As the New Year rolls around, so do those dreaded resolutions. Normally, resolutions are things you promise to change to make yourself a better person - lose 10 pounds, spend more time with the family, eat out less, etc. Instead of forcing yourself to do things you don't want to do, why not make optimistic travel resolutions to better yourself? There's nothing more fun than immersing yourself in other cultures to broaden your horizons, which is only done by seeing the world and exploring the great wonders of earth. Here's our list, feel free to adopt these as your own. Happy holidays and happy travels!
10. Face a fear
There is nothing more satisfying than staring fear in the eye and laughing. Afraid of heights? Go sky diving. Afraid of the ocean? Swim with the sharks. Though it may be terrifying at first, go with a reputable program or guide that can ensure your success. You will gain so much self confidence knowing you conquered something you never dreamed possible, which will go wonders beyond an extra hour or two at the gym.
9. Challenge yourself
Are you an avid hiker? Test your skills with one of the biggest challenges in the world - Machu Picchu or the Himalayas. Big on biking? Try cycling around Amsterdam. Match your unique hobbies and interests to the location they are most popular or coveted. Besides having a blast, you'll see that people around the world really aren't so different after all by meeting people with similar interests.
8. Make time for travel
One of the hardest parts about travel is finding the time and money to do it. Promise yourself you will take your full two weeks of vacation this year. No matter how daunting the thought of work piling up is, if you plan ahead the world will not end. Block out a non-busy time scheduling around the dreaded end of month /end of quarter and get a jumpstart on finishing reports early. After all, you owe it to yourself to decompress. Travel is good for the health and the heart. In most of the world, they get on average a week off per quarter to relax.
7. Go with the flow
Planning out your entire itinerary can be great for scheduling sake, but taking it as it comes is equally as important to truly get the vibe of your location. In the Caribbean? Sure, you want to fit in water sports, parasailing and zip lining, but don't stress out if you don't get to it all. They are on "Island time," the pace is a bit slower, more chill. Grab a frozen cocktail, hit the spa and you'll be one of them in no time.
6. Don't judge
One of the best parts about visiting a new place is learning about the culture, but it's important to be respectful. If you see people eating something you would never put in your mouth or wearing something you think looks crazy, accept it. Don't giggle, talk behind their back or whisper. Besides, maybe it's really you that's backwards.
5. Revisit an old favorite
There are places that are meaningful to us all, whether it be somewhere in your own town, a honeymoon spot, or somewhere you went as a child. Reliving the special moments and places in our life is equally as important as seeing something new. Nostalgia is an extremely powerful emotion and the sights, smells and colors can take you back to some of the best times in your life.
4. Share the experience
Traveling solo is great, but making memories is what it's all about. Go with a loved one, be it your family, significant other, or a group of friends to capture those "had to be there moments." And of course, document your trip with photos and videos to share with friends and family. You just may motivate them to relive your experience or at least be extremely jealous.
3. Cross something off your bucket list
We all have a bucket list- those grand adventures that make life worth living. An African safari in your top 3? What better time than the present? Because really, what are you waiting for? Seize the moment.
2. Add something to your bucket list
The more you travel, the more amazing, off the beaten path places you discover. It's hard to even read about a place without discovering 10 more things you have to do or try. This isn't a bad thing, it just keeps you motivated to explore and widens your eyes to all that's out there.
1. Don't stress
Planning a trip can be extremely time consuming. Travelers conducting on average twenty web searches before booking just to make sure they cross reference every detail and scour over every review. Take time to relax even in the planning stage. Vacations aren't meant to cause anxiety. Create a game plan early so you can enjoy the ride instead of worrying about expenses or anything but being in the moment.