It’s that time of the year again!
For the past two years and running, I’ve written personal, self-reflective lists about what I’d like to accomplish and change for the new year. (You can read my past entries for 2015 and 2016). While I think it’s best to make positive changes all year long, a new year signifies new beginnings. I like to set goals for myself, think about what I’d like to do this year, and discover the ways that I can make it happen.
Some of these goals are actually the same as last year. In some cases, I either didn’t make an effort, I slacked, or I didn’t make the time for my resolutions. I have that problem where there just aren’t enough hours in the day. However, I feel like if I really want to do something, I can make the time.
Some of these are New Years resolutions for travel. What kind of a travel blogger / travel-obsessed woman would I be if these resolutions didn’t include travel in some form?
And some of these resolutions relate to blogging. As always, I strive to travel as much as possible, share my experiences, and deliver the best content possible to you – my readers! I would love to find new ways to connect with those of you who love travel just as much as I do. (Be sure to follow me on social media to connect: Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, YouTube, Pinterest, Google+).
CONTINUE PURSUING TRAVEL AS A CAREER
This is exactly the same as last year! I still love travel, travel blogging, travel photography, and travel videography. This blog is my passion project and I’d love to be able to work on it as a full time job.
I currently work a full time job as a freelancer in the television industry. The wonderful part is that I can book off as much time as I’d like to travel. I know that the digital nomad lifestyle really isn’t for me. I like living in the Toronto area, and I love living in my apartment with Justin and our two cats. As much as I adore travel, I also like being able to return home after the trip.
In the past year, I’ve had the opportunity to freelance write for some other travel sites, and I’d love to continue this work. I’m exploring other ways to monetize this blog, too.
I’ve also had the chance to work with tourism boards, brands, and businesses in 2016 and I’d love to continue doing this in 2017. I’ll be attending at least two travel blogging conferences: Women in Travel Summit in Milwaukee, and TBEX in Huntsville, Alabama.
This topic of travel blogging leads nicely into my next idea…
REBRANDING THE BLOG?
I didn’t know if I was going to write this. But, I’m looking for your thoughts and ideas about this topic.
When I first started this blog, I planned to write about all the adventures that Justin and I took together. And that’s what it still is… in a way. The problem is…
I got bit by the travel bug a little more than Justin.
I’ve always managed the blog completely on my own as it’s my passion. I do 100% of the writing, the photo editing, the blogging, and the social media. When we travel together, we both take photos and he takes most of the video. While I’ve edited many videos together in the past, he has really taken on the role of video editor now. I love that he’s getting more involved with the blog, aside from the travel that we do together.
With that said, I do a lot more traveling than Justin does. More than half the time, the blog is about my travels on my own or with family/friends that doesn’t include Justin. I’m not sure if the blog name, Justin Plus Lauren, accurately reflects the content of the blog anymore.
Rebranding a blog is a huge undertaking. It’s a matter of choosing a new name and URL, moving your old content to the new site, changing your brand on social media, and making an effort to let everyone know that you’ve changed your name. My readers are familiar with this website, but will they know who I am if I choose a new name? Will my readership and online presence suffer?
I’m on the fence right now about a name change and I’d love your advice, opinions and thoughts! Please feel free to leave those in the comments section.
This one is on my list every single year, and yet I don’t keep up with it. I usually try to learn a little of the language of the places I’m visiting so I’m not completely clueless. At the same time, I have always wanted to speak another language. I only understand English. While I learned a little bit of French in school growing up, it was never enough to come close to being fluent.
I’d like to work on some Duolingo language classes – please feel free to add me as a friend on there if you’d like to practice languages together.
I haven’t quite settled on a language to learn. Maybe German? I’m going to Germany this year, after all!
While I’ve traveled to volunteer, I’m also a big fan of volunteering locally. I’ve worked with both animal sanctuaries and animal rights associations in the past. I’d like to ramp up my volunteer efforts and participate more in local projects that I believe in. I’ll be looking to help at events and farm sanctuary working days. Stay tuned as I try my best to give back in 2017, and hopefully I inspire you to do the same in your town!
PRACTICE YOGA AND STAY IN SHAPE
I love doing yoga, yet I haven’t attended a class in a while. I recently purchased a Passport to Prana pass, which allows access to numerous yoga studios in my area for only $30. I’m able to take one class at each studio and the pass lasts for an entire year. It’s only in select cities right now in Canada and the USA. The Toronto pass features so many yoga studios, including ones right down the road from me. Even if I only use the pass a few times, it’s definitely worth it. I wanted to let everyone know about this fantastic pass as I was really excited when I discovered it!
I joined a gym last week, so I plan to stay in shape by attending a few times a week. There are also yoga and spin classes at the gym, which will surely help me reach my fitness goals.
In addition, I have a Fitbit and I’m always trying to reach my step goals. By joining daily and weekly challenges, I try to go for as many walks as possible to keep up with my friends.
This was on my resolutions list last year. I find that I read more often while I’m on holidays – at the beach, on the plane, during lengthy train rides, and the list goes on. I would like to get into the habit of reading more on my break at work, or perhaps before I fall asleep at night. There’s nothing like getting immersed in a great story.
SAY YES TO ADVENTURE AND TRAVEL
Most importantly, my New Years resolutions for travel involve saying “yes”! If an opportunity comes up for a new adventure or experience, even if it scares me a little, I’m going to say yes. It’s important to push the boundaries and try new things. If there’s a chance to travel, you can bet I’ll be there. Sometimes the best stories and adventures can come from those that aren’t planned.
Who knows what kinds of adventures and travel 2017 will bring? 2016 was my favorite year of travel so far. I can’t wait to see how 2017 turns out!
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