Go to the gym more, lose five pounds, try new recipes, read more books... It's all so familiar. So in the spirit of really kicking off the year in a new way, I decided that it's time to stop listing the same things and instead make some travel resolutions for 2014.
As a type A planner, this is especially challenging for me, but it's something I want to try. I usually try to buy plane tickets months in advance to avoid paying higher airfare, and I like the comfort of a confirmed trip. I literally have six-month countdowns to trips, and by the time I get to the destination, I am beyond ready to be there. Since it's hard to do things at the last minute with work, my goal is to request a week off in the future, and the week just prior to it, see what my mood is and book something.
I am a manic phone checker, and it's a problem. But the first step in the healing process is admitting there's a problem, right? Usually, I am pretty good with taking a technology break while on vacation, but lately, Instagram has sucked me back in. I found myself desperately searching for service in Thailand last year just so I could post a real-time picture of the sunset in Ko Phi Phi. In retrospect, that wasn't necessary — but at the time, I felt like I absolutely needed to do it. Therefore, I promise to go on one phone-free vacation in 2014.
I've had many casual conversations with people on vacation, but I have yet to make a true, genuine friend in a place I've visited. I realize that this resolution relies on finding a person who is worth forming a friendship with, but to date, I haven't made this a focus. Moving forward, I'll try to be a bit more talkative when I travel — and paired with my resolution to unplug, I might be more open to seeing new people just a bit.
Probably the most challenging experience I've had to date was being in Paris for a few days alone — with no knowledge of French — after my friend left before I did. I was basically a mute the entire time. While this wasn't necessarily my favorite travel experience, it did teach me to always learn a few local phrases. I also became excellent with hand gestures. Moving forward, I'd love to do more things that take me out of my element and force me to see things in a different way.
Although I have spent a few days alone at the tail end of vacations after friends had to go home, I have yet to take a vacation on my own. I always think about it, but I never follow through. Even if I just do a long-weekend beach getaway, I think it'll be nice to be in my own element and simply relax.
I still have postcards saved from childhood vacations, and they are the best! Who doesn't like to receive a palm tree paradise pic with a quick message? I think that postcards need to make a comeback, and I will make sure to help with this by sending a few out this year.
I used to think that it was a waste to go back to the same place multiple times. With my few allocated vacation days each year, I try to expand my horizons as much as possible. But there are some places that just always make me happy — like Barbados and Amsterdam. So I'll try my best to make it back to both in 2014.
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