It’s that time of year again. The time we reflect on our year, the highs the lows, what we achieved, what we wish we’d done or didn’t do. But mostly we will be thinking about what 2019 will bring us. What are we excited about? What do we want to achieve in the New Year? What will be your 2020 new year resolution?
The most common new year resolutions are those related to our health, our well being, our family and friends and learning new skills. Mostly they last a few weeks, a month perhaps if you are really dedicated! How many of you have started a super healthy diet only to give in to a craving for chips and chocolate and then give up the very next day? How many have taken out an expensive gym membership only to waste £50 each month as your gym kit gathers dust in the back of the wardrobe?!
What if I were to tell you there is one new year resolution you could make which would encompass most regular resolutions to be healthier, learn a skill or spend more time with the ones we love? What if that resolution was a whole lot easier to keep to than a regular gym regime?! And a whole lot more fun?!!
Well, travel is the solution. Yes, that trip you’ve been putting off as it’s too expensive, you don’t have enough annual leave, you don’t like planes etc? Those excuses will be there every year. However, you do not know what the future holds. A family, a change in financial circumstances, a health problem… Make the most of now and stop making excuses. Make that your new year resolution this year.
After all, the world is changing all the time. Those glaciers in New Zealand that you can’t wait to hike on? Well, those are melting. They predict that there is only a few years left for tourists to actually get onto the glaciers, soon it won’t be safe and you will have to view from a distance. Those up and coming unspoilt seaside towns in Croatia are getting ever more popular – how long before some rich investor turns them into a high rise package holiday resort?
So make 2020 the year you travel. It will also be the year you tick off a lot more resolutions without trying!
New Year Resolution 1 – “I will be more healthy”
Personally, I always come back from a trip away feeling more healthy. My days are spent being active – hiking, kayaking, horse riding, even just spending hours walking around a city. Back home I’m prone to snacking but whilst I’m travelling, my mind is far too active to wander to snacks..!
New Year Resolution 2 – “I will allow more “me” time.”
Well, how does me-time lying in a hammock reading a book and sipping a cocktail sound? There are so many ways you can be kind to yourself when you travel. Time to read a book, have a massage, write a journal, attend a yoga retreat… Travel itself is brilliant for your well being.
New Year Resolution 3 – “I will be better with money”
I can’t promise you will be richer after travelling (well not in monetary terms anyway) but you will be better with money. A big trip gives you the focus you need to stop whittling your money away on costa lunches and clothes you don’t need. You also have to plan and think about how you will spend your money wisely to make it stretch whilst you are away. You will learn a lot about self-control and budgeting and those skills will stay with you on your return.
New Year Resolution 4 – ” I will learn a new skill”
Well, what better way to learn a new skill than to learn it in a new country? Maybe you want to learn to ski whilst you are in snowy Switzerland? Or learn how to cook Nasi Goreng in Indonesia? It may be dancing in which case why not learn the traditional dance in that country? I first started learning to dance salsa in Ghana. 9 years later and I’m still addicted to dancing and have danced my way across the world dancing Salsa in Sydney, Zouk in Buenos Aires and Samba in Brazil!
New Year Resolution 5 – “I will learn a new language”
Languages are hard to retain unless you are actively using them. By all means, start before you travel but you are so much more likely to retain that knowledge if you are using it regularly. It also improves the overall travel experience letting you feel accomplished and interact better with the locals.
New Year Resolution 6 – “I will meet new people”
There is no better way to meet people than to travel. It’s something you instantly have in common, an easy conversation starter. You will meet people in the hotel lobby, sat next to you on the bus, on a day trip or sat in a cafe. You cannot avoid meeting new people when you travel. You will then have a huge network of friends all over the world who you can plan to visit in the future! I have made some of my best friends on the road!
New Year Resolution 7 – “I will spend more time with the ones I love”
Life has a habit of getting in the way of quality time with our loved ones. What better way to re-connect with our loved ones than on a trip away. Plan a romantic trip with your partner or take your first family holiday in years. I loved my holiday with my parents in Australia a few years back. Away from our usual traditions and routines and life stressors, we spent real quality time together and I have very fond memories to look back on.
New Year Resolution 8 – “I will learn new things”
Some say travel is the best education. You will certainly learn a lot. Be it about what you are capable of or the natural history of the Galapagos islands. Either way, you will probably fare better in pub quizzes after your return.
New Year Resolution 9 ” I will do something which scares me”
We learn so much about our capabilities by pushing ourselves to our comfortable limits. Do something which scares you just a little – travel alone, go diving or climb a high altitude mountain. The sense of achievement you will feel when you push yourself outside of your comfort zone is simply amazing!
New Year Resolution 10 “I will spend less time on social media/ browsing the internet / watching Netflix”
It’s easy to get in a rut back home, binge-watching your favourite soap and forgetting to leave the house and actually socialise. Removing the temptation of the TV or being without wifi for a few days will remind you what’s really important!
So make 2020 your year. Make it the one you travel. Make it the one where you also return healthier, happier and more knowledgeable.
For help planning your next trip, see my article on trip planning – you can even download my free printable trip planner
So now it’s over to you?! Where will you be travelling in 2020? What skills and languages do you want to learn? I’d love to hear what you are planning!