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It’s that time of year again!
Oooh, I always look forward to writing this post. It’s my travel New Years resolutions for 2019! I feel like I have so many. Too many. But, I feel like I almost have twice as many because I didn’t really accomplish any of mine from last year (ooooops). On the flip side, I accomplished so much more that I didn’t even see coming. So, I don’t feel too bad about the whole New Year’s resolutions thing.
It’s pretty entertaining to look back at those old posts because I can see a theme. There are many common dreams and goals from year to year, such as pursuing travel blogging as a career, volunteering more, being more active, and traveling more often. As I realized more and more in 2018, the main constant in my life that was holding me back from pursuing my passions was my full time job in the TV industry. As I explained in my year in review post, leaving that job of 12 years behind is possibly the key to living life to its fullest.
Why Do We Fail?
Research shows that only 8% of people actually achieve any of their resolutions. That’s pretty sad, isn’t it? If there’s something we’d like to change about ourselves or goals we’d like to reach, we need to put in the time and effort. However, part of the problem is that these goals are too vague or unrealistic. By making our dreams a little more detailed and attainable, it’s more likely that we’ll be successful. For instance, in the past, I’ve written that I’d like to read more. That’s a little too vague. Similarly, if I set a goal to read 50 books, I might be setting myself up for failure if I only read a handful of books the year before. It might be better to resolve to read five new books in a year.
Travel New Years Resolutions
I can see the error in my ways. It’s no wonder that I quickly forget about my resolutions within a month or two. This year, I strive to set new travel New Years resolutions for myself because I’d like to start fresh in 2019, armed with new ideas and goals for the year. Here are my travel-related, travel-themed, and overall travel New Years resolutions for 2019.
Become a Full Time Travel Blogger
This one is kinda cheating because I left my full time job in the TV industry at the very end of 2018. However, it’s a big change to go from steady hours and a steady paycheck to being your own boss. Being a full time travel blogger requires discipline, drive, and organization. I’m working on all three of those, and it’s the first day of my full time blogging life today!
Armed with my day planner and an everlasting list of blog posts, social media posts, writing assignments, photo editing, video editing, and so much more, I’m tackling everything that I never had time for before. Once I add the act of traveling into the mix, things are going to get interesting. I’m not sure if I’m going to write about travel blogging itself much on the blog, though it might creep into my monthly Life of Lauren series.
Take Another Solo Trip
It was an entirely different experience going solo to Europe for the first time last year. I’d love to book another solo trip somewhere in the world. I adore traveling with Justin and we have so much fun. Going out there on your own is a very freeing experience. Solo travel certainly has its ups and downs. I am not the kind of person who easily gets lonely, but I felt like I didn’t do much talking to anyone on my last solo trip. Maybe I’ll try to be a little less insular and meet a few people the next time I give it a shot. Regardless, I’d really like to take another trip on my own, and it might be a little easier to do it on a whim without my pesky day job standing in the way.
I know that I’ll be volunteering more in 2019 because I’m going to Guatemala to help animals with Animal Experience International. I’d like to volunteer more in my own backyard, perhaps on a weekly or monthly basis. I used to work in shifts without the same day of the week off each week, which prevented me from doing pretty much anything that happened once a week. Now, I can commit to regularly volunteering somewhere locally. I’d like to help animals because I’m really passionate about that. I’m going to do a little bit of research online to see which organizations need some extra helping hands.
Get in Shape
This one seems to always be on my list. There was a time that I was really in shape…and then once I started blogging more, I let that slide a bit. It’s not an excuse, but when you’re working two full time jobs that both require a lot of sitting, it’s hard to stay active. Now, I only have one job like that! I have set a goal of getting to the gym five days a week. That might seem like a lot, but I have set aside time each day in my work schedule to get some exercise.
Furthermore, I’d like to go hiking, biking, and participate in other outdoor activities more often, weather permitting. I will sub in those activities in place of the gym workouts when I have the chance. Hiking trips in intriguing places also make for great blog posts, so I’ll be physically active and researching my next article at the same time.
Learn a Language
Years ago, I took a year long Japanese class at night school and I absolutely loved it. While I wasn’t even close to being fluent in Japanese, I had a basic understanding of the language and could speak basic sentences. I’d really like to learn a language again, whether it’s Japanese or something else. I haven’t quite decided how I will go about learning a language, whether it’s ordering a program from Rosetta Stone or making the most of free apps like Duolingo.
Saving Money to Travel More
Having the money to travel was easy when I had a well paying full time job. I’m hoping that my full time travel blogging lifestyle will allow for more travel! However, I do tend to fund a lot of trips out of my own pocket, so I’ll have to set aside the proper budget for those.
Thankfully, I’m actually saving a lot of money by working from home. I won’t be commuting an hour every day in the car, and my costs of owning a car will be much lower. I’ll be able to cook my own meals at home and groceries are much cheaper than eating out. The two or three coffees from Tim Hortons and Starbucks will be a thing of the past (unless I’m researching the best coffee shops in a city, or working at a cafe for a change of scenery). And as glamorous as it might seem, I’ll likely be wearing a lot of PJs, workout clothes, and yoga pants around the house while working from home, so I probably won’t be buying as many new clothes!
I’m excited to live a more minimal and sustainable lifestyle, and I’ll have more control over my spending habits when working from home. I can’t really say specifically how much money I’m hoping to save, but I’m hoping to travel even more often without eating away at any of my personal savings. After all, what would travel New Years resolutions be without adding “traveling more often” to the mix?
Learn Something New Every Day
As a world traveler who isn’t a full time traveler, I want to learn something new every day about the world. This is very easy when you’re actually traveling and immersed in the experiences. However, when I’m at home, it’s easy to get trapped in my own little bubble.
To achieve this, I could just get on the Google machine and research a random place in the world. But, I find that the most fulfilling way to learn something new is from each other. I highly recommend joining a travel group online to align yourself with others that have similar interests. The group that I co-own and operate with my blogger bestie, Lindsay, is called Inspire To Wander and I think you should join us (it’s free and fun!). We have daily topics about anything related to travel, a weekly Twitter chat, and we inspire each other to travel more often. It’s a great place to share photos, advice, and ideas. Anyway, what are you waiting for? Get on over to our travel community group page and check it out!
I’m actually taking the steps to achieve these travel New Years resolutions by being accountable. I’ve made the rough outline of my daily plans for work days, not including travel days. The goals I’ve set out are within my reach, as long as I have the discipline to stick to the plan.
The New York Times offers three suggestions for travel New Years resolutions: take more time off, ease up on the to-do lists, and stress less about packing. What do you think about these? I will certainly take off the proper amount of time to travel, I’ve never stressed much about packing (I rarely travel with only a carry-on), but I’m such a huge fan of to-do lists…so that one might not be in my best interests.
The best travel New Years resolutions, of course, are the ones that you know will help you fulfill your dreams. Go out there and make 2019 your best year yet!
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