrying these two words makes the sentiment twice as strong.
Whether you’ve made the act of traveling a career path, or the paths you’ve traveled are few, we can all resolve to travel better this year. So this New Year’s, make a resolution that you’ll not only enjoy, but one that will widen your world view, deepen your compassion, and heighten your happiness. Here’s some inspiration for your New Year’s travel resolutions:
Disconnect to reconnect
Our daily lives are filled with incoming emails and texts, meetings and appointments, to do lists and commitments. Travel is your time to escape it all and reconnect to yourself and the world around you.
To do so, you must disconnect. Whatever that means to you.
If disconnecting means turning the tech off, do it. Trust me, I work in social media at a travel tech company, I love how easy my phone can make exploring the world and sharing my journey with loved ones, but it’s not always advantageous. Turn your phone on airplane mode upon departure and see if you can keep it that way until your return. All you really need is your camera anyway. Your gained presence in the moment will be liberating.
If disconnecting means setting out on a solo adventure, do it. You’ll get the freedom of doing what you want when you want, and the challenge of relying on no one but yourself and the strangers around you.
In an op-ed for the L.A. Times, Rick Steves frankly diagnosed Americans with a sensationalized fear of the world around us. Luckily, his suggested solution is simple: travel.
The world is not all rainbows and unicorns. Do your research and use common sense. But, I’d also advise you to use common sense no matter what your location might be.
This year, be wary of overstated cable news stories. Embrace cultural differences. Seek the unfamiliar. And forget fear, for you deserve to go out and form your own opinions of the world.
Reflect and be grateful
Between trains, planes, automobiles, time differences, language barriers, and landmarks, traveling can be quite the whirlwind. At times, we have to intentionally slow down and remind ourselves to cherish the beauty of what we’re doing.
Keep a travel journal. Whether it’s comprised of detailed accounts of your adventures or simple lists of daily gratitude, challenge yourself to document your thoughts and feelings before you go to bed each night.
Not only will this habit help you cultivate a deeper appreciation for your travels, but it will give you a way to relive your travels years down the road in a way pictures and souvenirs can’t help you do.
Value quality over quantity
In the New Year, resolve to make quality a priority. Although there are advantages to squeezing in eight countries on your three week Eurotrip, try limiting your itinerary to one or two locations instead.
Explore the city and countryside in depth. Stay in an Airbnb rather than a hotel. Get to know the locals. Learn the culture and way of life of the place you’re visiting.
It might take you longer to check off your bucket list this way, but you’ll feel more connected to the places you travel to, and you have to admit there’s something beautiful about that.