2015. A Clean slate.
Every year we make resolutions. Every year most of us break them.
Travelers are a different breed, however; we usually follow through. Even when we have more will than wallet, we figure out a way to wherever it is we really want to go.
In fact, for serious travelers, travel-related New Year resolutions are even kind of fun to think about because travelers have dream destinations and bucket lists to consider.
So, thinking in that vein, I polled a gaggle of great travel buddies last week, and assembled the following Travel Resolutions that would make us all better travelers in 2015:
● We resolve to take any and all vacation time allotted to us...and steal whatever extra days off we can.
● We resolve to walk more.
● We resolve to be in the moment and love where we are...not where else we could go or be.
● We resolve to take better pictures.
● We resolve to not read or write any more travel top 10 (or 15 or 11 or 9 or 8 or 7 or 3) lists.
● We resolve to consciously unplug for longer and longer stretches when we travel this year.
● We resolve to say yes instead of maybe and allow for serendipity.
● We resolve to challenge ourselves more when we travel.
● We resolve to buy quality travel gear and take less of it.
● We resolve to learn something new in each new place we go: how to speak the language, how to cook a meal, about their history, about a new religion, etc...
● We resolve to see our home environments in the context of an out of timer and experience our own environment in a fresh way.
● We resolve to get out of our comfort zone on a daily basis: try exotic foods, say yes to an unknown adventure, take local public transportation over a taxi, sing in front of people, and organize a peer-to-peer dinner party, etc...
● We resolve to turn strangers in strange lands into our friends.
● We will be more patient this year.
● We resolve to go someplace new in 2015, instead of returning to the old tried and true go-to vacation destinations we normally visit. We will spread our wings, expand our horizons to new experiences, sights, cultures and unique cuisines.
● We resolve to put our money where our mouths are (and beliefs too!) in 2015, and not patronize travel services that, well, patronize us. "No" and, "That's not right," are mighty powerful words that many in the travel business need to hear -- a lot more often!
● We resolve to take authentic, challenging and participatory adventures; less like the reality show, The Amazing Race, and more like the real-life event The Global Scavenger Hunt.
● We resolve to not let technology get in the way of us meeting fellow travelers and indigenous people when traveling (some of us will actually resolve to completely unplug when we travel in 2015).
● We resolve to start speaking up for our vacation and travel rights: 1. Our right to have and take annual time off work (America needs a vacation mandate), and 2. Our rights as traveling consumers (a.k.a. a real Passenger Bill of Rights).
● We resolve to leave our expectations packed, hidden and deep in the back of a closet at home alone, and travel fearlessly without preconceived ideas or prospects. To be free and open to the great serendipity of travel.
● We resolve to integrate travel into our lives more, as we have with a good diet, exercising regularly and sleeping right. Travel is good for us in so many ways, be it physically, mentally and spiritually.
● We resolve to never again bring up the over-intellectualizing, self-aggrandizing, ego-gratifying vapid distinction between so-called travelers and tourists. Anyone who travels is both -- tourist and traveler -- no matter what they think.
● We resolve to not flaunt our travel exploits and long-winded adventure stories to others -- nor to shamelessly show off our travel selfies.
BTW: The best tried and true methods for keeping your resolutions are twofold: plan ahead and stick to it.
Happy Trails in 2015!