In a world of lackluster resolutions and ambiguous travel goals, make 2016 a year to remember with these ten resolutions!
1) Actually unpack. I mean, really unpack. Even the bits of change and coins and receipts that are neat to find years later when trying to find a pen in your bag.
2) Plan more. Be prepared for contingencies and weather (Cheap tickets to Cambodia! Oh… monsoon season? Oops.)
3) Plan less. If you’re super into control and planning, loosen a bit. Let things just happen. The world is far more connected now than ever, so you won’t really be too far from help/phone/map/people.
4) Explore what’s around you. Too often it happens that what’s closest by is the least interesting (to you). While the great beyond may beckon, the near and dear may prove to be just as a amazing, if not more so.
5) Travel in a way you usually don’t. Take that train to Toronto. A bus to Mexico City. A ferry to Alaska. Or bike it.
6) Sharpen your travel goals. Don’t let “travel more” or “go to someplace I’ve never been” be on your resolution list again, alone and sad and unfulfilled. If you want to go to Tokyo/Bishkek/Cape Town… make it so!
7) Open up to the kindness of strangers. Often when traveling, especially alone, it’s easy to forget that not everyone is out to get you/your money. Chat up the overly friendly carpet sellers in Istanbul. Hang out with the aggressive leather jacket hawkers in Marrakesh. Just don’t go to tea with those insistent Chinese ‘students’. That one actually is a scam.
8) Be safe, learn the threats and scams of an area (political, natural or other). Don’t be that person who didn’t know that accepting a ‘found’ ring, falling victim to the’overbooked hotel’or ‘overly flirtatious woman’ are all scams.
9) If you don’t already, learn the alphabet (if different) and some of the language of the place you’re visiting.
10) Go to some place you might be afraid of. I’m not suggesting going to a war zone, but maybe some place that might scare you a bit to think about. You’ll arrive and realize, there was nothing to be afraid of. Many travelers have been subject to “Aren’t you worried about being murdered/kidnapped/shot/robbed/stepping on a landmine” from friends and loved ones, but places such as Bosnia, Albania, Kazakhstan etc., are safe and lovely, even if no one has read the news since 1996.