While I am no means a fan of the winter season whatsoever, this time of year is a personal favorite of mine as it enables me to reflect and set goals for the future. This year in particular has been super special to me. In fact, I think it’s been my favorite year yet. I’ve managed to attain each of the goals I set for myself, which marks the first time that’s ever happened. The fact that this happened set the bar high for my 2016 new year’s resolutions – and I look forward to continuous improvement!
Some of these “small picture” aspirations are taking flight and helping mold my “big picture” plans, and it’s extremely gratifying to see it all come into fruition.
I love to dream big, and I love reading about other peoples’ aspirations as well. I connected with a few like-minded travel bloggers to see if they had any big plans or resolutions in store for 2016 – and I discovered some pretty wonderful details along the way. These lovely ladies have some exciting and inspirational goals planned for the new year – each of them unique in their own way.
1. Face a fear
Rachel of Wayfaring Rachel is a lifelong nomad, yogi-runner-lifter, coffee addict, champagne drinker, and animal lover. Her life has been one big, wanderlust-filled journey since ditching medical school plans for a European backpacking trip. Her goal is to help others explore the world – even if that means just starting with their own city.
Rachel’s resolution this year is extremely noble.
“Leaving your comfort zone is the best catalyst for personal growth I have ever found. In 2016, I’m determined to dive headfirst into the things that make my heart jump and stomach twist. One of those things, for me, is living without electricity. That fear probably comes across as pretty pampered – and it is.
Around 1.2 billion people in the world live without electricity every day. I’m planning a turtle conservation volunteer trip right now, and I’ll certainly be without a lot of the travel comforts I’m accustomed to enjoying! Maybe for you facing a fear means visiting a country where you can’t speak a word of the language. Maybe it is traveling solo, staying in a hostel, stepping off dry land, or visiting a developing region. No matter how small, picking an activity, destination, or travel style that pushes your boundaries is healthy. Stay safe, but be brave. Cheers to 2016!”
2. Travel more
Amanda of Chasing my Sunshine has a severe case of itchy feet and can’t wait to get out, explore the world and share her stories. She spends as much time as possible being active, but she’ll be the first to sit down with you (and a bottle of wine) if you’ve got a story to tell. On a constant quest to find her own sunshine, Amanda’s resolution is to spend 2016 traveling as much as possible.
“It can be hard to be a part-time traveler in a sea of long-term travel bloggers and Instagrammers. Comparison traps are a real thing! It’s also difficult to maintain a travel blog when you’re not, ah…traveling. My New Year’s Resolution for 2016 is to travel at least once every month! What I LOVE about this goal is that it can be altered for almost any level of travel.
These don’t have to be big trips necessarily; they could just be weekends away somewhere close by. Heck, they could be day trips to the next town over if you want! They could be backpacker style, solo, with friends, luxury, whatever your heart desires. I’m personally looking for a good mix of types. I made this a monthly thing in the hopes that planning would be a bit more concrete. It also gives it more of a challenge feel. Plus it’s fun! So far, I have three (maybe four!) plans in motion, so I’ve got some work to do before the clock strikes midnight.”
3. Reconnect with home
Hotel expert Kelly Ella Maz has been living the dream of traveling the globe for a few years. While she loves the thrill of exploring new places, she wants to connect with her roots in 2016. As a native Canadian, Kelly felt inspired by the many people she’s met on the road who’ve expressed their love of her home country, which brings me to her goal for the upcoming year:
“My travel resolution for 2016 is to travel more of my home country – Canada! I’ve spent nearly two years travelling around the world and I’ve met people from all over the world who have told me how much they liked their trip to Canada.
The places they visited are places I haven’t seen yet, and that’s really made me want to travel around Canada more. In spring 2016 I’m returning to Canada after my multi-year trip around the world and I can’t think of a better time to start exploring my home!”
4. Find success after graduating university
Carmela Del Espiritu Santo of Perstare et Praestare wants to challenge herself in 2016. As a citizen of the Philippines, Carmela has a world of opportunity available for traveling in the upcoming year – as soon as she passes her physical therapy exams, that is. Drawing inspiration from Brazilian novelist, Paulo Coelho, Carmela believes the universe will conspire to help her find her path in all due time.
“We were running on a tight schedule in uni and graduating in 2015 made me more hopeful for the possible travels I’ll be having this 2016. I have always had this feeling within me that I was made for traveling. I often catch myself daydreaming of going to new places I haven’t been to. I immersed myself in travel related anecdotes by diverse people through social networks. I told myself that once I pass my licensure exams for physical therapy this coming February, I’ll travel locally at least once a month, may it be by plane, boat, bus, or nearby driving.
