I have a confession to make – I’m terrible at sticking to new year’s resolutions. Every year, I start out with only the best intentions – to learn a language, to work out more, to spend less time on social media and my computer, to watch more films by and about women… but eventually I give in. Routine and laziness win me over, and all the determination I felt in the beginning of January are usually gone by May at the latest.
That’s why this year, I decided to keep it low-key with my resolutions and only focus on things that fit conveniently with my daily life and can be easily connected with my wanderlust. Instead of one big plan, I decided to split my intentions up into several smaller steps – I hope my 12 new year’s resolutions for travellers will be the kind of inspiration you need for 2017!
1. Once a month go somewhere you haven’t been before
I think it is important to try new things, and ‘somewhere’ could be not just a new country or city, but also a new restaurant in town or a suburb you’ve never visited before. It’s so easy!
2. Explore your home town as if you were to write a travel guide
Being a travel writer, I always try to always explore a new destination in all detail – but could I write a complete travel guide to my home town if someone were to ask me what to do and where to eat? That’s my goal for 2017!
3. Take more trains than planes
I’m into finding new ways to travel greener and with greater responsibility. I also love travelling by train and my partner hates flying, so this is a no-brainer.
4. Learn a new language and travel to a country where they speak it
Learning a new language is hard enough but I feel if you connect your efforts with a rewarding journey to a place where they speak that language, it might just be that much easier to stick with it!
5. Bring home a souvenir to decorate your home from everywhere you go
I’m about to move flats soon, and I feel that I have neglected buying beautiful crafts in all the places I’ve been to so far. I decorate a lot with photos, but I want to focus on buying more art and crafts in the future and decorate my home like a traveller.
6. Shop at local businesses
Whether I travel or stay at home in Scotland, it’s way too easy to shop online or on the high street. I want to make an effort to shop at small local businesses wherever I go, to support the local economy and buy things that are truly from the place I visit.
7. Travel for a festival
My favourite trip of 2016 was probably my journey to the Faroe Islands in July. Our trip was coordinated with G! Festival, one of the coolest music festivals I have ever experienced, and it made me realise that I want to travel more for festivals. This year I’m planning to travel to at least two film festivals abroad, but maybe I’ll sneak a music one in as well!
8. Try to live vegan – at least for a month
When I went to Toronto recently, I ran into a big vegan food festival and signed up for a 4 week long vegan challenge. Eating vegan for a month was really easy actually, and even though I have since gone back to the occasional cheese and dairy, I want to give it another go next year. Give it a go, and try the veggie challenge too!
9. Take a trip without a camera
My partner is always joking about how I always carry my camera with me and never stop taking photos for my blog or Instagram. And in a way he is right – I can’t remember the last time I traveled without a camera in my hand, hunting for photos I could share with the world. Next year I’d like to take a little trip away from all that!
10. Pick up a sport you can do anywhere in the world
I’m not one to do sports in order to lose weight, but I know that working out helps me to keep balance and let off some steam. Personally I find it hard though to drag myself to the gym on a regular basis – especially when I travel a lot. This year I’d like to take up running or return to yoga – something I can do anywhere in the world!
11. Watch more foreign language films and documentaries
I study film at university and am naturally interested in the way other cultures put their stories on the big screen. I already watch more independent films than big blockbuster productions, but next year, I want to watch even more foreign language films and documentaries opening a window to different corners of the world. It’s a great way to bridge the gap between trips!
12. Step up your photography game
Last Christmas I got a GoPro to help me capture my travels on video, and later I gave myself a second hand full-frame camera to step up my photography game. I know it’s not all about the tech gear, but I’ve received so many compliments for how my photography has improved in the past months, that I can’t wait to work more on my visual work.
Do you have any travel-related new year’s resolutions?