10 Travel Resolutions For 2017
Let’s be honest, 2016 has been a tough year for many of us. But despite a good deal of global social and economic uncertainty, we’re still travelling in higher numbers than ever before. As the need to escape, change our perspective, find meaning and break with our day-to-day routines continues to drive us, let’s make 2017 even better. Here are 10 travel resolutions to adopt in the new year.
1. Learn something new wherever you travel
Wherever you visit in 2017, make a point of learning something new in each destination.
Whether it be learning how to cook a local dish or partake in a traditional sport, actively participating in an aspect of the local culture allows you to travel with more purpose and intention. It will also help forge a lasting connection with the places you visit. And you might just discover a new passion while you’re at it.
2. Set your priorities
Let’s face it: it’s hard to have it all, especially when you add travelling to the list. If you truly want to travel more in 2017, you may need to readjust your priorities. Prioritizing travel over accumulating material objects will not only alter how you spend your life, it will shape the memories you have to look back on. Make a goal to collect experiences, rather than objects in 2017.
3. Explore your hometown with a new set of eyes
We don’t always need to take a flight halfway around the world to find an adventure. Despite often taking our hometowns for granted, we all come from unique places with interesting stories. Sure, you might not be from London, Paris or Tokyo, but adopting a tourist’s perspective to explore your hometown is a fun, low-budget way to spend a weekend. Revisit the typical tourist spots with a fresh outlook, explore a new-to-you area of the city, or try out an up-and-coming restaurant. Don’t forget your camera to document your adventures!
4. Travel somewhere solo
Travelling solo to a foreign destination is a life changing experience. While jetting off alone somewhere new can seem overwhelmingly intimidating, the positives of solo travel far outweigh the negatives. Fending for yourself and overcoming obstacles in an unfamiliar setting is an immense accomplishment. Plus, the freedom to do what you want, when you want is like a breath of fresh air. Travelling solo is a sure-fire way to get you out of your comfort zone, which leads us to our next resolution.
5. Step outside your comfort zone
One of the most transformative things about travel is that it often forces you to step outside your comfort zone. You’re in a new place with new people doing new things. Use the opportunity to challenge yourself to do something you wouldn’t normally do. Maybe that’s making friends using a new language, taking on a tougher hike than you’ve done before, or visiting a place that’s more of a culture shock than the type of travel you’re used to.
6. Make sustainable travel a priority
Sustainable travel is important for preserving the communities and landscapes that make our world so special. Opt to travel around a city by bike instead of car, or pick a vacation that involves volunteering with a local NGO. Even the company you choose to travel with for a guided trip can make a difference. Intrepid Travel is one such company that’s known for its fierce support of sustainability and proactive efforts to give back.
7. Reconnect with distant family
We often think of travel in terms of vacation activities: getting to the beach, staying at a hotel, soaking up the local culture and food scenes. But why not make a plan this year to reconnect with distant family, or even set out to meet family you’ve never met before. Knowing someone who lives locally can also make a huge difference to the level of depth you can experience about a destination, even if it’s one you’ve visited before.
8. Read books set in your destination before you go
Reading a book set in the destination you plan to visit is a great way to learn about a place and a culture before you go. While guide books can tell you what to do and see, where to stay, eat, etc. a novel can give you a more colourful and personal insight into a place. Reading a book before travelling can help you experience a place on a deeper level when you get there. Get some inspiration for your next travel read.
9. Support local entrepreneurs and artisans
In the globalized world we live in, it’s easy to gravitate towards the familiar when travelling abroad. However, to truly make the most out of your visit, try to engage with as many local people and businesses as possible. Not only are you likely to have a more authentic cultural experience, you’re also contributing to local economies. With many countries (especially those in the developing world) reliant on tourism dollars, it’s important to contribute to must-see destinations in a positive way.
10. Travel light
While there are a seemingly endless number of gadgets and clothing that can enhance the travel experience, there’s no worse feeling than lugging around unnecessary baggage when abroad. Next time you jet off to a destination, plan your packing ahead of time and cut out anything you truly don’t need. Aim for versatility, picking outfits and shoes that can be worn in multiple ways more than one time. For a real challenge, skip the baggage check-in and try to fit all you need into a carry-on and backpack.
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