In the Philippines, my home country, there are a lot of wonderful travel destinations to choose from such as world-class beaches and summits which offer fantastic views to cite a few. I’ll get a job and put up a business with my friends as well to fund my travels. Agreeing with Paulo Coelho, I believe that the universe will conspire to help me achieve my dreams. I took advantage of the seat sale of an airline last September so am I already looking forward to 3 new destinations, with one being my first solo travel! Apart from traveling per se, I’m excited to fill my new (and hopefully permanent) blog of travel adventures which I’d love to share with the world.”
5. Be a more mindful traveler
Jennifer of Simply + Fiercely is a long term expat who is chasing her dreams while travelling the world. She writes about travel, minimalism and loving life in her adopted home of Brisbane, Australia, and beyond. This upcoming year, she wants to get back to the basics and appreciate the small beauties each day brings.
“When I was 19 I went to London (on my first European trip) and I remember being completely aware of everything: on the train I stared out the window at the rolling fields, completely fascinated by the lush green against the grey skies; on the Tube I studied my fellow passengers, watching how they casually stood and read the evening paper; and on the city streets I took deep breaths of the cold crisp air (a memory that is hard to describe in words, but when I close my eyes I can still feel deep in my chest.)
But fifteen years later … Instead of appreciating the magic of travel, I’m usually wondering if the photo I just took is good enough for Instagram, or where I can find a cheap (and gluten free) lunch, or how I’m going to get to the train station tomorrow. Blame it on age, or smartphones, or free wifi everywhere – but I’m definitely distracted. My mind is always jumping two steps ahead.
So in 2016 I want to slow down and take notice. I want to breathe deep and smell the air and get lost and talk to strangers. I want to notice the trees and the graffiti and the people on the streets. I want to leave my phone at home, to take photos without thinking about how they’ll look online, and to sit and do nothing but watch the world go by.
And then go home and blog about it. Because it is 2016 after all!”
6. Appreciate home
Maria of Travelling Buzz is a Bulgarian blogger who thrives off the concept of adventure. She loves discovering new places, all of which she showcases on her European-centric travel blog. This year, Maria wants to gain a better understanding of her home country and discover more of it, despite the fact that it’s not as popular for tourism as some of its neighboring countries.
“My home country Bulgaria isn’t a popular destination among tourists and travellers. But even I have been ignoring the fact that there are so many beautiful places to see in my home country that one lifetime would not be enough to see them all. That’s why I’m setting a new travel goal for 2016 – to discover more of my home country Bulgaria in order to get a deeper understanding of where I live, what are the most beautiful places in the country I call home.
I already have a list of all the cities, places, monasteries, natural sites, traditional events, etc. I want to visit in my home country so it will be easier to keep progress of my goal. I even bought a nice travel book to show me the hidden treasures in the country. That’s why I think I am ready to embrace this challenge in 2016. I recommend all of you to discover more of your home countries! It is more affordable, you can still have epic adventures and stories to tell and you get a deeper understanding and connection to your country. To make things even more interesting, make a plan to visit at least 2 local places a month!”
7. Take an internet detox
Iris of The Sea is My Cup of Tea is currently living the dream in Sri Lanka with her lover and travel partner. While the two are enjoying this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity living healthy, natural lives and exploring the lush Sri Lankan forests, this yogi said she wants to get back to basics and spend her time without the burdens of technology in 2016.
“My resolution is to take an internet detox. I spend and have spend too much time online during my travels, for the simple reason I work several online jobs and I am kind of addicted to social media. In 2016 I want to take a week or so off from the world wide web and really look around.”
While it’s totally normal (and incredibly difficult in this day and age) to take an internet detox, Iris will still be present on her social media channels. If you’re keen on following her travels throughout Sri Lanka and beyond, be sure to check her out on Facebook and Instagram!
8. Be good to myself
This year I’ll be taking a much needed break back home in America. After reconnecting with loved ones and eating 9,839 Chipotle burritos, I’ll be heading backpacking trip for a few months throughout South East Asia before settling down in New Zealand. I want to be able to maintain my sense of balance and continue to become the best version of myself.
“While I will say my primary goal for the upcoming year is to see the hot air balloons in Bagan, Myanmar, I have a bigger resolution in mind. My resolution is to enjoy every moment I will have with my family and friends back home in America before I head out into my next adventure. I want to enter this year with an open heart, mind and the same eagerness I had when I first moved to Seoul in 2013.
I want to be the kindest person possible to all of the new faces I meet along the way, whether it be on en route to New Zealand or when I eventually make it to my new (albeit temporary) home as well as kind to myself. I want to be daring and adventurous, yet know when it’s time to relax and take it slow. I want to seize the day each and every day and have patience knowing it won’t always be easy.
I have quite a bit of traveling ahead, and I’m terrified to leave Seoul as it has felt like home for quite some time. However, with this mindset, I know I can make 2016 the best year yet!”
Do you have any goals for the upcoming year? Let me know in the comments below!