Hey! In case you missed it earlier, I'm hitting the road! This is my first attempt at long term travel and given that it is the new year, I thought it was apt to come up with a few travel related resolutions.
I know what you're thinking. Ugh, New Year's Resolutions - been there and done that. Weight loss, vice elimination, test of wills. I've done them all and conquered. Why would I put that added "stress" on myself as I do my walkabout around the globe? Simple, it is because I'm going to be a traveler and not a vacationer. Long term travel comes with a lot unwritten directives for yourself and your surroundings which is largely ignored by vacationers who come and go from their destination.
By making my resolutions public, you're going to help me keep them, right?
#1 Put Down The Lens More
As an amateur photographer and videographer, it is no secret that I love to capture everything in front of me as a still image or video. I am even ashamed to admit that I was that guy holding his phone up for long stretches at concerts, sheepishly watching a grandioso performance from my 4" smartphone screen. It's going to be tough with so many beautiful sights on the road but I want to use the camera in my mind a lot more, take a deep breath and exclaim "Damn, that was beautiful".
#2 Go Off The Beaten Path & Get Lost
As well traveled as I am, I have never veered off the paved path so to say. It is definitely because of my A-type personality. When I come up with a plan, I must stick to it! This is going to be the year that I say to hell with the plan and go with the flow. Heck, I might even get lost and laugh about it instead of screaming at the heavens because of my predicament.
#3 Remember The People You Meet On The Road
The travel community is very, very large and no matter where you are on the road, you will meet someone taking it all in just like you, or even a local. I've met so many wonderful people on the road and have done an awful job of keeping up with them since crossing paths. Some meetings were quite brief but still noteworthy, and I'm kicking myself for not taking their information down, or at the very least take a picture with them. There is no excuse in this day and age for not being able to reach someone you clicked with. At the end of it all, I'd love to say that I have friends all around the world!
#4 Disconnect and Lose The Track of Time
Ah, the fabled digital sabbatical and the wonders a complete digital disconnect does to you. I've never done it for more than a few hours but I'm willing to try forgoing screens for a week.
#5 20 Pushups Per Day
This is a daily practice for myself but I've never been able to keep it up on the road and I don't have a very good reason why. 20 per day isn't a lot by any means, but it adds up to a cool 7,300 pushups a year. My body will definitely thank me for it later.
#6 Keep a 60-second vlog everyday
Journaling an adventure has always been something I loved doing so why not up the ante and produce a 60-second vlog every day while I'm on the road. Have you ever seen the movie The Martian? It'll be something like that but on earth and twice as cool (hopefully). This is the resolution I'm looking forward to keeping the most because playing it back later in life will be such a hoot. Seeing how I felt and looked at different stages of the journey will definitely be a great way to reflect on it all.
#7 Stumble through a foreign language by speaking to a local
The language barrier is something that keeps travelers from visiting certain countries for fear of not being able to get by sufficiently. I felt this struggle first hand when I visited Brazil last year not knowing a lick of Portuguese. Well, I made it to live another day. On that note, I'm slowly and surely learning Spanish at the moment as a lot of destinations I'm headed to are Spanish speaking nations. By knowing some basic conversational (that's B1 on the CEFR scale) Spanish, I hope to heighten my experience in those countries.
#8 Give back to the local community
Have you ever volunteered whilst traveling? I haven't, and I would love to give it a go. As a former Rotarian, I'm keen on giving back to the community in any way I can. I'm looking forward to keeping an eye out for opportunities to do so in the various regions I will be in.
This is more relatable to life in general. A smile makes anyone more approachable and transcends all language barriers. I am guilty of smiling mostly for pictures, but I want to try and smile more just because.
Cheers to an amazing upcoming year of travel!
Do you have any travel related resolutions? If so, what are they?